Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona Bourbon

Royal Coffee
Out of stock
$ 8.59
Royal Crown Jewel! This single estate gem comes to us from farmer Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora. He's got 4 generations of coffee farming behind him and that heritage shines through in the cup. Foremost, it's exceptionally clean and harmoniously balanced. There's fairly bright acidity coming from citrusy flavors like lemonade and mandarin but it's also slightly sweet with notes of peach and apple pie. Finally, there's a silky tea-like texture with a subtle oolong tone.
Size :

Despite being the first Guatemalan region with serious name recognition, Antigua has taken a backseat in popularity to other regions lately. We’re always impressed with the coffees we get from Antigua and it consistently goes toe to toe with it’s more popular neighbor, Huehuetenango. It’s been a while since we’ve featured this coffee back in 2021 and we’re sure glad to have it back once again. It also made Royal Coffee’s Crown Jewel list so you know it’s a stellar coffee!

Coffees from Antigua are well known for being exceptionally clean and balanced, whereas coffees from their counterpart Huehuetenango are usually more rich, bold, and complex in cupping characteristics. We think of them as two sides of the same coin and it’s really cool to see the diversity of cupping qualities and flavors you can get from different regions of Guatemala. This microlot is selected from several farms in Antigua Valley and made up entirely of the Bourbon cultivar. It showcases the pedigree of bourbon as well as the volcanic terroir of the area. Luis Pedro Zelaya (LPZ) has four generations of coffee experience behind his name and he and his team at Bella Vista mill are cupping connoisseurs, making sure they’re producing high quality offerings that are carefully curated to represent the region. This coffee is the product of that evolution and we couldn't be more impressed with their work.

What we can definitively say about this coffee is that it is exceptionally clean with harmonious balance! There's fairly bright acidity coming from citrusy flavors like lemonade and mandarin but it's also slightly sweet with notes of peach and apple pie. Finally, there's a silky tea-like texture with a subtle oolong tone. This coffee is great as a single origin brew and we absolutely adored it as a single origin espresso!

Reminder! This coffee is raw, you must roast it before brewing

Arrival Date: June 23rd, 2023; US Arrival: April 2023, Packed in GrainPro

Acidity & Brightness: Fairly bright and slightly sweet

Balance & Finish: Harmonious balance with a very clean finish

Body & Texture: Full body and silky texture

Flavors: Peach, lemonade, mandarin, apple pie, and oolong tea

Grade: SHB, grown at 1500-1650 masl

Processing: Fully washed and patio-dried

Grower: 18 farms managed by Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora

Region: Antigua Valley, Sacatepéquez Department

Varieties: Bourbon

Recommended Roast Range: City+ to Full City+ (light-medium to medium-dark)

Start with a City+ (light-medium), or at the tail end of 1st crack. If you want to bring out a bit more acidity and citrus notes, finish your roast before 2nd crack at Full City (Medium). This coffee will perform well at Full City+ (medium-dark), emphasizing more chocolate notes and sweetness if you prefer.

Royal Coffee - "Bella Carmona is one of the most superb regional blends a roaster can find in Central America. This lot is a blend of 100% bourbon variety coffee from farms throughout the valley, truly capturing the historic genetics of the area. Luis Pedro Zelaya and his team at the Bella Vista wet mill not only personally manage each of these farms; they also work like perfectionists at the cupping table to maintain the quality of the blend, shipping what they believe is a true representation of the Antigua valley’s volcanic and bourbon-based terroir. We buy a variety of Bella Carmona coffees each year and they routinely astound us with how early they arrive and how crisp and sweet they taste.

Welcome to Antigua

The city of Antigua is in many ways a modern coffee Eden. It’s iconic, laid back, gorgeously ornate, and for a city of its size it is absolutely teeming with historic coffee infrastructure. It also was the center of Guatemala’s specialty universe for many years. Prior to other departments in Guatemala having their own name recognition, coffees from all over the country were regularly transited to Antigua mills and exported as “Antigua” coffee, simply because its reputation was so strong. (Some departments, like Quiché, continue to have strong cherry pipelines to Antigua and struggle for their own name recognition in the market.)

The Antigua valley itself is a gifted area for coffee: it’s accessible and flat, highly volcanic, and older farms remain planted with majority bourbon-based genetics under very precisely managed shade canopy. The best coffees of the valley are decadent with butterscotch or marzipan-like sweetness, with brightness ranging from piquant lemonade to dessert wine or tangy dried fruit.

Guatemala’s best centralized wet mills and boutique exporters are based in and around Antigua. There are hundreds of farms in the greater area, from the city’s legacy estates to patchwork smallholder communities climbing most of the way up Volcán de Agua (which is not flat!), one of three looming stratovolcanoes that seem to be visible from every street corner in town and play a large part in Antigua’s famous soil composition. Such a variety of producers begets coffees with endless combinations of microclimates, elevations and varieties. There is a lot to work with here, and a lot of talent.

“LPZ” and the Bella Vista mill

Luis Pedro Zelaya (LPZ) is a fourth-generation producer and miller who for the past 20 years has established one of the best quality reputations in the country. Originally an employee of Bella Vista, he now runs the entire combination wet and dry mill in Antigua. Bella Vista services the coffee produced from LPZ’s own family estates and numerous other legacy farms which he manages via a unique profit-sharing agreement with the owners. Many of these farms are among the oldest in the country. Bella Vista also processes coffee from hundreds of smallholders across the greater Antigua area, most notably along the slopes of Volcán de Agua, whose blend is sold as “Hunapú”, after the local indigenous title of the volcano. As a result of relentless perfectionism from harvest management to dry-milling and customer service, the brands designed and produced by LPZ and his quality team, particularly Bella Carmona and Hunapú, are some of the best-recognized Central American coffees in the specialty world.

Processing Detail & Quality Control

Cherry is delivered daily at Bella Vista from all over the valley. Processing is separated into numerous channels that represent Bella Carmona farms, Hunapú farms, and microlots such as this one, in which only the bourbon variety from each farm is picked and combined. Once inspected and weighed, cherry is depulped and fermented overnight in one of the mill’s many tanks, washed clean the next day, and patio-dried.

Each individual batch of cherry is tracked electronically using a software created by Bella Vista, and drying or finished parchment is tagged with a QR code that allows the team to scan and review the exact blend in each batch, by contributing farm or farmer, variety, and location. This traceability follows each lot to the cupping table, where the Bella Vista team approves individual day lots for blending and shipment.”

Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona Bourbon

Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona Bourbon
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