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The cup is a classic, clean and balanced Guatemalan. City+ is best and at this level the cup has a very well-structured acidity, a hint of peach with mild citric hints, candy-like, hazelnut; darker roasts have milk chocolate and toasted almond. The body is moderate and silky. City+ to Full City.
Villa Lupe is a small farm near the town of San Juan Sacatepequez northwest of Guatemala City. We had bought from another farm in this area, San Jose Ocana, until they had problems delivering good quality (who knows, maybe in 2011 it will be better). But we liked what we cupped in this Villa Lupe so snatched up this small lot. The farm is 20 hectares total (about 50 acres), owned by Oscar Bucaro and is at 5300 feet altitude. They don't process the coffee cherries here; that is done under the care of a large farm called Bella Vista in Antigua. In fact, I think that's part of why this lot is so good. Bella Vista does a great job with the wet-milling and dry-milling of the coffee, to the same standards of their prime Antigua coffees. We have cellared this lot for later in the season using our GrainPro-lined jute bags, and it is cupping better right now than it did on arrival.
Fragrance of almond-hazelnut, malt grain and molasses-caramel are dominant in the dry ground coffee. These are all "sugar-browning" scents to some degree, related to roast, but in Villa Lupe they seem more like aromatic ester compounds intrinsic to the coffee itself. Adding hot water, the nutty scents sweeten, more like praline, which slightly floral accents emerge. There's a buttery aspect in the light roast, and dark fruit at Full City roast. The cup is a classic, clean and balanced Guatemalan. My lighter roasts were the best, City+ roast range. At this level the cup has a very well-structured acidity, a hint of peach with mild citric hints. The roast taste is rather candy-like, but the dominant flavor was hazelnut. Flavors open up as the cup cools. Full City roasts have a dark milk chocolate roast taste and are still quite sweet as well, with toasted almond as well. It's not a super powerful cup, but very refreshing on the palate, with an elegant and cleanly disappearing aftertaste. The body is moderate and silky. The refined flavors and finish suggest that this coffee is really well picked, with good cherry selection, and really well processed at the wet mill and dry mill. It has a very dense appearance in roasting, with the crease remaining tightly shut, something I like to see, at that hints at high altitude farms and good drying of the coffee after the wet process. Makes a sweet SO Espresso too!