THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Lo Mejor de Cuilco shows best when roasted to at least City+, and our Full City roast pushed delicious chocolate tones to the forefront of the cup - dark chocolate cake, bittering baker's cocoa, and Dutch drinking cocoa - along with plum and date fruited accents. City+ to Full City+. Delicious espresso.
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Cuilco is a region up in the Huehuetenango highlands, and is part of La Libertad municipality. This lot is a blend of a few farms in the area whose coffees stood out on a recent visit. We cup many samples on these trips, identifying similar flavor profiles and qualities worth blending together, and in the case of lot sizes that are large enough, separate on their own. So many of the farmers in this area have small farms, 1 hectare, sometimes less, and so we bulk together coffees from 5, 10, or more farms sometimes in order to put together a large enough lot of coffee that makes sense. This is one of our "microlot" quality blends, coffees that we consider better than just "good", and that we scored above 88 points. The farms are mainly planted with a mix of Caturra and Bourbon varietals, and the altitude varies between 1600 to 1900m meters above sea level. These are dense coffees, and can handle relatively high heat in the roaster. I like to tack on a few seconds beyond my normal end roast times to allow for internal bean development. If you're shooting for City-City+ roasts, and have manual heat control, you might play around with stretching out the last leg of the roast post-1st crack. Consider dropping the temperature by as much as 50% after hearing the beginning of 1st snaps, slowing the rate of heat rise, and further developing the coffees sweetness (but be careful not to stall!).
This blend from the Cuilco region has a nice developed sweetness throughout the profile, the dry grounds giving off a smell of caramelizing sugar, butter, and vanilla (like the aroma released when making caramel). City+ is really the starting edge of my roast recommendation, and both our City+ and Full City roasts showed immense body and bittersweetness, with subtle top notes that come into play once the cup cools off a bit. Brewing a City+ roast, the coffee has a straight-forward bittersweet appeal, dark brown sugar and cocoa roast tones equally matched, and a subtle plum-like acidity can be sensed. As the cup cools down a bit, a chocolatey tones show intensity, and give way to dark fruit flavors like stewed plum, and date pudding. But fruited tones are more icing on the proverbial cake, which if this coffee were a cake, it'd have been made with a mixture of high % cacao bar and bittering baking cocoa. Full City roasts have to be tried as espresso too if you have the means. A flavor of Dutch drinking cocoa is resonant, with a fig/date flavor coming through in intermittent bursts.