San Diego Buena Vista turned out to be a great decaf coffee. Caramel and dark sugar sweetness, highlighted by top notes of cherry and apple. It's a bodied cup, and an array of chocolate flavors build with roast level. Nice, sweet daily drinking coffee with "classic" Guatemala characteristics. City+ to Full City+. SO Espresso.
We're moving toward having the majority of our decaf coffee "custom" from Swiss Water. They're a breath of fresh air compared to much of the stale tasting, past crop, decafs we've tasted elsewhere. This coffee from Finca San Diego Buena Vista landed about 2 months ago (late June), and so decaf'd while cupping oh so fresh, which makes a huge difference in the resulting decaf cup. And we also know a lot about where the coffee comes from, which is a plus. San Diego Buena Vista is located in Acatenango, a stones throw away from Antigua. This particular farm is quite beautiful, they have separated all the cultivars on the farm, and the mill is kept up very well, and in beautiful condition. When I was there, all the harvest was in, and they were reconditioning the mill, replacing bearings, cleaning and painting. Reinvestment and pride are always good signs at a mill! Cleanliness doesn't hurt either, and the SDBV mill, while quite old, was beautiful, even down to the flowers rimming the office alongside the drying patio. Water process decaf means no chemicals are used, only water to swell the beans, separate caffeine, leaving much of the volatile compounds that affect aroma and taste intact.
There's a subtle raw sugar sweetness to the dry fragrance. It's convincing, and comes through on up to Full City roast. Clove spice and molasses are also prevalent, and Full City/Full City+ roasts have a chocolatey cake mix smell. Sweetness builds in the wet aroma, a scent of fresh baked oatmeal/raisin cookies - butter and brown sugar, raisin, cinnamon - comes up in the steam, with a bit of walnut on the break. The cup boasts a substantial caramel flavor, creamy and sweet, speckled with notes of cherry, apple, and baking cocoa. It's a pleasant, but not overly-complex, cup of coffee. City+ roasts have a grain flavor too, like puffed rice covered in chocolate. Chocolate is a bit more dominant at darker roast levels, which is carried well within thick body. Great daily drinking coffee with "classic" Guatemalan characteristics. This one is definitely at the top of my list of espresso options too.