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Sweet Maria's Altiplano Blend

A blend of sweet, bodied Central American coffees that's chocolatey through and through. Chocolate taffy, 70% cacao bar, chocolate syrup, praline, cocoa crispies, baking chocolate, with a dark grape hint underneath. City++ to Full City+. Good for espresso.

Out of stock
  • Process Method Wet Process
  • Cultivar Caturra Types, Bourbon Types, Typica Types, Modern Hybrids
  • Farm Gate Yes
Region Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua
Processing Wet Process
Drying Method Raised Bed Sun-dried
Arrival date All current-new crop
Packaging GrainPro liner
Farm Gate Yes
Cultivar Detail Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Typica
Grade SHB
Appearance .4 d/300gr, 15-17 screen
Roast Recommendations City++ makes a bright shot, and Full City - Full City+ for deep chocolate roast flavors
Type Sweet Maria's Blends
Recommended for Espresso Yes

The coffees of Central America are go-to ingredients for us when we want to bring body and sweetness to an espresso blend. So it stands to reason that blending all Central American coffees would only enhance those aspects even more, right? After tasting this year's trio all blended together, the answer is a resounding "yes". "Altiplano" is the word we are using for high plains, not to be confused with THE Altiplano in South America. From the Cordillera Central in Costa Rica, 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. This year's blend was built with espresso in mind, but will certainly make a nice brew as well. 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 a fruited acidity that to me has a grape-like quality (though the cup is far from "fruity"). Altiplano is seasonal blend, and we'll be rotating new coffees in as they become available, updating the review when necessary. This initial version should last us a while, and is a mix of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

With so many great Central American coffees at our fingertips, we figured it's about time to reboot the ever popular Alitplano blend. This year's blend was constructed with espresso in mind, but I have been enjoying my Full City roasts as brew too. All three ingredients are bodied coffees on their own, and I think full immersion brewing will do well to highlight that feature, not to mention the syrup, bittersweet cup profile. Middle roasts are chocolatey through and through, the dry fragrance marked by smells of cocoa powder and pungent burnt sugars, the wet aroma more of a dark chocolate-covered toffee smell that's incredibly potent. As espresso, Full City shots have this dark, juicy aspect underneath that comes off like grape to me. It's particularly present in ristretto shots, whereas, I get some zesty citrus highlights in longer, higher yield espressos. In both cases, the profile is quickly overwhelmed by syrupy, thick chocolate bittersweetness, flavor notes of sweet chocolate taffy, 70% cacao-chocolate bars, and some Hersheys chocolate syrup. I'm particularly fond of shorter espresso shots myself, my favorite results using an 18 gram basket, yielding around 30 grams of espresso over the course of roughly 25 seconds. The shots have such a creamy mouthfeel, allowing the rich chocolatey flavors to linger on your tongue. The aftertaste is long and contemplative, and flavor notes hint at raisin, praline almond, 'cocoa crispies', Baker's chocolate, and so much more.