Acatenango is one of the under appreciated growing regions of Guatemala. It has always been overshadowed by nearby Antigua, and in fact many Acatenango coffees were sold as Antigua lots for many years. In mill-mark Antiguas, this is still the case, since farmers who sell cherries or the collectors who round it up and bring it to the mill rarely respect such boundaries. But Acatenango coffees come from some of the most beautiful farms I have seen in Guatemala, and San Diego Buena Vista is a case in point. I have visited this farm and was impressed with their practices, the way they have separated all the cultivars on the farm, and the beautiful condition of the mill. When I was there, all the harvest was in, and they were reconditioning the mill, replacing bearings, cleaning and painting. Reinvestment and pride are always good signs at a mill! Cleanliness doesn't hurt either, and the SDBV mill, while quite old, was beautiful, even down to the flowers rimming the office alongside the drying patio.
San Diego Buena Vista has a balanced and well-structured flavor profile that makes for a 'classic' Guatemalan coffee working exceptionally well for espresso too. The dry fragrance of the SDVB has a restrained raw sugar smell in the sweetness, with baking spice and nut notes, smells that build a bit of momentum after adding hot water. The aroma of City+ roasts show a sweet mix of raisin and brown sugar, a sprinkling of cinnamon powder, and a hint of dried apple. The cup is great in the middle roast range, clean expressions of dark sugar and almond, spiced cinnamon and vanilla essence notes in the aftertaste. Full City ushers in high % cacao bar flavors, slightly fruited and with a pleasant bittering touch. There's a great relationship between sweetness and bittersweetness, striking impressive balance in the cup. A mild citrus element comes up as the cup cools down in temperature, and black tea and candied walnut tones shadow the long aftertaste. San Diego Buena Vista excels as espresso - dark cacao, candied nut, and light citrus oil with Full City and Full City+ roasting.