This lot from the El Turbante micro region is a blend of two producer families, that of Familias Vega and Morales. El Turbante is a perched on the spine of a mountain in Huehuetenango. The area has produced some really nice coffees, and in the past ,opportunity only found its way to large farms who can market their coffee and enter competitions, and rarely spreading 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. In the past the main option local farmers had to sell coffee was to 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 number of farmers delivering their coffees to be part of the project has grown in the past few years, and we cupped 500+ samples to fill out our 2015 Huehuetenango lineup.
The dry fragrance of this blended lot has buttery-sweet smell, like candy-coated nut, or toffee and nut brittle candy. The range of smells is multiplied with the application of hot water, bringing on notes of caramel apple in City/City+ roasts, with a Dutch cocoa powder smell being elevated in roasts closer to Full City. I found my optimal cups at City+ - Full City roast level, which this review is based on. Both produced a cup that I'd drink every day, and more than one! The brewed coffee shows a very straight-forward raw sugar sweetness, and balancing pear-like acidity (mild to moderate). Body is so thick, which only emphasizes the milk to semi-dark chocolate flavors in the middle and finish. Full City adds a touch of roast complexity, an emerging smokey, roast cacao nib element, along with a pleasant spiced plum note. A balanced cup, this blended lot from Huehuetenango doubles as a chocolate-filled espresso too at Full City and beyond.