Every year when cupping coffees from Central America, there are so many lots that make a lasting impression on us as single origin espresso. So much so, that we thought it would be a great idea to blend a few of these lots together, creating a mix of diverse coffees from the Central American highlands. 'Altiplano' is the word we are using for high plains, not to be confused with THE Altiplano in South America. From the La Cumbre mountains in El Salvador, to the Los Cuchumatanes in Guatemala, to the Los Arados mountains in Nicaragua, we bring in a wide variety of coffees with unique cup profile, and that all work extremely well as espresso. Blended together, the resulting cup or espresso has balance, and with an acidity that is controlled by roast development. Roasting to City+ will have the highest tones in the cup, and BRIGHT results in the espresso machine. Full City/Full City+ will produce a more 'classic' espresso profile with chocolate roast pungency, deep sweetness, and zesty citrus acidity. Altiplano is seasonal dual-use blend, and we'll be rotating new coffees in as they become available, updating the review when necessary. This initial version is two parts Guatemala, one from the Huehuetenango highlands the other Acatenango (close to Antigua), and 1 part Nicaragua.
This is a great dual-purpose blend, and so we cupped it as both brewed coffee and espresso. Roasting to City+ - Full City is great for a cup of coffee, and the dry fragrance has a pungent sweetness of dried apricot and unrefined sugars, along with roasted almond in the back end. Wet, the sweetness peaks with dark toffee and baked peach emanating from the crust, and a bolstered candied nut smell on the break. Cupping this coffee, you taste the stone fruit narrative that dominates the cup profile from start to finish. There's lots of peach flesh and skin in the cup, and a nice note of black tea. The mouthfeel is silky, and the finish has the sweetness of apricot. This roast level will make a nice espresso for those seeking 'lighter and brighter' side of things. But for my taste, Full City - Full City+ roasts have the best body and sweetness. The smells in dry fragrance and aroma are somewhere in the range of unrefined sugar to molasses, with a bit of roasted nut as well. It's a sweet smelling coffee, particularly resinous when wet, and with a smattering of baking spices. Shots have lots of hefty cocoa/chocolate roast flavors to them with a bright, orange 'zest' that's snappy without overpowering. 'Classic' in character, this shot has a pleasing, viscous mouthfeel that carries the candy sweet chocolate flavors through to the finish.
|Varietal||Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Typica|
|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|Arrival date||July and August Arrivals|
|Appearance||.4 d/300gr, 17-18 screen|
|Intensity/Prime attribute||Medium Intensity / So sweet, viscous mouthfeel, fruit juice, chocolate|
|Region||All Central American Coffees|
|Roast||City+ to Full City works well for brewed coffee, and just beyond Full City to Full City+ is a killer espresso.|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|