Pulcal Villa Sarchi is a cup with prized cleanliness, simple syrup to raw sugar sweetness, baking spice accents, and suggestions of black tea, candied lemon, banana walnut bread, and black currant. City to Full City+. Good for espresso.
Pulcal is an old coffee estate overlooking the colonial city of Antigua, and is situated at a range of 6000 feet in altitude. The farm dates to early colonial times (check out the neat tile crest in the first photo below), but coffee was planted in the late 1800's and first exported in 1918. The farm is said to have a unique micro-climate in the Antigua valley, as well as hillside exposure and well-draining soils. This is a Villa Sarchi lot separation, a natural dwarf mutation of Bourbon, which the farm is also planted heavily in. Villa Sarchi only makes up a small part of Pulcal, and the entire lot is a mere 17 bags. Expect the cup to rival that of the "Inteligente" lots we also purchase year after year, a coffee grown at the highest part of the farm, one that never disappoints.
This Villa Sarchi selection from Pulcal shows incredible balance and sweetness, much in line with the "Inteligente" lot we buy annually from the same farm. The dry fragrance has a fair amount of toffee and nut smells, like caramel-candied almond, with a whiff of clove soda. We found Full City sees a boost in cocoa and dried fruit notes, and even our City+ roast billowed a sweet butter pecan and raisin smell in the steam off the wetted grounds, with caramel and roasted nut sundae topping on the break. This coffees brews a nice clean cup, City to Full City roasts showing balance of sweet and bittersweet notes, mild fruit and spice accents, and convincing acidity level well-integrated into the cup profile. The coffee shows a simple syrup-like sweetness, clear and clean, and provides a wonderful backdrop to layers of unrefined sugar and roasted nut notes that are revealed as the cup cools. City+ and Full City roasts provide much to ponder, but as suggestions, nothing "hit you over the head" in strength: black tea, candied lemon, banana bread with walnuts, currant, and all spice berry. Full City has a sweet milk chocolate flavor too, complimentary to milky body that is found with development. For those who enjoy a "classic" toned espresso, this won't disappoint all on it's own. Full City roasts yield more chocolate than I expected, milky up front shifting to a long bittersweet cocoa roast tone in the finish, with a subtle tartness tying it all together.