This lot from Se±or Vasquez is a result of our "Proyecto Xinabul" in the highlands of Huehuetenango. The farm of Se±or Vasquez is tucked away in a small growing region within La Libertad, which is between San Pedro Necta and El Paraiso, two other growing regions where our project operates. In the past, 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.
The dry fragrance has a nice malt sugar and clove spice scent, sweet and clean, delving deeper into dried fruit category as you near Full City roast level. The wet grounds are rife with caramelized sugar and butter, sweet and with a candied nut note on the break. . The break continues this theme with a note of cinnamon and brown sugar coated pecan. At CIty+ the brewed coffee has creamy body, a nice weighty mouthfeel. A nice caramel-drizzled almond flavor develops in the cooling cup, with notes of dried apricot closing in. A lovely brewed coffee, the sweetness of is like caramel candies, with an apple-like brilliance at the edges. Caramelized sugar flavors hang on long in the aftertaste accompanied by a slight bittering aspect you find in stone fruit skins. This coffee does well at Full City (and I imagine all the way to the beginnings of 2nd snaps), with cocoa powder flavors commanding attention, with peach syrup notes folded into the profile nicely. Will work extremely well as espresso at this roast level.