This Maracaturra cultivar is best in middle roasts, honey to caramel sweetness, with accent notes of apple tea and lemon oil, and tea-like acidity. Finishing flavors of sweet baked goods. City+ to Full City+.
Finca Buenos Aires Estate 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 selected both a larger Caturra cultivar separation, and this 8-bag Maracaturra cultivar separation. Maracaturra 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 1300 meters. We're calling this "Kenya Process" because they are washing the coffee similar to the way they process coffee in Kenya. After the coffee cherry is removed in the depulping machine, the mucilage-covered seeds are dry fermented for 12 hours, rinsed, dry fermented for another 12 hours, then soak overnight in clean water before being laid out to dry. This extra effort in order to enhance cleanliness of washed processing, and is definitely the case with this coffee. These beans are quite large (20+ screen!), like beetle large, and if you're lucky one or two will be rejected (or I should say "ejected") right back at you from the mouth of your burr grinder.
This coffee excels in the City+ and beyond roasts. The bean size is huge, no two ways about it, and so if at all possible a longer roast time will help to achieve roast evenness from inside out. But not everyone has manual roast control, and so roasting to at least City+ ensures that the coffee is roasted all the way through, also producing a developed sweetness in the cup. At CIty+, the dry fragrance has a smell of honey-wheat bread, and a hint of black tea leaves. Adding hot water boosts the sweetness, an unrefined sugar smell coming through on the break, along with a scent of baked shortbread. Middle roasts have a chewy caramel sweetness that lasts well into the aftertaste. This flavor gives way to a balancing note of baking cocoa, as well as accent notes of lemon oil and apple tea, and finishing flavors of baked goods (somewhere between raisin bread and butter cookie). This makes a great brewed cup, black tea-like acidity low in the cup, and our City+ and Full City roasts proved to carry weight in both body and sweetness.