Acatenango is one of the under-appreciated growing regions of Guatemala. The cup is classic Guatemala all the way. It has that great relationship between sweetness and bittersweetness, as well as brightness and good body. Balanced flavor profile with vanilla and caramel flavors, citric zest, a bit of red apple fruit toward the finish; darker roasts have a more blackberry tone. The body is a key feature here, with a distinct syrupy mouthfeel and tangy bittering notes. City+ to Full City+.
Acatenango is on 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 boundries. 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 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, coffee scent. (Sometimes these very classic Centrals exemplify a good clean coffee scent so well, what metaphor can describe them, except as what they are; coffee!) The cup is classic 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 spice, 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. The body is a key feature here, with a distinct syrupy mouthfeel. In terms of this great balance of cup qualities, this is the expression of Bourbon cultivar all the way. This coffee took 10th Place in the finals of the SCAA Coffee of the Year competition this year, which is great for a balanced, non-exotic coffee like this ... I mean it doesn't have crazy strawberry scents or Gesha-like floral notes, so it would never be a #1 in an event like that. 10th for a classic coffee is very, very respectable. The only other Guat to make the finals was El Injerto at #5, the El Injerto that has won the Guat COE for the last 3 years.