This is the second Maracaturra coffee we've offered from Finca Buenos Aires Estates. In fact, we currently have both available, the other being a special "Kenya" style wet-process, and a unique opportunity to compare two identical coffees processed two different ways. Buenos Aires is a fairly large farm of about 215 hectares in the Jinotega growing region. We cupped through a few small lots from the farm and I was really impressed with the clean sweetness of this cultivar-specific batch. It is all Maracaturra, which is a large bean variety of coffee, a cross between Caturra and the so-called "Elephant Bean", Maragogype. It seems to be grown mostly in Nicaragua although I have found nice examples in El Salvador too. Buenos Aires is a rather low farm compared to other origins we buy, with this lot coming from about 1200 meters. This coffee is honey processed, which means that much of the fruit mucilage is left on the drying parchment. Normally this equates to a slightly "wilder" profile and toned down acidity, but this isn't really the case for this coffee. These beans are quite large, and if you're lucky, one or two may be rejected (or I should say "ejected") right back at you from the mouth of your burr grinder.
It's not often that we have two Maracaturras available at the same time, and there's an interesting comparison to be made between this and the Kenya process from the same farm. Both show nice cup clarity, and with a dominant honey, brown bread, and tea-like aromatics; the latter perhaps is less prevalent in this lot than the other. The dry fragrance has an almond bar smell, sweet marzipan, and molasses sugar accents. The wet aroma shows strength in sweetness, buttery toffee smells coming up in the steam are near floral. The sweetness in the cup shows nicely when hot, like German honey cookies, fading to bittersweet flavor of burnt sugar candies. The profile is focused around layers of raw sugar sweetness, tethered together by pleasant chamomile tea-like acdity. As the coffee cools, more of the cookie-like flavors are exposed; butter cookies, tea crackers, and the like. We enjoyed City+ and Full City roasts the best, sweetness balancing out grain and nut flavors.