A unique micro-lot of Blue Mountain cultivar grown in Guatemala. It's a balanced cup with restrained brightness and great body, toffee, caramel, milk chocolate, apple fruited note, lemon in the lighter roasts. City+ to Full City roast.
Finca La Bella is near San Cristobal Acasaguastlan in El Progreso, and is a fourth generation coffee farm. It is the only farm in El Progreso department that we have coffee from, but it is unique in other ways too. La Bella is a larger farm that happens to have a small plot of Jamaica Blue Mountain Typica cultivar. And that is what we have here, the separated micro-lot of JBM coffee. As you may know, we buy a JBM cultivar from Kona, but we haven't actually bought a Jamaica coffee in quite a few years now. Why? I think you can guess ... it's the cup: Flat, dull, boring, blah. On the other hand we realize there is a degree of novelty in offering these pure JBM cultivar coffees grown in other locales. They were never planted in order to cash in on the name, and I can't tell you in a side-by-side cupping which would be a traditional Typica, and which is the JBM Typica. But I will say this is an old, traditional low-yield cultivar, and it cups like one. The fact this small lot receives a premium price, and is treated by a true micro lot by Teo and his workers at the farm is, very clear. It's a great, balanced cup and would beat the heck out of any JBM in blind cupping, I betcha! It's a really beautiful, balanced tenor-toned cup. The dry fragrance has an overt caramelly note, softly sweet. Adding hot water, there are ample chocolate tones, layers of milk chocolate and hints of pleasant cocoa bittersweetness. A bit of apple and warming spice emerge too. Light roasts have a lemony brightness, but anything City+ to Full City is all about body and milk chocolate. Caramel, toffee-apple, and root beer come out as the cup cools. It's not as acidic as other Guatemala coffees, especially from Huehuetenango and those areas, but it's a very nicely balanced "crowd-pleaser" flavor profile. It also seems to be sweeter with a little more roast. Usually I am recommending City roast for the best delicate notes, but I feel La Bella JBM shines at a slightly darker level.