Cuilco makes a densely sweet brewed cup, butterscotch and candied pecan, apricot nectar, and acidity that's like ripe stone fruit. Constructs a well integrated, and balanced cup. City to Full City+. Great for espresso.
City and City+ will yield brightest results, but my favorite roasts were City+ to Full City, where sweetness is fully realized, and fruited tones are well in balance. Full City to Full City+ for espresso.
Cuilco is a region up in the Huehuetenango highlands, and is part of La Libertad municipality. This lot is a blend of a few farms in the area whose coffees stood out on a recent visit. We cup many samples on these trips, identifying similar flavor profiles and qualities worth blending together, and in the case of lot sizes that are large enough, separate on their own. So many of the farmers in this area have small farms, 1 hectare, sometimes less, and so we bulk together coffees from 5, 10, or more farms sometimes in order to put together a large enough lot of coffee that makes sense. This is one of our "microlot" quality blends, coffees that we consider better than just "good", and that we scored above 88 points. The farms are mainly planted with a mix of Caturra and Bourbon varietals, and the altitude varies between 1600 to 1900m meters above sea level. These are dense coffees, and can handle relatively high heat in the roaster. I like to tack on a few seconds beyond my normal end roast times to allow for internal bean development. If you're shooting for City-City+ roasts, and have manual heat control, you might play around with stretching out the last leg of the roast post-1st crack. Consider dropping the temperature by as much as 50% after hearing the beginning of 1st snaps, slowing the rate of heat rise, and further developing the coffees sweetness (but be careful not to stall!).
This blend from the Cuilco region has a nice developed sweetness throughout the profile, the dry grounds giving off a smell of caramelizing sugar, butter, and vanilla (like the aroma released when making caramel), with a bit of dried cherry. City+ roasts have a delicate chamomile tea smell too, that offers some floral complexity. Hot water brings up a smell of raw honey and dried stone fruit smells, and the break is has an essence of praline ice cream - a buttery sweetness. Brewing a City+ roast, the cup has a straight-forward sweetness when hot, a flavor of unrefined cane sugars, and fruited acidity is sensed. As the cup cools down a bit, flavors of butterscotch and pecan emerge, along with a beautiful apricot nectar note. Acidity is reminiscent of fresh stone fruit too, lush and refreshing even, adding a crispness to the cup. When cupping from the spoon, fruits seem more focused, even intense. Brewing, however, constructs a well integrated cup where balance is struck between dense developed sugar sweetness, mild cocoa bittering, and sweet to tart fruited top notes ("Turkish Delight" candies come to mind, replete with rose water hint). Full City roasts have a dark plum and cocoa flavor that resonates in the finish, and body that only boosts this effect.