Finca El Manzano is 10 miles to the southeast of Santa Ana town, owned by Margarita Diaz de Lopez who is the great granddaughter of Cornelio Lemus who founded the farm in 1872. The farm is a true coffee estate, growing, wet-milling, dry-milling and exporting coffee from the one location. While total production is around 700,000 lbs, the Beneficio has been built to handle small lots. This 100% Bourbon varietal was all harvested from the same plot on the farm, from the higher altitude nearing averaging 1400 meters. The coffee is processed using the forced demucilage method that results in the same taste as traditional wet-processing, but uses much less water. A remarkable aspect of the coffees here is the quality of the fruit selection. Earlier this year we witnessed the hand-sorted coffee cherry arriving and the dark red ripeness level was astounding. This shows as balance and sweetness in the cup.
Finca El Manzano has a soft and pleasant wet aroma, with the scent of cane syrup, slight fruit hints of peach with a bit of banana. Darker roasts have a molasses and aromatic wood sweetness. The wet aroma has nutty tones of almond-walnut and a touch sandal wood, with raw honey as well. The cup has a nice brightness in light roasts, red apple fruit, and creamy body. The medium City+ roast is the best for brewed coffee, with a bracing brightness, pleasant tightness in the high notes, and a Muscavado sugar sweet finish. Lightest (City) roasts have some fruit skin astringency in the finish. I roasted one batch a bit into 2nd crack and found the coffee lost some of its dynamic qualities and seemed rather flat. So City+ to Full City+ is the best range here, before 2nd crack. We had some nice SO espresso at Full City roast as well.