Crowd pleaser. The cup has caramelized-sugar sweetness, and notes of almond and tangerine. There's a honeyed mouthfeel, silky and cleansing, and with a mandarin like acidity. There's a 'freshness' like raw Brazil and hazelnut, and with a bit of Ricola, and coriander. Developed roasts reveal a bit of milk chocolate melding with smokey roast flavors. City+ to Full City+.
Guacatepeque is an ancient local name for the area this coffee comes from, a group of small coffee producers in the Alotenango area. The farms are on the rising slopes of the Volcan de Fuego, which has been moderately active in the past few months. The soil in the area is unique, and contains quite a lot of sand and ash from Fuego. Producers must take care to balance this with organic materials to keep the coffee trees in production. Some of the small farms I visited in the area were very casually tended, with large, long-branched old Bourbon trees, unkempt and in need of a good pruning. Other producers were clearly more active, and had been re-planting the trees on a regular cycle to achieve better production and quality. The area these small farmers work in is adjacent to the large La Candelaria farm, in fact they are just upslope from it on the same side of the Fuego volcano. Much of the area is forest preserve, which protects the water supply, as well as providing the much needed organic soil inputs. We find the cup to be uniquely different than other coffees in the zone. We built this lot of Guacatepeque by cupping each day lot batch, looking for a target flavor profile.
This is a classic crowd-pleaser coffee. The dry fragrance has baking spice (especially at City+ roast), maltose, and some slight herbal sweetness. The wet aromatics have honey and oats, like granola, and with a roasted almond scent, and dark roasts hit on the molasses part of raw sugar. The cup has caramelized-sugar sweetness, and notes of almond and tangerine are complimentary top notes. It has a honeyed mouthfeel, silky and cleansing, and with a mandarin like acidity. There's a 'freshness' to this coffee that is expressed as raw nuts like Brazil and hazelnut, and with a bit of Ricola, and coriander. More developed roasts reveal a bit of milk chocolate melding with smokey roast flavors. It's not an overly complex coffee, but delicious all the same. And as a new 2013 crop coffee, it blows the top off all the past crop offerings out there. It's lively, clean and fresh, and it makes a great SO espresso as well.