Xinabajul is the name of the original Huehuetenango town, and this coffee comes from small-holder farmers in the greater departmentof Huehue. "Xinabajul" is used mostly to refer the Deportivo Xinabajul, the Huehue team competing in Division One of the national soccer league, with their stadium in the central part of the city. We selected the name without Guatemalan counterparts because it is a matter of pride in the zone, even if the team isn't tops. The small coffee producers in this area had few options when selling their coffee locally; they could take it to the large mills down at lower elevations and get paid the going rate, or they could sell it to "coyotes" who drive the dirt roads in their trucks paying cash for coffee. Neither offered any extra price for quality, even though the coffees were grown higher and tended with greater care than the big farms down at lower elevations. We partnered with local coffee people to offer higher prices if the farmers could meet our quality expectations in the cup, and this lot is testament to that success. 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 blended lot from Xinabajul has such a solid profile of candied sugar sweetness and an underlying nuttiness that is like candied almond. Grinding this coffee produces a smell of caramel and prailine. There's a hint of mace as well, especially at darker roast levels. Adding hot water brings up complex sugars like muscovado and cane sugar, as well as a fruited note of Asian pear. The cup has unique flavor components of unrefined sugars and nut. City+ roasts have a nice light caramel flavor, and with an underlying note of almond. There are fruit flavors too, but I wouldn't characterize them as defining the profile. Apple as well as slight expressions of stone fruit come out as the cup cools, but it's subtle, and not overbearing. The finish is very pleasant with a caramely-cocoa flavor lasing long into the aftertaste. This is a great example of the duality these Guatemalan coffees provide. It's a solid brewed cup that is more than just 'approachable', and with a Full City roast or beyond, makes a fantastic, and classically profiled single-origin espresso.
|Ethiopia Illubabor Baaroo Cooperative||
We're really pleased with this year's lot of Baaroo. A balanced coffee, Baaroo's profile has just the right levels of complex sugar browning sweetness and subtle top notes to reflect coffees from...
|El Salvador Matalapa Tablon Calagual||
This Matalapa lot is an approachable cup, balanced core coffee flavors, and infinitely drinkable. The dry fragrance from the ground coffee has hazelnuts and honey granola scents, while the wet...
|Guatemala Acatenango Gesha Lot #227||
This Gesha lot makes for an interesting brew to say the least, tea notes proliferate in both aroma and cup flavors, from pearl jasmine to Assam teas. The cup is both floral and brisk, a flavor...