This Guatemala coffee comes from the farm of Se±or Sanchez in the Santa Barbara municipality of Huehuetenango, a high altitude region starting at 1500 meters and reaching 3000 in some parts. The farms sit right around 1650 - 1700 meters and planted in Caturra, with a few Typica trees here and there (easily spotted in the green with a 'signature' long, narrow, almost canoe bean shape). His farm is barely more than a hectare in size, just a few thousand trees, with a small pulping machine and fermentation tank onsite for wet-processing his coffee. Dry-milling happens at a mill in Antigua where they are equipped with state of the art equipment, and with the infrastructure and knowledge to properly handle small lots of coffee. "Xinabajul" is the name of the project/partnership we have with local coffee people to offer higher prices to farmers that meet our quality expectations in the cup. Given that the localities where we are buying coffee are little more than extended family groups, we have found if we involve a brother or sister, they will tell all their coffee-farming kin and soon we have a network of farmers interested in our project. We wrote an in-depth and detailed description of the project as well.
This coffee from Se±or Sanchez has an aromatic profile of hazelnut and cocoa, a bit like a bittersweet slant on "Nutella" spread. With the addition of hot water cocoa powder smells are enhanced, and the break releases a mix of caramel and cocoa dusted almond. This "nose" translates well in the cup too, with chewy chocolate flavors front and center in City+ and beyond roasts (City is just too light for this coffee in my opinion). Body weighs heavy on the palate, carrying with it a syrupy sweetness of burned sugars in the middle roast ranges. The cup is brimming with cacao tones, with just enough raw sugar sweetness to keep it well in balance. Apple-like acidity comes up as the cup cools too, adding structuring brightness, a quality we think separates Guatemalan coffee from many of it's neighboring Central American countries. This is a near perfect single origin espresso too. Full City/FC+ roasts are "classic" in character, as thick flavor of chocolate syrup with creamy nut tones, and slight citrus zest brightness at the sides of your tongue.