La Esperanza has a unique herbal side that finds harmony with layered raw sugar sweetness. Molasses sugars, basil, sweet bell pepper, licorice, and celery soda were noted in our cups. City+ to Full City.
Finca La Esperanza is owned by the Belismelis family, and is located in Chalatenango-Alotepec, situated between the Santa Ana and Pacayita volcanos. At 210 hectares, La Esperanza is a fairly large farm, planted in Bourbon and Pacas, and with an altitude range 1000 - 1350 meters above sea level. Management of the farm has recently been put under the control of the folks who run a local dry mill, and who employ the help of agronomists who devise specific farm management plans. La Esperanza is made up of several "tablones", or sections, the demarcations set by geography and clusters of coffee trees. This particular lot is harvested from Tablon Zapote, that is in the higher part of the farm (1200 - 1350 meters), and borders El Boqueron National Park.
This lot from La Esperanza has an interesting herbaceus side that's heightened in the light and middle roast levels. Describing a coffee as "Herbal" can have a polarizing effect on enthusiasm, but I assure you the herbal flavors found in this coffee play off sweetness well, and work to create layered complexity. At City+ and Full City roasts the coffee has a simple syrup sweetness, and smells of sweet bell pepper. Hot water brings up a similar appeal, and the break produced a much denser brown sugar sweetness, as well as a note of cooked pumpkin. City+ and Full City roasting helps to develop this coffee's sweetness, and the flavors spans all types of raw sugars, with molasses-like pungency. Herbal-type notes that were much more pronounced when cup testing from a spoon - basil, bell pepper, licorice, celery - find harmony when brewed using a full imersion method like French Press. No matter what your brew method is, La Esperanza's complexity is sure to show the most with a couple days of rest, as well as after letting the coffee cool down in temperature. Heat does a good job of obfuscating characteristics like sweetness and top notes, which is why we sit with the cooling cup for at least 20 minutes during the review process, tasting it over this time span, noting the shifts in cup profile throughout.