This year's been very exciting for us working with new farmers in the highlands of Huehuetenango, all part of our Proyecto Xinabajul. We've met and purchased quite a few lots from small, often family-run, farms in the area and one family really stood out among the rest - the Mendez family. They impressed us partly because of the number of family members who submitted great and different coffees, most from their own individual plots of land. But there was one other memorable aspect of their family - FC Mendez. Yes, they have a family football club. Now if only one member submitted great coffee it wouldn't make sense to use this name, but most of the Mendez coffees (if not all) we bought this year were part of the family team. So it made perfect sense to save some of those lots for a blend, highlighting two of the traditions this family holds close to their hearts. Now, I wish I could tell you the football club was as outstanding as their coffee...let's just say they score more goals with their coffee than on the field!
Well, we're not quite sure how FC Mendez ranks among their piers as a football club, but as coffee farmers, they'd give any rival a run for their money. The dry fragrance is very sweet, with panella sugar, dried fruits, and a bit of baking spices. It's substantial, but with a suggestions of baked apple and cinnamon. The wet crust smells saturated with brown sugar, vanilla, and a pectin sweetness that reminds me of fresh baked raisin oatmeal cookies. The wet crust smells saturated with brown sugar, or even panella sugar. There's a nice nutty scent as well that is released when breaking through the wet coffee, toffee coated and sweet. FC Mendez is a juicy cup of coffee, with refined sweetness, and a pristine finish. Raw cane juice and slight caramel flavors make for a nice, sweet base flavor. Top notes of apple and pear come out in a cool cup, and define the acidity as well - malic and lively. The weight is like apple juice on the palette, and adds to the near effervescent quality of mouthfeel. FC Mendez is a very versatile coffee in the roaster, and brew method too. A great option for the pour over bar, and a killer in the espresso machine.