Libertad Selvin is an incredible cup, C+ is where fruits pop, cherry popsicle, grape/grape skins, black currant, and aroma of peach preserves. Floral honey to cane juice, sweetness has a balancing affect on bittersweet and spiced cocoa notes. City to Full City+. Great for espresso
Each year we find new folks in Huehuetenango to buy coffee from, which we're grateful for, especially when they turn out to be a really high quality micro-lot. The majority of the coffees from this program are in the 10-15 bag range, some much less. So it was with great satisfaction that we picked up this rather large lot from the producer Selvin Palacios, a whopping 22 bags of coffee scoring 90 points. A true rarity! His farm is in the Palmira micro-region of La Libertad, Huehuetenango, sits at 1700 meters above sea level, and like most others in the region, Palacios processes his coffee onsite, and then patio-drying the wet parchment. His farm is mostly planted in Bourbon and Caturra, but you see the occasional Typica too, which is very common in this region. The last stage of processing happens at a dry-mill in Antigua where the dry parchment coffee is hulled, sorted, and prepared for export. We're happy to have had the opportunity to buy coffee from Palacios two years in a row now, and hope that next year he continues to be a part of our Proyecto Xinabajul.
The dry grounds of Selvin's coffee have a "big" caramel smell, like cooking brown sugar and butter in a pan, a sort of floral-sugar and toasted sweetness. Faint fruited notes are also in there, but more of a background smell at this stage of the profile. Adding hot water brings on a sweet mix of peach preserves and caramel brownie, along with a hint of marzipan (a honey/almond confection). "Bodied" hardly does the brewed coffee justice. It's very heavy on the palate, verging on the weight of almond milk. The mouthfeel plays into the caramel and nougat sweetness found in City and City+ roast levels, giving a syrupy, tactile experience to the flavors. Palacios is a 'complete' Guatemalan coffee in that it harnesses incredible balance between sweetness and bittering flavors, articulated acidity (but not overbearing), and mouth-pleasing body. And as it cools, the sweetness goes from caramel, to honey, to raw-pressed cane juice. Fruited notes like grape and grape skins, apricot, and Asian pear come out in CIty roasts, while Full City boasts a complex cherry flavor (reminds me of cherry popsicle), along with black currant, and plum. A rich chocolate and cinnamon character develops in the darker roasts, like Mexican hot cocoa, and work extremely well as brewed coffee or single origin espresso. A run through the espresso machine offers a viscous bodied shot with heavy cocoa roast tones, blackberry accents, and lasting bittersweetness.