This late 2016 harvest arrival has a mix of root and herbal tones, fruited florals, notes of tamarind paste, dried papaya, and a smokey cedar flavor that reminds me of bbq pineapple. Like a cross between a rustic-toned washed Sumatra and floral Gesha types. City+ to Full City. Delicious espresso.
"Pico Mayor" is one of the two peaks of Vulcan Acatenango, and as it's name states, it's the higher of the two, just shy of 4,000 meters above sea level. This Gesha coffee comes from a local farm nearby, positioned at the base of Vulcan Acatenango, and like other farmers in the region, benefits from volcanic soil rich in minerals. This private farm grows a mix of cultivars, including a healthy planting of Gesha variety. They've continued planting new trees each year, much of the coffee seeing it's first harvest this past season. This is a very late arrival from the 2016 season, but we bought it anyway in the hopes of seeing future harvests from this farm. The delay in shipment and cellaring has affected the quality. But that said, what we're left with is an interesting, complex coffee that should appeal to those who appreciate earth toned and milder acidity of Sumatras, but with fruited-floral characteristics of Gesha. I wouldn't recommend roasting super light, as we felt the sweetness was best developed with City+ and Full City roasting.
This Gesha lot makes for an interesting brew to say the least, showing a resin-like sweetness that recalls a wet-processed Sumatra we had a while back. Fruit smells accent the dry fragrance and wet aroma, and with a limey-floral note that's hints at "Gesha" cultivar. The sweetness is herbal smelling, licorice and burdock root come to mind (the latter is used in root beer), sarsaparilla, and a palm sugar scent as you near Full City. All the while, a subtle floral note ghosts this aromatic matrix, and into the cup profile. This coffee shows it's best side in City+ to Full City roasts, a baker's cocoa-like bittersweetness providing a nice backdrop for contrasting rustic fruit and floral hints to stand out against. The florals are much more of a fruited nature than typical jasmine that you'd expect from Gesha. Tamarind paste comes to mind as I move through the cup, along with dried papaya, root to herbal flavor notes, and a hickory smokiness that reminds me of BBQ'ng pineapple slices. The cup has mild to moderate acidity, and is part of works well when brewing as espresso too. Our Full City yielded surprising results as espresso, showing little sign of the fruit to herbal tones found in the cup. Tastes of unrefined cacao bar bittersweetness and toffee prevailed, with incredibly thick body that weighs heavy on the palate.