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City to City+ roasts yield balanced caramel and roasted almond core flavors, topped off with accents of honey, chamomile florals, dried apple and apricot, cilantro, and tea-like brightness. City to City+.
This is the first of two Maracaturra lots we'll offer from Finca Buenos Aires. The Maracaturra cultivar is a large bean variety of coffee, a cross between Caturra and the so-called "Elephant Bean", Maragogype. It seems to be grown mostly in Nicaragua although I have found nice examples in El Salvador too. Buenos Aires is a rather low farm compared to other origins we buy, with this lot coming from about 1200 meters. This coffee is wet processed, which means that the whole cherry is mechanically separated from the coffee seed, and then the sticky layer of mucilage is broken down and removed using overnight wet fermentation. This tends to produce higher acidity levels, and often a cleaner, more clear set of cup flavors all around. Maracturra can be tricky to roast due to the enormous bean size. If you have the ability to control heat on your roaster, try a "slow and low" approach, dragging out the beginning roast leg before 1st crack in order to produce roast consistency from the inside out. For those without heat control (a popcorn popper for example), take the roast to at least City+ based on the beans exterior which will ensure internal roast development is achieved and save you from the green/grassy notes that come from underdevelopment! Normally this equates to a slightly "wilder" profile and toned down acidity, but this isn't really the case for this coffee. These beans are quite large, and if you're lucky, one or two may be rejected (or I should say "ejected") right back at you from the mouth of your burr grinder.
This Maracaturra selection has a dry fragrance of almond bar, sweet marzipan and nougat, and a honey nut accent. The wet aroma shows strength in sweetness, buttery toffee smells coming up in the steam are near floral, the crust exuding a creme br_l_e/burned sugar aspect. The sugary flavors in the cup show nicely when hot, and really open up as the coffee cools. Panela sugar cookies - a raw sugar sweetness, almost molasses like - fading to bittersweet flavor of burnt sugar candies, and a dried apple accent note. The profile is focused around layers of raw sugar sweetness, tethered together by pleasant tea-like acidity, and chamomile florals which boost the perception of brightness. Internal roast development can be difficult to achieve with Maracaturras because of the large screen size. We found that letting the batch roll for a good 20 - 30 seconds after the end of first crack helped get a nice City roast, avoiding the grassy flavors that accompany underdeveloped roasts. One batch was roasted a full minute beyond the end of 1st crack, and surface color looked City+, smooth texture and even caramel brown color. This roast batch boosted dry fruit flavors, raisin and slab apricot, along with a note of cilantro, but in small doses when compared to the balance of caramel and roasted almond at the core.