by Coffee Review
"Guatemala is a tease of a coffee origin in sensory terms. It would be very difficult in a blind cupping to pick out any of the coffees we reviewed this month with absolute certainty as Guatemalas if they were mixed in with, say, other Central Americas. Yet all twelve of this month’s samples clearly share certain quiet but pervasive commonalities: balanced acidity (seldom overbearing or sharp), smooth and usually full mouthfeel, with aromatics that emphasize the softer, sweeter side of citrus (orange rather than lemon), usually with a hint of flowers, usually complicated by nut or cocoaish chocolate."
"These characteristics tend to be expressed with particular purity and grace in the finest coffees of the Antigua valley, where well-defined seasons and benign terroir encourage uniform and sugary ripening of the fruit and where well-established, old-fashioned farms perform fruit removal and drying in a meticulously old-fashioned way. All of this means that variations on the subtle but pervasive Guatemala character seem to be expressed with a particular soft clarity in the four Antiguas reviewed here. Similar quietly distinctive profiles popped up elsewhere, however, in the respected Huehuetenango region and in two excellent coffees from Palencia, northeast of Guatemala City."
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Blind Assessment: A sweetly bright yet balanced cup. The acidity is delicate yet penetrating, the mouthfeel light, smooth and silky. Orange, honey, flowers and a hint of milk chocolate in both aroma and cup.
Notes: From the valley surrounding the colonial town of Guatemala Antigua, Guatemala's most celebrated coffee region. Produced from trees of the Bourbon and Caturra varieties.
Who Should Drink It: Precious, pure and lyrical.