A complex and fruit-forward flavor profile, with unique Pacamara cultivar influence. Caramel and molasses sweetness, strawberry-rhubarb juice, raisin, plum, cinnamon stick, foresty hints, juicy! City+ to Full City roast.
La Montanita is a coffee we have bought for years now. Owned by Antonio Rene Aguilar Lemus, it is a fairly small farm of 17.5 Hecatares in total, planted entirely with the large-bean Pacamara cultivar. If you are not familiar with it, Pacamara is a cross between a naturally-occuring hybrid Pacas and the so-called "elephant-bean" cultivar, Maragogype (know for it's low-yield trees with huge bean size). The result is a non-traditional cup character with medium body, bright and lively acidity and unusual flavor profiles. The farm was handed down through the Aguilar family. The Aguilars run their own wet-mill so all steps of the coffee cultivation and processing are under the control of the farm. While the farm is not organic certified, it could be; the Aguilars do not use herbicides and practices manual weed control. They uss organic fertilizers like chicken manure, coffee pulp and they count on nature for insect control. La Montanita is located in the Alotepec Mountain Range and has excellent altitude for coffee (1460 meters, 4790 feet) which accounts for the slowly-maturing, dense coffee seeds and better acidity in the cup. But in the case of Pacamara, a lot of the cup character comes from this unusual cultivar. La Monta±ita placed several times in the Cup of Excellence, including #2 place in 2006 and #3 in 2010. We actually offered this coffee way back in 2004, when we bought the CoE lot.
The cup is really outstanding! The dry fragrance from the grounds has sweet molasses and caramel syrup, aromatic wood, raisin, dried plum, malt. Adding hot water, the wet aromatics have a lot of spice, cinnamon stick in particular, but there are also lush floral aspects, tropical fruits and strawberry jam on the break. The cup has strong fruit-forward character from hot to cool, intensifying as the coffee looses temperature. It's a very juicy cup, with strawberry-rhubarb, raspberry and crisp apple cider flavors. There is a hibiscus floral note as well. For a Pacamara, it has very good body and exceptional balance, a darker flavor profile than expected, with suggestions of Indonesia-like foresty flavors. As you can see, this coffee inspires many flavor descriptors! Darker roasts have a scotch malt roast taste. While the flavor profile is affected greatly by roast level, I liked the results all along the roast spectrum, from C+ to FC.