The lovely "Mecanica Doce" sign is a welcoming sight when arriving in Huehue town, an auto mechanics shop next door to the home of an intermediary we work with who help us find coffee in the Huehuetenango highlands. Their service is invaluable, so many of the new producers we're buying from our folks we've met through these locals who know t
The micro region of Pe±a Blanca is located in the sub-municipality of La Libertad, Huehuetenango. This coffee comes to us through a joint-effort of a local micro-mill owner who is able to process and separate the micro-lots we approve, and a highly sophisticated dry-mill who handle the finishing touches and export the coffees for us. Se±or Aler has 2 farms in total, both starting around 1700 meters, and working their way up toward the surrounding white cliffs ("Pe±a Blanca"), winding up right around 1850 meters. It helps us greatly to enlist local support, folks who not only know the land but also the local farmers. Aler also helps to organize neighboring producers, coordinating coffee deliveries and helping with lot separation. There are about 15 producers in the region we are buying from now, a noteworthy boost from previous years. We put in quite a bit of work ourselves, tasting many rounds of samples in order to identify the premium-level coffees, as well as make several trips to the area each year meeting with farmers and collecting information. This is part of our "Proyecto Xinabajul" in Huehuetenango, which you can read an in-depth and detailed description of the HERE.
This microlot from Se±or Aler has nice developed sugar and fruited sweetness throughout the profile, and vastly different when roasted to different roast levels. The dry grounds of City roasts have a loose-leaf tea and honey smell, sweet, clean, with a delicate touch. Getting closer to FC, the grounds take on dark dried fruit smells, along with bittersweet cocoa roast tones. Breaking the wet crust, your greeted with a smell of candied walnut and golden raisin, which reminds me of freshly baked oatmeal cookies. The cup of City+ roasts shows amazing sweetness, fruit pectin sugars and unexpected orange marmalade flare. Fruit and tea flavors build in the cooling cup, and a dense baked sugar sweetness is quite complimentary. The acidity level is high for Guatemala, reminding me of fruit juices like apple or grape, and present on into Full City roast. Our Full City roast tastes incredible, a nice dark grape juice flavor (replete with subtle grape skin tartness) is complimented by a delicious fruited chocolate flavor. A really special brewed Guatemala coffee and great as SO espresso, with extraction accentuating bold chocolate notes, and a tart berry brightness.