Dear Green was the first coffee I bought after moving back to Scotland from America in July. Having been away for five years, I had no idea what the specialty coffee scene was like in my home country. After some brief internet research, I chose Dear Green mostly because of the name (in Gaelic, Glasgow means “Dear Green Place”) and was left thoroughly impressed and eager to try more.

Specialty coffee, in the U.K. in general and Scotland in particular, has expanded impressively in the time I was away, and the increasing number of micro roasters is yet another positive sign that its influence is growing. Dear Green, founded in 2011, has been at the forefront of this development, with founder Lisa Lawson also being responsible for the creation of the Glasgow Coffee Festival.

As an aside: I visited the Jardin region of Colombia last December in my previous life as a coffee roaster, so was excited to try a Scottish take on this beautiful and vibrant growing region. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint.

This coffee, from Las Carmelitas farm in Jardin, is an exceptional example of everything that’s good about Colombia as a producing country. With style and skill, Dear Green have brought out the clean, subtly fruity tones without sacrificing the overall balance that characterises the best Colombian coffee.

The packaging is deceptively simple: brown stand-up pouch, Dear Green stamp on the front, info sticker on the back. No muss, no fuss.

The dry fragrance is deep and complex, with cocoa powder and roasted nut notes and the first foreshadowing of the understated cherry-like fruit that will come to underpin the brewed cup.

A medium, balanced body pairs nicely with cinnamon sugar notes and hints of toasted marshmallow. The finish is delicate, the subtle cherry brightness expanding away in waves as the coffee cools.

Brewing by Chemex brings out that elegant acidity in the cup, and it holds up well even when made in a standard automated brewer, which is always a good sign.

Colombian coffee is popular because it is generally dependable, usually roasted darker and, as the website Coffee Review notes, is one of the few names on the menu that everyone recognises. However, when produced with care and roasted with a level of mindfulness (as in this case), it rewards the drinker with a complex synthesis of sweetness, gossamer brightness and true balance.

Region: Jardin, La Linda

Altitude: 1783

Process: Washed

Varietal: Caturra, Colombia and Castillo