Each year we find new folks in Huehuetenango to buy coffee from, and sometimes we're lucky enough to find a whole family of coffee producers. The Castillos are such a family, and we've featured their coffees as a group "Familia Castillo" (made up of coffees from Edwin, Arsenio, and Cornelio), as well as on their own such as this lot from Arsenio. Hoja Blanca is rife with coffee farmers, like many of these highland regions, and it's an area we've been buying coffee from now for some time, with Finca Regalito/Famila Villatoro being one of our longest interests. These farms are situated right around 1700 meters, and Caturra and Bourbon make up the lion's share of varietals, but some Typica trees are also in the mix at a much lower volume. Processing is handled onsite, the coffee is patio dried, and then trucked down to a dry-mill in Antigua. They are part of our Proyecto Xinabajul, now in it's 5th year.
The dry fragrance of our City roast has a smell of honeysuckle flower tea, a sort of dried wild flower accented profile, with a graham cracker like sweetness underneath. Our darker roast was somewhere between City+ and Full City) had suggestions of bittersweet cocoa and raisin. Raw sugar sweetness sees a bump in intensity after adding hot water, and the crust of both roasts smell of light brown sugar with a touch of warming spice, subtle dry fruit hints expressed when breaking through the crust. City roast works OK for this coffee, but I think taking a bit beyond is where sugary sweetness is developed to a convincing level, and balances out some of the savory flavor tones found at light levels (roasted barley, and raw almond come to mind). At City+ acidity is quite nice, and on the spectrum of apple to grape juice, providing a pleasant structure to the cup profile. Flavors of red raisin and dark sugar come into focus as the cup cools, fading to a combination of bittersweet Dutch cocoa powder and cocoa butter/hazelnut sweetness. Dried fruit notes seem to get a boost at Full City roast level, as well as roast bittersweetness. These deeper roasts will do well as espresso.