Clean brightness, mild citrus acidity shifting toward citrus zest in the finish. There's a hefty sugar caramelization flavor, like blackstrap molasses, with a sweet, milk chocolate aftertaste. Dark roasts have a dense brownie note, but still showcases refreshing acidity breathing life into layered chocolate flavors. A very balanced brewed coffee, as well as great SO espresso. City to Full City+.
Our coffee from Finca Candelaria this year is called "Invernadero" to designate the way the coffee was dried after wet-processing. This batch is one we built from day lots, which were all slow-dried on raised beds in an enclosed, green house, an "invernadero" in Spanish. This provides for a much gentler drying of parchment, and while the cup is on par with traditional patio drying in many ways, we find that these coffees can be more durable and remain at peak cup quality longer. Finca Candelaria is a rather large farm located in the Alotenango area, not far from Antigua. The farm is at the base of the sweeping ascent to the peak of Volcan de Fuego, with coffee grown between 1220 and 1500 meters. Much of the farm is set aside as natural forest. Candelaria was an old farm that was in poor condition when it came under the ownership and management of Luis Pedro Zelaya Sr. There has been a process of revitalization at Candelaria for some years now, as older trees are heavily pruned back (which takes them our of production for 2 years) or replaced completely with new plant material. Luis Pedro inherited a farm with a severe nematode problem, so all the trees at Candelaria must be grafts with robusta rootstock. The varietals grown are Caturra, Villa Sarchi, Bourbon Anano, and the dwarf Bourboncito. Ungrafted trees of any variety will not survive in these soils. The area has a severe problem with Roya, leaf rust fungus, as well. This has been addressed through localized treatment, pruning of shade trees, and dramatic pruning of every 3rd row of coffee trees to limit humidity and shade. Neighboring farms are decimated by Roya, and the trees look like leafless sticks, whereas Candelaria is thriving. The farm is still very traditional in most ways, using a shading of Grevillea and Inga trees, and processing using the typical wet-process fermentation method.
Another great early-crop Guatemala offering that is head and shoulders above past crop offers on the market right now. The dry fragrance has the sweetness of wildflower honey, and with a praline nut note. The darker roasts have a bit of dried berry and aromatic wood. The wet aromatics have an intensity to the sweetness, honey and wheat, and a hazelnut note. There's a bittersweet resinous roast aroma in Full City roasts, especially on the break, and smells like pine syrup and blackberry. The cup has a clean brightness to it, with mild citrus acidity which shifts toward citrus zest in the finish. It has a hefty sugar caramelization flavor, like blackstrap molasses - surprisingly strong at light roast levels. This sweet aspect hangs on to the finish and shifts toward more flavors of honey and milk chocolate. Dark roasts have a dense brownie note, but still showcases refreshing acidity breathing life into layered chocolate flavors. This makes for a great brewed cup, pleasing and balanced, and espresso is so chocolatey sweet, and with an up-front, piquant berry brightness.