From one small producer in the Canelon area of Cusco. An extremely balanced cup with great Typica cultivar character; hazelnut, cashew, malty milk chocolate, apple and nectarine fruits, rounded body, mild acidity. City+ to FC+ roast.
Tomas Ovalle is a producer in the Canelon area of Cusco, and a member of the Capacy cooperative that we work with in this area. In fact, he is one of the founding members and his coffees always seem to be in the top tier of the lots I cup from this association. I visited him again last fall, and it makes sense why his coffees cup so well. Like others he hand-pulps the coffee cherries right at the farm, but Tomas uses raised beds to dry the pergamino, which means even and fast drying. He also has coffee at exceptional altitudes, ranging from 1800 meters up to 1950 meters, and almost all of it is old Typica cultivar. You can see this in the somewhat elongated form of the bean, and you can see the density (from high altitude cultivation) in the way the coffee expands during roasting. The cup expresses the Typica character well, with great balance and mild acidity. The dry fragrance has a very nice nut aroma, hazelnut, a bit of cashew, a nice praline sweetness. Adding hot water, the wet aroma has a buttery-creamy scent, with more nutty tones, and malty milk chocolate, and just a slight trace of apple fruit. The lighter roasts provide a more distinctive cup here, but Full City to FC+ has a really pleasant, rounded cup, extremely balanced, but not a coffee that jumps out at you immediately. (It's a crowd-pleaser, but not a competition type coffee). The body is surprisingly viscous, and lush. City roast has nut-and-fruit combined flavor, more almondy than the aromatics suggested, apple and stone fruits (nectarine-apricot). There is fruit in the darker roasts too, but only as it cools. I get a milk chocolate wafer flavor at FC to FC+ roast, a soft, creamy chocolate. City roast has a touch of wheat biscuit, which is why I roasted the samples just a bit more to C+ for this evaluation. Actually, it's quite a forgiving coffee, and seemed quite good at most any roast level I hoisted upon it. It shares similar character with some of the best Mexico Oaxaca coffees I can remember, which are also Typica, and since great single-farm Oaxaca coffees are non-existent now, this is a great alternative. Plus, no Oaxaca coffee is grown at 1950 meters!