A complex and fruit-forward flavor profile, with unique Pacamara cultivar influence. Caramel and molasses sweetness, strawberry-rhubarb, pomegranate, apple, cinnamon stick, interesting foresty hints, juicy! City+ to Full City roast.
La Montanita is a coffee we have bought for years now, and the special Pacamara lot from this farm has always been good. Owned by Antonio Rene Aguilar Lemus, it is a fairly small farm of 17.5 Hecatares in total. Pacamara is a cross between a naturally-occurring hybrid Pacas and the so-called "elephant-bean" cultivar, Maragogype (known for it's low-yield trees with huge bean size). The result is a non-traditional cup character with medium body, bright and lively acidity and unusual flavor profiles. The farm was handed down through the Aguilar family. The Aguilars run their own wet-mill so all steps of the coffee cultivation and processing are under the control of the farm. While the farm is not organic certified, it could be; the Aguilars do not use herbicides and practices manual weed control. They use organic fertilizers like chicken manure, coffee pulp and they count on nature for insect control. La Montanita is located in the Alotepec Mountain Range and has excellent altitude for coffee (1460 meters, 4790 feet) which accounts for the slowly-maturing, dense coffee seeds and better acidity in the cup. But in the case of Pacamara, a lot of the cup character comes from this unusual cultivar. La Montanita placed several times in the Cup of Excellence, including #2 place in 2006 and #3 in 2010. We offered this coffee many times going back to 2004, when we bought the CoE lot.
The cup is really outstanding! The dry fragrance from the grounds has sweet molasses-caramel, raisin, plum, malt. Adding hot water, the wet aromatics have a lot of spice, cinnamon stick in particular, aromatic wood, fig and black currant jam on the break. The cup has strong fruit-forward character from hot to cool, intensifying as the coffee looses temperature. It's a juicy cup, with strawberry-rhubarb, pomegranate and apple flavors. There is a hibiscus floral note as well, with hints of mulling spices. For a Pacamara, it has very good body and exceptional balance, a darker flavor profile than expected, with slight suggestions of Indonesia-like foresty flavors. As you can see, this coffee inspires many flavor descriptors! Darker roasts have a scotch malt roast taste. While the flavor profile is affected greatly by roast level, I liked the results all along the roast spectrum, from City+ to Full City.