THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. A complex cup across the roast spectrum, sweetness from molasses to panela to date sugar. Bittersweet cacao core gives way to strawberry, dried tamarind, and muscat grape. City+ to Full City+.
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Santa Cruz Acatepec is a small town in the northern part of Oaxaca's La Cañada region, a mountainous area with coffees growing well above the 1500 meter mark. Bordering "La Mixteca", the people of La Cañada also belong to the Mixteca ethnic group, an indigenous Mesoamerican group who have inhabited the region for thousands of years. Most of the coffee exported from this region is through the few local cooperatives, most of which hold both Fair Trade and Organic certifications. This particular lot is made up from the coffees of two neighboring producers, wet processing their coffees onsite with small hand crank pulpers, fermenting and washing in the same tank, and then drying on raised bed patios. This blended lot is a whopping 3 bags, and so only being offered in 1 and 2lb quantities. Most of the coffee grown are old Bourbon and Typica types, with a small amount of Caturras, and Catimor hybrids, however, this is a lot separation of only Bourbon and Typica. There is some resistance to growing Catimors locally, many farmers opting to replant in Caturra or even Bourbon.
The dry fragrance is reminiscent of strawberry jam with cinnamon stick, with an underlying sweetness of rustic, raw sugar tones. Full City roasts are particularly potent, displaying a layered sweetness that reminds me of layered chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. The wet aromatics are super sweet, fresh caramel and panela sugar smells present well, and the break produces a sweet smell of berry compote, with a rustic molasses nuance. Our City+ roast made for a delicious brewed coffee, a fruit juice mouthfeel buoyant on the palate. A bittersweet undercurrent defines this coffee's core, flavors of high % cacao and roasted nibs are up front in the hot cup. Fruited accents are more than sensed, becoming much more discernible with a dip in the coffee's temperature; strawberry juice, dried tamarind, and muscat grape come to mind. There is a rustic side to the sweetness too, that penetrates the cup profile, like palm or date sugar, adding to the cup complexity.