A coffee we'd gladly drink daily! Balancing layers of caramelized sugars, green apple, raisin, date, and a moderate malic acidity. Rolo candies and spice notes in middle to Full City+ roasts. City+ to Full City++. Good for espresso.
El Mirador farm is located in San Pedro Necta, one of several small towns perched on the spine of a mountain in Huehuetenango. The area has produced some really nice coffees (see "Rosma"!), but the opportunity finds its way to large farms who can market their coffee and enter competitions rarely spreads to their small-scale neighbors. We partnered with locals to try to reward these small farmers with better prices than they had ever seen, if they could grow and process coffee that meets our ideas of quality. This lot is testament to the fact that they could do it, and did do it. In the past the only options to local farmers was to sell the "coyotes" who drive around offering cash for coffee, or to sell the bigger farms and mills in the zone. But neither rewarded the farmer with a better price for quality coffee.
The dry fragrance of Finca El Mirador has nice toffee-to-honey sweetness, a buttery-sweet praline scent, with a ginger powder hint at City/City+ roasts. More developed roasts show a fruited side, like fruit leather, and with heavier cocoa roast tones. Our light to middle roasts gave off layered caramelized sugar smells, a bittersweet balance of sweetness and roast tone, with dried fruit (raisin and date come to mind) suggestions. The cup has a sweet apple note when it cools a bit, City roasts showing a high level of caramel sweetness and body, moderate malic acidity, and a cacao-chocolate bar flavor. This is a coffee we'd describe as the perfect "daily drinking" coffee, the middle roasts showing superb balance of core coffee sweet and bitter tones, and milder fruit-to-spice cup accents. I brewed a pour-ver of City/Full City roast melange and it was delicious, showing impressive flavor layers: caramelizing sugars, cinnamon stick, green apple, and a sweet cocoa/caramel finish (like Rolo candies). An ideal candidate for single origin espresso too.