Santa Maria is a complete coffee by any standards. The flavor is juicy and apple-like, the mouth feel is notably sturdy and structured while the sweetness is honeyed. This is classic Guatemalan coffee; something to be expected from the upper echelon of quality. City+ or Full City is ideal here.
Santa Maria de Jesus is a tiny hamlet perched high up on the slopes of Volcan Agua in Sacatepequez, Guatemala. This is our first foray into the region so there are no formal aspects of a producer's association or group established yet. 20 farmers and their coffee cherry made the cut this season. These smallholder, typically indigenous, producers grown classic Central American Bourbon with inter plantings of Caturra. Their farms sit on just below town at altitudes ranging from 5,550 - 6,000 feet above sea level. Harvest season runs from December to Febraury. The farmers of Santa Maria used to sell their coffee cherry to local intermediaries, or coyotes as their known in Latin America, before our project manager stepped into begin buying and washing the fruit. Our Santa Maria lot is depulped of its cherry skin, fermented in concrete tanks, washed and then patio dried.
Santa Maria is a complete coffee with exemplery mouthfeel and sweetness that are tied together by a razor fine acidity. The dry fragrance is laden with darker, dry fruit aromatics like raisin and prune along with turbinado sugar. Ginger lingers in the background. The break was very sweet reminiscent of cola nut and even cane sugar juice. The complete nature of this cup profile is what hangs with me from Santa Maria. There is tremendous balance in between the malic acidity, think apple cider in terms of, flavor AND mouth feel, the honeyed sweetness and the mouth buoyant mouth feel. Cacao is a descriptor commonly used here at the Shrub but the particular version of cacao here is very sweet, reminiscent of Dutch drinking chocolate. That flavor lingers long in the finish.