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Marlon Palacios' coffee cups very well across the roast spectrum. Light and dark roasts are fruited - peach, grape, Asian pear, dark berry - and a rich, dark cocoa flavor develops with roast. Bodied, defined acidity, and clean finish, this Guatemala is "complete". City to Full City+. Single origin espresso.
Each year we find new folks in Huehuetenango to buy coffee from, which we're grateful for, especially when they turn out to be a really high quality micro-lot. In general, we try to limit these 'feature' producer lots to more than 10 bags milled coffee. But this year, there were a couple coffees we tasted that were so nice, we had to keep them separated even though they fell below our 1000 LB threshold. This lot from Marlon Palacios is a mere 800 LBS - but based on the cleanliness of profile, body, balance, and interesting top notes, it would be a missed opportunity to blend off with another coffee from a different producer. His farm is in the Palmira region of Huehuetenango, way up around 1700 meters, and like most in the region he processes his coffee onsite down to patio drying parchment. The coffee is delivered to a dry-mill in Antigua where it is processed and prepared for export. We're happy to have had the opportunity to see this small lot from Marlon, and hope that next year he continues to be a part of our Proyecto Xinabajul.
This little lot from Marlon Palacios cups with a profile that is "big" in every way. The ground coffee has faint tropical fruit notes swirling around a very sweet base of buttery caramel. At Full City, dark fruits come to fore and a smell of high % cacao comes into focus. Adding hot water brings on a smell of peach preserves, jammy fruits, and floral sugar. A brewed cup at City/City+ has vibrant acidity, flavors of fresh, sweet fruits, juicy mouthfeel, and clean finish. It's a complete Guatemala, one that handles well in the roaster, and capable of unique expression even at dark roast levels. Flavors in a cooling cup go from caramel, to honey, cane juice. Fruited notes like grape, apricot, and Asian pear come out in CIty roasts, while Full City is loaded with blackberry, currant, and plum. A rich chocolate and cinnamon flavor develops in these darker roasts, like Mexican hot chocolate, and do extremely well as brewed coffee or single origin espresso. A run through the espresso machine offers a viscous bodied shot with dark berries and heavy cocoa roast tones.