A classic Guatemala all the way, and incredible as SO espresso too. Balanced flavor profile with vanilla and caramel, citric zest, a bit of red apple fruit in the lighter roasts. Darker roasts have a more blackberry tone and velvety chocolate. The body is a key feature here, with a dense mouthfeel and tangy bittering notes. City+ to Full City+.
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.
It's a really classic Guatemala coffee too, a balanced and well-structured flavor profile. The dry fragrance of the SDBVB is has a really distinct toffee sweet scent, as well as honey on buttered toast. There is a sharper sweet scent in the wet aromatic, slight berry fruits, caramelized brown sugar, and lots of, er, classic coffee scent! The body is a key feature here, with a distinct thick, dense mouthfeel. The cup is Guatemala all the way. It has that great relationship between sweetness and bittersweetness, as well as brightness, body and cup flavor. Initially the vanilla and caramelly taste and syrupy body are on the palate, but they fade into tangy bittering notes ... good bitter, coffee bitter. There's cinnamon and other warming spices, a hint of Zacapa here between the caramel-vanilla and spice notes. In light roasts there's a citric brightness, a bit of red apple fruit toward the finish, while darker roasts have a more blackberry tone. In terms of this great balance of cup qualities, this is the expression of Bourbon cultivar all the way. Which also makes it my current favorite for SO espresso. It is incredible as espresso; lemon-zested chocolate velvet!