This coffee comes is made up from the coffees of two small producers in Hueheutenango. To be exact, on is from El Turbante and the other San Isidro, micro-regions about 30 miles in distance from each other on the Pan American highway. While they're not that close to being neighbors, the cups are very similar in floral and fruit characteristics. The lots were fairly tiny, and it made sense to blend into one larger lot that can be shared by a few folks instead of being scooped up by one person. These are exactly the kind of coffees we hope for from our Xinabajul project, top-notch sweetness and cleanliness, and one's that hopefully lead us to neighbors growing coffee of similar quality (which is the case with these two). Both coffees are processed at home, pulping in small machines, then laid out for drying on concrete patios. Bourbon and caturra are dominantly planted, but you do see the occasional typical tree mixed in. It's been another tough year with competition for coffee in the region, prices well-beyond what one might think a sinking market would dictate. But for us this is a true "relationship" coffee in that the prices we pay are often divergent market value, steadily increasing each year in order to maintain the interest of the farmer as well as demonstrate our interest in repeatability. This is the first of our Proyecto Xinabajul coffees, a project we've been working on the past few years with the help of an intermediary in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes.
The nose on this coffee is very fruited, blackberry and plum, with floral tropical fruit smells too. It's a sweet grouping of scents, more juice-like than anything. After pouring hot water, the steam from the wet crust smells floral, a hint of fresh sweet alyssum flower and raspberry flavored maple syrup. It's an inviting aroma no doubt about it, painting an accurate portrait of the complex cup profile. At City-City+, the cup is juicy, flavors of pear cider, mixed berries, and nectarine. A dense honey sweetness is balanced by refreshing, fruit juice acidity. It's a mouth-cleansing experience too with a rose water highlight, and finishing with tea and grape skin notes. Taking the roast a bit darker sees more tropical and stone fruit flavors, as well as a growing presence of dark chocolate in the profile. This is a clean coffee from start to finish, and one that we think even stands out on a table of more "exotic" profiled new crop African coffees, especially in the City+ to Full City roast categories.