Cuilco is a region up in the Huehuetenango highlands, and is part of La Libertad municipality. This lot is a blend of a few farms in the area whose coffees stood out on a recent visit. We cup many samples on these trips, identifying similar flavor profiles and qualities worth blending together, and in the case of lot sizes that are large enough, separate on their own. So many of the farmers in this area have small farms, 1 hectare, sometimes less, and so we bulk together coffees from 5, 10, or more farms sometimes in order to put together a large enough lot of coffee that makes sense. This is one of our "microlot" quality blends, coffees that we consider better than just "good", and that we scored above 88 points. The farms are mainly planted with a mix of Caturra and Bourbon varietals, and the altitude varies between 1600 to 1900m meters above sea level. These are dense coffees, and can handle relatively high heat in the roaster. I like to tack on a few seconds beyond my normal end roast times to allow for internal bean development. If you're shooting for City-City+ roasts, and have manual heat control, you might play around with stretching out the last leg of the roast post-1st crack. Consider dropping the temperature by as much as 50% after hearing the beginning of 1st snaps, slowing the rate of heat rise, and further developing the coffees sweetness (but be careful not to stall!).
This blend from the Cuilco region has a nice developed sweetness throughout the profile, the dry grounds giving off a smell of caramelizing sugar, butter, and quite the mixture of dark fruit smells. Tea-like qualities mark the dry fragrance of City and City+ roasts, but are all but eclipsed by fruit and raw sugar sweetness the closer you get to Full City. Hot water brings up a smell of raw honey and dried stone fruit smells, and the break is has an essence of praline ice cream with blackberry sauce. Brewing a City+ roast, fruit flavors are definite, and sweetness reverberant, aspects that only grow as the cup temperature drops. Flavors of butterscotch with peaches and cream emerge, along with a near-winey flavor of blackberry juice. Acidity is reminiscent of fresh stone fruit too, lush and refreshing even, adding a crispness to the cup. When cupping from the spoon, fruits seem more focused, and intense. Brewing as pour over constructs a well integrated cup where balance is struck between dense developed sugar sweetness, and sweet to tart fruited top notes ("Turkish Delight" candies come to mind, replete with a rose water hint with lighter roasting). Full City roasts have a dark plum and cocoa flavor that resonates in the finish, and body that carries these flavors long into the aftertaste.