About the bean
We tried this one from the Acate Estate this time last year and we loved it. Guess what? We love the new batch! Guatemala Antigua is one of our most popular offerings. Why? Because these beans are just so darn pleasing. The region they're sourced from is pure coffee romance: good soil, not particularly muggy, lovely amounts of sun, followed by cool nights, surrounded by volcanoes that, now and then, top up that good soil with dustings of mineral-rich ash. It's quite the spell these beans are under and perhaps why they're so lovely in the cup: fragrant, velvety, sweet, rich and so well balanced. If only we could actually be in Antigua as we enjoy this dreamy brew.
One of the most charming coffees around; practically a coffee kiss.
Cupping Score: 85.5 points (a score of 80 points or above on a 100-point scale is graded "specialty" coffee)
Supplier: Acate Estate
Process: Wet milling, 75% sun-dried
Altitude: 1,500 masl.
SHB: Strictly Hard Bean specifies that the coffee was grown at an altitude above 1,350 meters. This term is also synonymous with SHG/Strictly High Grown; this classification is higher than HB.
EP: European Process specifies that the raw beans are all hand sorted to remove any defective beans and foreign material.
American roast profile brewed in a Hario V60: The balance here is to rave about. The beans themselves are a syrupy gold. In the cup, the American roast profile gave us plenty of juiciness, fruit (strawberry) and light chocolate notes, honeyed by an overall molasses mouthfeel. A touch of spice in the fragrance left us with a memorable aftertaste. We were eating this coffee, it was so good! [See picture - more about this below].
City+ roast profile brewed in a French Press: Going darker emboldened the caramel sweetness of the bean, tamped down the fruity brightness (acidity) and introduced an enjoyable tartness to the finish. We savoured more of a spice complexity at a darker roast, increased body, less fruit, more chocolate and, again, that velvety mouthfeel this bean is known for. Last year when we sampled the Acate Estate's Antigua beans, we brewed them at a Vienna roast profile and that level really delighted us with a smoky, fuller character. This bean seems to perform across the spectrum thanks to a balance that is quite exceptional.
Cold Brew (City+ roast, coarse ground) brewed in a jar! You don't have to be fancy to chill. Although, fancy is nice. For our jar of cold brew, we used a 1-5 coffee-water ratio, then left it to sit refrigerated for 14 hours. Once out of the fridge, we strained the liquid through a filter and diluted it to half strength to serve. The result was a striking pop of brightness that amped up the strawberry (and even gave us some cranberry) - a juicy, singing tartness with an underlay of chocolate. Very refreshing and tasty.
More! Oh. We made scones [pictured] using the Guatemala Antigua to infuse the butter used for one batch and as a topping drizzled over for another. Delicious. Go ahead. Get cooking! Coffee is unlimited fun and adventure.
Roast recommendation: Light to enhance flavour nuances, darker for chocolate depth. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
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Photography by Lisa Peryman and Richard C. Owens
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