Chichimes is a Mayan name and refers to a small locality on a rather steep hillside in Huehuetenango. It's not quite a town, even though there is a school and church in Chichimes, but you would drive along the narrow dirt road without knowing you had passed through a town, unless someone told you so. We found some very nice coffees grown by the small-holder farmers. The exposure here captures the morning sun, and is well-protected from damaging winds. These farmers used to deliver all their coffee to the large farms and wet mills located in the valley floor below, but they rarely received decent prices for cherry or parchment coffee. The other option was to sell to "coyotes" who drive around in trucks paying cash for coffee. While cash in hand was ideal, they fared even worse in terms of compensation. And neither buyer ever recognized the better quality potential of coffee in this zone. So with local partners we decided to try to organize farmers, which is often only made up of a few family names. This is part of our Proyecto Xinabajul, but instead of highlighting one farmer, the lots this coffee represents were too small to offer on their own and were thus blended together.
Chichimes is a balanced cup of coffee, with a sweetness that holds on after the final sip. This sweetness starts in the dry fragrance with a smell of raw sugar, dried cherry and short bread. At City+ the aromatics are nice, delicate, and with a little more roast shows sweet baking spices and dark caramel. Adding hot water brings up a delicious waft of candied walnut, so buttery and sweet. There's an allusion to dried wild flowers in the steam, and breaking the crust reveals a bit of raisin and date. The cup has a brown sugar flavor to it that is balanced out by a gentle, pear-like acidity. There is a faint floral note at light roasts that resembles chamomile tea. Mouthfeel is creamy which helps makes the caramel aspect of this coffee more pronounced. Darker roasts are more straight forward and with the same balanced structure. This makes a great espresso, with focused caramel sweetness, viscous mouthfeel, and chocolatey finish.