A small-farm Antigua coffee with butter, caramel, cedar, hop flower and malt stout beer aromatics, balanced cup flavors with restrained fruits, traces of apple at City+ and dark berry at FC+. City + is the preferred roast level overall.
Puerta Verde is a 4th generation family-run coffee farm in the Ciudad Vieja (Old City) Antigua, Guatemala. It is named for the green door that marks the entrance to the coffee farm. It's a medium-sized farm at 41 hectares, and like all Antigua coffees has great altitude (1539 meters). Since they don't have a wet mill, the coffee is processed by the respected Zelaya family nearby (Bella Carmona estate). It was also graced with 7th place for a lot entered in the '09 Guatemala Cup of Excellence. I haven't been thrilled with Antigua coffees as of late, although there are certainly some nice ones. The Finca Retana Yellow Bourbon did not come through last year, and many of the large lots sold via brokers are pooled coffees that, honestly, are not truly Antiguas. When the mills in the area buy coffee cherry, it might be Antigua, or it might be from Acatenango or Chimaltenango or elsewhere. They have attempted to certify Antigua appellation coffees, but it's another fee that adds to the cost, and many aren't willing to bear it. The best way to get a great Antigua is to buy from a known small farm, and that's the case here. Puerta Verde is a really nice cup this year, and lined up against other Antiguas, has a very nice sweet fruit quality. The dry fragrance at optimal roast levels (City+) has a remarkable sweet - bittersweet balance. There's an intense chocolate scent, as well as butter and caramel soft hints, along with a slight trace of cedar. To this, the wet aroma adds a touch of sandalwood, hop flower and malt stout beer. In the cup, intense bittersweet notes are balanced by creamy body. It's a classic Bourbon cup, dense mouthfeel, restrained flavors, classic Central America brightness and balance. When lined up with other Antigua lots in particular, traces of fruit are evident; apple notes at City+ and dark berry at Full City roast levels.