This micro-lot comes from a single farmer in the Cerro Verde region of Huehuetenango, a producer who is new to our Proyecto Xinabajul. The small coffee producers in this area had few options when selling their coffee locally; they could take it to the large mills down at lower elevations and get paid the going rate, or they could sell it to "coyotes" who drive the dirt roads in their trucks paying cash for coffee. Neither offered any extra price for quality, even though the coffees were grown higher and tended with greater care than the big farms down at lower elevations. We partnered with local coffee people to offer higher prices if the farmers could meet our quality expectations in the cup, and this lot is testament to that success. We wrote an in-depth and detailed description of the project as well.
At middle roast levels, Cerro Verde promises aromatic highlights of cooked fruit and nut, with brownie-like chocolate bittersweetness. The dry fragrance is very sweet, a toffee-covered almond scent with a hint of raisin. The wet grounds of City+ roasts are billowing with baked pastry smells, brown sugar and butter, raisin and blueberry muffins come to mind. Brewing a City+ roast yields a cup with surprisingly weighty body, a bit like fruit juice on the palate. This juicy body helps to bolster a sense of fruit in the cup too, though when hot, the profile makeup consists more of cacao-influenced bittersweetness, with undeniable malic acidity. The cooling coffee brings forward flavors of apple juice and a dry tamarind, and the brightness gives the profile structure. Full City roasts have a high level of sweetness, caramel candy and fruit-pectin, with a reverberating cocoa undertone. The flavor of these more devloped roasts reminds me a bit of German chocolate cake, with a raspberry-sauce ribbon. Espresso shots have a resonant tart orange note, but with majority of attention focused on a flavor of high % cacao bar lasting well into the aftertaste.