A crowd pleaser cup, caramelized-sugar sweetness, and notes of almond and pear. There's a honeyed mouthfeel, and mild brightness, along with chocolate complexity in Full City roasts and beyond. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
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 saw an eruption this past February, thankfully not causing too much damage from falling ash and rock. 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.
Guacatepeque is again the crowd-pleasing coffee we hope for. The dry fragrance has cinnamon spice and maltose sweetness, along with some pleasant herbal tones. The wet aromatics have honey and oats, like granola, and with heaps of brown sugar in the steam. The cup retains a caramelized-sugar sweetness throughout, and nutty flavors of praline almond and hazelnut fade in and out of the profile. This coffee has a honeyed mouthfeel, quite a pleasing body, silky and with weight. It's not without fruit too, mostly apple and pear flavors, and at Full City some dark fruit suggestions. Darker roasts have a complex sweetness, and an interplay of roast and cocoa flavors in the finish. This isn't an overly complex coffee, but it's delicious all the same, and works great as both brewed coffee and espresso.