Altiplano is extremely versatile in both roast level and brew applications. Lighter roasts show convincing levels of brightness and sweetness, with faint fruit and cocoa top notes. FC and beyond boosts body, sweetness, and chocolate roast complexity. City+ to Full City+. Great for espresso
Every year when cupping coffees from Central America, there are so many lots that make a lasting impression on us as single origin espresso. So much so, that we thought it would be a great idea to blend a few of these lots together, creating a mix of diverse coffees from the Central American highlands. "Altiplano" is the word we are using for high plains, not to be confused with THE Altiplano in South America. From the La Cumbre mountains in El Salvador, to the Los Cuchumatanes in Guatemala, to the Los Arados mountains in Nicaragua, we bring in a wide variety of coffees with unique cup profile, and that all work extremely well as espresso. Blended together, the resulting cup or espresso has balance, and with an acidity that is controlled by roast development. Roasting to City+ will have the highest tones in the cup, and bright results in the espresso machine. Full City/Full City+ will produce a more "classic" espresso profile with chocolate roast pungency, deep sweetness, and zesty citrus acidity. Altiplano is seasonal dual-use blend, and we'll be rotating new coffees in as they become available, updating the review when necessary. This initial version is equal parts, all washed coffees - Guatemala from Acatenango, El Salvador Matalapa, and Nicaragua.
This is a great dual-purpose blend, and so we cupped it as both brewed coffee and espresso. Roasting to City+ - Full City is great for a cup of coffee, and the dry fragrance has a pungent-sugar sweetness, molasses sugars, along with roasted nut and hints of spice-tea. Wet, the sweetness peaks with dark toffee and a smell of butter pecan ice cream. Cupping the City/City+ roasts, you're rewarded with a tea-like brilliance providing structure to the cup. Flavors of muscovado sugar and cinnamon spice come through, along with roasted almond and golden raisin as the temperature cools. FC is surprisingly fruited, and strikes a pleasant balance between raw sugar sweetness and cocoa powder bittering. As espresso, FC shots show high levels of dark sugar sweetness and cocoa roast tones up front, peaking with a tart, lemon-citrus high tone. The mouthfeel is extremely dense, viscous, and like syrupy-chocolate. Nut and cocoa tones round out the finish well, intermixed with faint raisin and dry fruit hints.