That really was confusing the way I wrote it. The last purchase was the
beginning of the new season, the first picking of the year and it was bitter.
The previous purchases were later pickings from the previous year.
Early does not necessarily mean bitter. Tom said the Guatemala Finca La
Laguna was an early crop and there is nothing bitter in that cup. The same is
true of the El Salvador SHG Santa Adelaida, a very nice sweet cup.
The point I really missed in my original post is that Tom cups the coffees by
lot, and that gives us a consistency we will not necessarily get if we
purchase from the farms directly or from other sources selling from the same
origin. Not only can different years from the same grower vary considerably,
but there is variation in flavor even during a single growing season from the
c>onfused. Is it a general rule that earlier is better than later?