A classic Guatemala flavor profile, with balanced chocolate roast taste, malic brightness, maple syrup sweetness and soft chocolate roast flavors. A versatile Guatemala, it works well anywhere between City to Full City+
Finca Agua Tibia is a 150 year old farm located quite near Guatemala City in the Fraijanes region. Fraijanes was compared to the high price coffees from the region of Antigua in the past. After all, Fraijanes is about the same distance from the capital Guatemala City as Antigua, but in the opposite direction. The fact is, Fraijanes coffees have their own unique character, and some of that potential is just starting to be realized. Finca Agua Tibia (it literally means Farm of Lukewarm Water - sounds better in Spanish, eh?) is located at 5000 feet altitude, and the majority of the coffee land is planted in old growth Bourbon and Typica cultivar. It is a diverse farm, with a dairy, and ornamental plant nursery, and in fact 75% of the land is set aside as nature preserve. The fact they focus on other activities has aided the coffee quality in this case: they didn't tear out old trees and replant. They kept with traditional cultivars, and have the farm planted in giant, old-growth Typica and Bourbon types with less plants-per-hectare than other farms. It's an amazing place (if you see my Guatemala travelogues, I have many photos from the farm). I have cupped this coffee for years, and always had respect for it's fine balance; it struck me as a perfect exemplar of the Guatemalan cup profile. And in fact it seemed to be a more interesting cup, and have greater flavor attributes, than most Antiguas I had cupped. It's a consistently solid and reliable coffee, and it is always the first really good high grown coffee to arrive from the new crop. At a relatively light City+ roast, where some rough surface texture still exists on the bean, this cups out like a darker roast with chocolate bittersweets. I like that, because at this roast level it still has a very lively and bright cup too, things I value highly in a good high grown coffee. Dry fragrance has clean, sweet apple-like fruit, spice and chocolate, as does the wet aromatics. The cup has malic acidity; moderate sweetness and rounded mouthfeel, maple syrup at City+ roast and with a tangy chocolate finish at FC roast. There are spicy notes in the cup: slight clove, and mulling spice. Along with the apple hint, this makes for a real "hot apple cider" effect, passing through into the long aftertaste. The body is moderate but has a balanced, rounded effect, a characteristic found in many Bourbon cultivar coffees, though most of the old parts of the farm are Typica varietal, or so it seemed on my last visit. We made some excellent SO espresso shots from Agua Tibia at a FC roast level.