THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Delicate but dense sweetness, apple-like acidity, candied nut, apple, black tea with lemon, orange rind, and high % cacao. City to Full City+. Good for espresso.
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This our third and final lot from Hacienda Pulcal, an old coffee estate overlooking the colonial city of Antigua, and is situated at a range of 6000 feet in altitude. The farm dates to early colonial times (check out the neat tile crest in the first photo below), but coffee was planted in the late 1800's and first exported in 1918. The farm is said to have a unique micro-climate in the Antigua valley, as well as hillside exposure and well-draining soils. "Intelligente" refers to a specific block of the farm, planted in old Typica and Bourbon cultivar trees. It has the best sun exposure, and ideal topography. To form this lot, we cupped too many small "day lots" to count, selecting those that had the best sweetness and brightness. Day lots are small harvest batches from particular areas of the farm. Intelligente is from the upper part of the farm, highest altitude, and so tends to ripen in the middle harvest.
Pulcal Inteligente is a sweet and balanced cup, with enough top-note complexity to make it a 'highlight' Central American coffee. The dry fragrance has a high level of raw sugar sweetness, with notes of roasted almond and hazelnut spread. We found Full City sees a boost in fruited and cocoa notes, and even our City+ roast billowed a thick caramel smell in the steam off the wetted grounds, with a sweet fruit tea smell released on the break. We've come to expect a clean cup from Hacienda Pulcal, and this lot meets those expectations. When hot, the brewed coffee shows delicate but dense sweetness and apple-like acidity. As it cools, more malic fruit notes come out on top, underlying candied nut flavors, fading to a black tea with lemon taste in the finish. I'm surprised how one farm can produce such consistency from one lot to the next, and our approval rate is as high as it gets for the lots we taste from this farm (I think we approved 100% of what we tasted). As you near Full City, fruit notes have a dark sweetness, and are backed by rich bittersweetness that's like high % cacao bar. From City to Full City this makes a fantastic brewed coffee, showcasing the pristine coffees that are found in Antigua. Also doubles wonderfully as a SO (single origin) Guatemalan espresso, Full City shots are viscous in mouthfeel, dense dark cocoa flavors, and a grape note in the finish. If you like a bright shot, stay north of Full City and you'll be rewarded with a rindy orange note amidst bittersweet chocolate, and dried plum.