Coffee: Felipe Contreras
Roaster: Manhattan Coffee Roasters, Rotterdam, Amsterdam
Producer/Farm: Felipe Contreras
Origin/Region: Guatemala, Antigua
Varieties: Green Tip Gesha
Aroma: jasmine, nectar, cinnamon spice
Tasting Notes: The aromatic profile of this coffee hits you before your first sip making it very apparent that this is the Geisha variety. Florality and sweetness make this a lovely cup, it’s worth taking your time to enjoy this one. Honey, lavender, lemon, bergamot, nougat and a light but definite note of fresh manadarin are layered in this complex but beautifully light coffee. The mouthfeel is silky-syrupy. The acidity is pleasant and a perfect counterbalance to the nectar sweetness.
Roaster’s notes: Every farmer’s love story with coffee begins in a unique way. For Gildardo Contreras, it started as a young boy where in his back garden his parents has 50 bourbon coffee trees, they would pick and process together. In 2012, Gildardo made his dream a reality when he purchased a farm from a relative who grew both avocado and coffee. He slowly started buying up the neighboring parcels until reaching the current farm size of 54 acres. Felipe, Gildardo’s son, now manages the farm focusing on quality, and works with the neighbors to improve both quality and processing techniques. They are always looking at natural remedies for plagues and even have a magic concoction of garlic, chili, onion and water that eliminate one plague mould (fumagina). Coffee parcels are renovated by 20% (3 acres). They plan to replace the Bourbons planted at 1800 masl with SL28 which is supported by an irrigation system.
A note about green tip Geisha: Geisha originated in Ethiopia. This variety is distinguished as a Geisha with the growing tip leaves being green in color as opposed to bronze. There is sometimes confusion as to what is actually a Geisha and what is not. The most authoritative information on this is provided by World Coffee Research.
Coffee: Augusto Castillo
Roaster: Sweet Bloom, Lakewood, CO
Producer/Farm: Augusto Castillo
Origin/Region: Guatemala, Huehuetenango
Altitude: 1800 masl
Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Maragogipe, Caturra
Dry Fragrance: fruity, berries, cane sugar
Tasting Notes: Tart apple, dense chocolate brownie and nougat make a harmonious and structured cup with this coffee from Sweet Bloom. The mouthfeel is syrupy, smooth and lightly juicy. The lingering aftertaste is very pleasant and the tart apple acidity is the perfect counterbalance to the sweet brownie and nougat flavor profile. As it cools the apple flavor notes subside a bit but the tartness holds on with the sweetness - the mark of a very good coffee.
Note: Lot #2 is available as of this date for ordering online.
Brew recommendations: I brewed this on Kalita and Origami for a good cup but the best brew was on the V60 as it really popped the apple notes and gave a denser, sweeter profile. I recommend a brew ratio of 1:16, water temperature of 203 degrees F and #17 on the Baratza Encore grinder and a TBT of 3:15-3:30 mins.
The Castillo family has been producing coffee in Huehuetenango, Guatemala for over 100 years. In the last three years, Augusto and his father have taken over the stewardship of that century-long legacy. Their farms, Colomba and MiraCerros, are located on steep hillsides at over 5,000 feet of elevation. This altitude, along with Augusto’s skill and care in growing and processing, are creating some of the finest Guatemalan coffees Sweet Bloom has ever been privileged to share. When asked, Augusto says he loves the opportunity to grow coffee. “I love being able to provide jobs and the income people need to improve their lives. And Huehue is such a beautiful place, and it makes such beautiful coffee.”
Coffee: Jabiru Union Cantinil Bodega
Roaster: Coptic Light
Producer/Farm: Union Cantinil Bodega
Origin/Region: Guatemala, Huehuetenango
Altitude: 1700 masl
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra, Pache
Additional growing information: Grown, picked, and fully processed by small holder farms in the region.
Dry Fragrance: nutty, fruity, chocolate, caramel
Tasting Notes: Caramel and fruit sweetness, with notes of cocoa, spice, fresh cherries, walnuts and apples with a satiny, to lightly syrupy mouthfeel. As it cools the sweetness persists, walnut notes emerge, and the finish is crisp. Overall the caramel sweetness and chocolate notes are balanced by a light acidity conferred by cherry and apple. This is a harmonious, nicely structured, very quaffable coffee.
Brew recommendations: I found this coffee to be pretty versatile, I brewed it on Origami with a Kalita filter and on V60. The Origami yielded more chocolate and cherry notes and nougat/walnut flavor profile while the V60 was a fruitier, fresh cherry and apple acidity flavor profile. I recommend 1:16 ratio for either brew using 203 degree F water and a TBT of 3:15-:3:20 mins.
Roaster notes: Located in Western Guatemala, the Cuchumatanes are the highest non-volcanic mountains in Central America offset by deep valleys and canyons. The highest peaks are in the region of Huehuetenango where this new offering, the Jabiru, is grown. Due to the region's extreme remoteness, all producers selected for the Jabiru are smallholders who grow, pick, and process their own coffee. These smallholders utilize the abundant rivers and streams in the region to set up their own mills, which consist of manual or small-motored depulpers, specialized washing channels, and entirely sun-dried patios. Hot air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Plains of Tehuantepec sweep up into the descending cool air of the Cuchumatanes, creating a unique tropical microclimate which protects the coffees from frost and also develops its unique flavor profiles.
A note about Coptic Light's packaging per the creators and co-conspirators J.R. Robinson and Esther Shaw of these unique lovely coffees. "A unique aspect of Coptic Light is that our lovely coffee is always packaged in equally as beautiful art. With so many talented artist friends, we have decided to rotate our art at least once a year, and currently we are featuring art from Simon Fowler."
Roaster: Sweet Bloom, Lakewood Colorado
Region: GUJI, Kercha
Altitude: 1800-1900 mall
Variety: Heirloom mixed
Dry Fragrance: a burst of lime juice meets you and then subsides followed by rose petals and hints of jasmine with a lingering caramel sweetness
Tasting Notes: Tart and sweet lime as in key lime pie with underlying caramel sweetness and black tea. It's subtle but there's peach/apricot jam here too. The mouthfeel is light and satiny and holds up well adding to the aftertaste of honeydew sweetness and a pleasant, lingering acidity. As it cools, soft black tea notes persist complimenting the apricot jam undertones with a light florality. Overall this is a distinctive and lovely coffee that offers a balanced and sweet cup.
Brew recommendations: Best at 1:16 ratio on Origami or V-60 to pull out those apricot notes and lime.