In the craze to get coffees from higher elevations, I would like to present something to the contrary. This is a microlot from a swatch of coffee plantings at the LOWEST elevation of Finca Matalapa, from 1250 meters. By focusing on elevation, I think people have forgotten all the other factors that go into making a great coffee. There are terrible coffees from 1800 meters, there are wonderful coffees from 1200 meters. (I am not going to argue for great lots from 750 meters ... there are limits!) What I find in Mirador is a sweet, thick, full body cup that is one of the better SO espresso lots we have on our offering list. It comes from a classic estate coffee. Matalapa has a complete independent mill to service the farm, from the tree through wet-processing, patio drying, hulling and preparation, to loading the coffee in jute bags and packing the shipping container. The mill is filled with fantastic, classic coffee equipment painted in bold colors. And it's the passion of the owner, Vickie Ann Dalton de Diaz, and the love of archaic machinery on the part of her husband that keeps the mill running and the coffee tasting so wonderful! Finca Matalapa is in the Libertad area, not far from the capital of San Salvador, on a west-facing slop ranging from 1200 meters up to the ridge top at 1350 meters. The coffee has great balance and sweet accent notes. The dry fragrance has praline-toffee and floral notes at City+, and a syrupy molasses sweetness at FC roast. You can find mild citrus in the wet aroma, with syrupy caramel-malt notes and hints of walnut. The cup has a creamy mouthfeel, malty sweetness, but also a streak of bright orange flavor running through it. There's an almondy nutty tone in roast levels from City-City+, turning to a soft milk chocolate at FC roast. It is so balanced, between the brighter tones of the cup and the tenor-level flavors that are mostly sweetness and bittering notes from caramelization and browning reactions in the roast. When I tasted this coffee at the farm, I thought it was the sweetest microlot of the bunch, and that still holds true back here at my cupping lab at the SM warehouse.
Matalapa El Mirador Espresso: One of our main points with separating this microlot was for Single Origin espresso. The SO espresso is dense, with a silky mouthfeel, citric brightness, cacao, slightly winey fruited acidity, and a wonderful, long-lasting bittersweet chocolate aftertaste.