The tiny lot comes to us from the young producer Eswin Castillo. Eswin's farm is located in Cuilco, which is part of the greater Department of La Libertad. He comes from a family of coffee producers, some "Castillos" and some "Villatoros" (his uncle Aurelio Villatoro has been top 10 COE finalist the last few years). His village is located way up in the Cuchumantes mountains, where the broken and steep mountainside is dotted with small family farms and at great altitudes. Eswin's inherited a small 1.75 hectare plot of land to cultivate coffee on, which was planted in Bourbon and Caturra. He has his own wet mill onsite and is able to process his own cherry. Eswin Castillo is part of our program we call Proyecto Xinabajul (pronounced She-nah-bah-hool), which is the ancient Mayan name for the Huehuetenango region - we wrote an in-depth and detailed description of the project as well. There are so many small farmers like Eswin producing great coffee in Huehuetenango, and we spent many hours at the cupping table in order to select these lots.
This lot from Eswin Castillo is rife with fresh fruit flavors and a dark sugar sweetness that remains central from start to finish. The ground coffee smells of blackberry and all-spice, and with a sweet note of red honey. Dark roasts have a smell of stewed peaches with brown sugar. Hot water brings on such sweetness in the coffee crust, with a dominant smell of candied walnuts - that caramelized sugar and cinnamon smell. Dark roasts are also super sweet and with a smell of toasting sugar and a slight hint of amaretto. This is a great brewed coffee, with cup flavors in light roasts verging on lemon cookie. There's a citrus-like acidity and flavor that pairs well with notes of light brown sugar. The interplay of sweetness and tartness reminds me of a plum's skin and flesh. Full City roasts tend to have more dark fruit juice flavors like grape and prune, and the acidity shifts toward tannic, black tea. This coffee is very juicy, and the fruited profile really opens up as it cools. Our Guatemalan coffees have made outstanding single origin espressos and this one's surely no exception.