From Finca Candelaria (the Candelaria River runs from Mexico through Guatemala) this old estate grows just one varietal of coffee, the "Villa Sarachi" varietal which is an early descendent of Bourbon that's rarely seen anymore but highly regarded. This family estate is high up in the region of Antigua, and it has the classic milk chocolate, floral, citrus, bright attributes of a high quality Antigua. This one should be roasted light to medium. I would recommend that you NOT take it into the second cracks. Antigua is perhaps the most famous coffee growing region in the country and has a great reputation all over the world. Antigua is near the center of the country, just outside the capital of Guatemala City.
I aim for a medium roast -- right before the second cracks begin. At this level, I love the taste and balance. You get floral tastes with milk chocolate. Some acidity, but not screaming at you. Complex. Sweet aftertaste.
Take it 15 seconds into the 2nd cracks, and it starts to burned. Not NECESSARLY bad -- I know some of you love the roasty taste of dark coffee with some chocolate complexity still behind it. But it's hard to drink it after having lighter roasts of it and knowing how much complexity is being lost.
If you roast it too light -- just out of the first cracks -- it's a little vegetal and very bright. Some citrus, lots of floral. Take it about 45 seconds past the end of the 1st cracks and you'll get all kinds of flavor notes. The importer sent along their cupping notes that say "fruit forward, dark chocolate, strawberry jam, very complex, great body." but when we roasted it, our notes were more like "floral, citrus, milk chocolate, lively acidity, sweet aftertaste" and what that tells me, is that this is a coffee that is going to uncover a wide range of flavors based on how you brew it, and that different nuances will come out based on what kind of roaster you have, how much airflow, how much time you give it, etc. Which is fun!
If you tend to enjoy Guatemala Antigua coffees, don't be afraid of this one. It's pretty much what you would expect from Antigua, just.....even more interesting than usual.
US Arrival May 2016
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