Guatemala Huehuetenango SHB Organic Fair Trade
Pronounced Way-Way-Ten-Nang-Go, this is one of Guatemala's best and highest grown coffees. Medium acidity and complex flavors make this a "power house" coffee. Bold, yet buttery smooth with notes of dark chocolate, caramel and cherry.
Arrival Date: June 3, 2016
Acidity & Brightness: Moderately Bright
Balance & Finish: Complex flavors with a long buttery finish
Body & Texture: Rich Body, Smooth Texture
Flavors: Dark chocolate, caramel, cherry and a hint of orange.
Grade: SHB, Very Dense. Average to Large Bean
Certifications: Organic and Fair Trade
Processing: Fully washed
Roasting: Start with a Full City to Full City + (Medium to Medium Dark), or just barely into the second crack. If you can't hear the cracks, then roast until the beans are smooth and medium dark brown with just the first hint of sheen as the oil emerges. This coffee roasts very evenly.
Recommendation: For people who enjoy a bold, big coffee with distinct, complex flavors and a smooth finish.
A lot of what people think about coffee is just opinion, and here is ours: By whatever standard you want to apply, Guatemala produces some of the world's best coffees. Pretty large statement, huh? Coffee expert Ken Davids agrees, calling them "powerhouse" coffees. We particularly like coffee from Huehuetenango (easy to say, but awful to spell, the "Hue" is just pronounced "Way", so it's Way-Way-Ten-NANG-O, or just "Way-Way" will work fine). The elevation, soil, and climate combine to be a Garden of Eden for the coffee plant. Abundant rainfall with a predictable dry season, and well drained volcanic soil are exactly what the coffee plant wants. The high elevations (approaching 6,000 feet above sea level or more) insure the beans ripen slowly. This means a denser, harder bean (important if you like to roast your coffee darkly), a more pronounced acidity (meaning a brighter, more lively cup), and a more robust or intense flavor. When people tell us they prefer a 'bold" coffee, Huehuetenango coffee is one of our top recommendations.
When freshly ground, depending on how dark you roasted it, you may notice raisin-fig notes. The brewed coffee has layers of aromas, reminding us of baked apple, brown sugar and sweet citrus. As for flavors (again, depending on how dark you roast it and how you brew it), we noted dark chocolate, caramel, cherry and a hint of orange.
Have you noticed that the description is a little complex? Understandable since this is a complexly flavored coffee with power and intensity. All of that is not to say it is an "edgy"coffee. The body is big and rich with a very smooth, buttery finish. It will hold up in a variety of roast profiles and brewing methods. It's no wonder this coffee is our best seller of all time and one that we look for all the time. Although it was certainly not the deciding factor in whether we chose to offer this coffee, we didn't mind a bit that it is also organic and a certified Fair Trade coffee.