This marks another year of working with new farmers in the highlands of Huehuetenango, all part of our Proyecto Xinabajul. We've met and purchased quite a few lots from small, often family-run, farms in the area and one family really stood out among the rest - the Mendez family. They impressed us partly because of the number of family members who submitted great and different coffees, most from their own individual plots of land. But there was one other memorable aspect of their family - FC Mendez. Yes, they have a family football club. Now if only one member submitted great coffee it wouldn't make sense to use this name, but most of the Mendez coffees (if not all) we bought this year were part of the family team. So it made perfect sense to save some of those lots for a blend, highlighting two of the traditions this family holds close to their hearts. Now, I wish I could tell you the football club was as outstanding as their coffee...let's just say they score more goals with their coffee than on the field! This our second, and final lot from this family.
The dry fragrance has a mix of sweet dried fruits, and cinnamon and sugar coated almond. Baking spices are little more than suggested in light roasts, whereas they see a boost as the development nears Full City. The wet crust smells saturated with caramel sauce, a creamy sweetness, butterscotch and clove spice notes on the break. At City+ and beyond, this coffee is a wonderfully sweet daily drinking type. And I mean that whole heartedly - I could drink this every day. Nothing wild here, look for balance of flavors, body, and a nice clean finish. The cup shows great body, even in our light roasts, with a sweetness of unrefined sugars, and hints of fruit as the cup temperature dips. We had best results at City+ roast level, a flavor of raw cane juice (unrefined sweetness, inciting retronasal response), green apple and cinnamon top notes, and roasted almond in the finish. Acidity is most like apple juice too, and helps to ellevate cup flavors. Roasts nearing Full City will benefit from deep cocoa roast tones, thick body, and giving way to chocolate syrup bittersweetness in the aftertaste. This coffee is a prime candidate for a fairly 'classic', chocolatey single-origin espresso too.