|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|Drying Method||Patio Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||August 2017 Arrival|
|Appearance||.6 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen|
|Roast Recommendations||City+ to Full City+|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|
This Guatemala coffee comes from small producers in the Santa Barbara municipality of Huehuetenango, an area with high altitude farms starting at 1500 meters and reaching 2000 in some areas. The farms where this coffee was sourced sit right around 1700 meters and are planted mostly in Caturra. This is an area of small holders, not estates like you'd see in the lowlands. The topography wouldn't allow for sprawling farms as the hillside is jutting, and where instead small hamlets are situated in the lands carved out in the surrounding hillside that is sprinkled with countless tiny farms at a couple hectares each. Pulping and fermentation of the coffee is handled locally, and the coffee is, for the most part, patio-dried. Dry-milling happens at a mill in Huehuetenango town (this is the first year) where they are equipped with state of the art equipment, and with the infrastructure to properly handle small lots of coffee. "Xinabajul" is the name of the project/partnership we have with local coffee people to offer higher prices to farmers that meet our quality expectations in the cup. Given that the localities where we are buying coffee are little more than extended family groups, we have found if we involve a brother or sister, they will tell all their coffee-farming kin and soon we have a network of farmers interested in our project. We wrote an in-depth and detailed description of the project as well.
This small producer blend has a profile of candied sugar and soft spice notes, with heavy cacao/chocolate bittersweetness as you pass the middle roast range. Grinding this coffee produces a sweet toffee smell, along with undestated clove and roasted nut accents. At City+ roast level, adding hot water brings up a complex, sweetened cocoa smell, like a dark chocolate hot cocoa, marked by raw sugar and cinnamon stick. Brewing my City+ roast produces a cup that's front-loaded brown sugar sweetness, and an apple-like brightness is apparent. A smell of five spice marks the aroma of these middle roast levels, adding a layer of complexity to the dark sugar and nut attributes dominating the cooling cup, leaving an impression of spiced pecan shortbread cookies. Apple and a faint orange oil note are sensed as the cup cools, but more or less are obfuscated by dense caramel sweetness, and a fading baker's cocoa flavor in the finish. We roasted one batch to just north of Full City+ right before 2nd snap territory, and were rewarded with a chocolatey espresso option or brewed coffee, underlying flavor of dark chocolate pudding, muted fruit accents, and powedery cocoa in the finish.