Santa Julia is sure to garner universal acclaim, a real crowd pleaser. Raw sugar, roasted nut, and cinnamon allude to granola, with hints of hazelnut, and dried apple. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
Finca Santa Julia is located on the slopes of the Santa Ana Volcano in one of the oldest producing regions in El Salvador. In fact, this farm was founded in the late 19th C. by the great grandfather of the current farm manager, Do±a Haydee, and the farm has remained in the family ever since. Santa Julia is planted entirely with heirloom Bourbon types, and sits between 1450 and 1550 meters above sea level. This lot is the result of a new coffee project in the region by one of the local mills, their goal being to identify the top qualities from farmers they already buy coffee from. These coffees are then kept separate throughout the milling process, and sold as an individual microlots as opposed to being lost to large blends, rewarding the farmer for quality with a much higher premium. Santa Julia has entered top scoring coffees in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence competition, winning first place in 2005.
At City+ roast level, raw sugar sweetness embraces roasted grain and nut tones, cocoa accents are subtle, but promise an increased intensity with darker roasting. My preferred roasts of Santa Julia were right in the middle, a smoothed bean surface (no mottling), but still not close to 2nd snaps. The sweetness in the aroma is like brown sugar, playing off a cashew nut smell, and vanilla and walnut accents. Santa Julia will please those looking for a coffee that shows balance of sweet and bittering tones in middle and darker roasts, as well as a sweetness that holds up to 2nd snaps. City+ roasts have a granola-like presence as you move through the cup, like oats and roasted almonds baked with raw sugar and cinnamon, even a subtle dried apple note. At Full City roast level you're left with heavier dark chocolate flavors, and interplay of burned sugar and a hazelnut note in the finish. Acidity is on the muted side, but still present, and shares a tannic quality that I liken to Assam tea. We ran our FC roast through the espresso machine too, producing a mouth-pleasing, creamy shot. A creamy flavor of macadamia nut wrapped in melted dark chocolate, vanilla almond milk, and a very slight citrus rind bite.