Guatemala Finca Santa Isabel One Roast
Guatemala Finca Santa Isabel
Last year I felt like we were heading towards a brick wall. The coffee market was up, with higher prices (which generally is a good thing) and the dollar was strong. This double whammy meant I was faced with forecasting yet another uncertain period. I phoned up one of my really long-term friends in the business, Hugh Gilmartin. (Hugh wrote a piece for the blog in 2020). Refreshingly, Hugh told me what I wanted to hear. Keep on doing what you do. The temptation of buying cheaper coffees to balance the books would have been the beginning of the end.
I fell for Santa Isabel over a year ago. A combination of ripeness and uncharacteristic sweetness with low acidity was a big point of interest for me. I have literally just ordered some more to arrive toward the end of the year.
Farm; Finca Santa Isabel
Size: 1.5 Hectares
Owners: Adolfo Hernandez, Jose Hernandez and Karin Hernendez.
Nearest Town: Ciudad Vieja
Region: Sacatepequez department, Antigua
Altitude: 1510-1560 Meters above sea level.
Process: Fully Washed: Extended Fermentation.
Roast: One Roast
Aromatics; Ripe brown fruit sugars | Body Creamy| Acidity: Low and sweet|
On opening, this is just incredibly deep, and soft, with ripe brown fruit sugars and a light citric finish. The rich, ripeness of the fruit emerges as the coffee cools. The brown fruit sugars evolve into a chocolatey carob-like sweetness. On the final pass as the coffee is borderline cold, there is a sweet sherry-like acidity and a bold dark chocolate finish.
Filter 65g per litre and up, for body.
I have really enjoyed this in espresso, however, you will need a really good grinder to be able to extract this well. Also lovely espresso but not a coffee that I would marry with dairy-free milk.
Our recipe for espresso:
16-18g of ground coffee into 45-50g of espresso liquid in approximately 35-ish seconds at 94-96C
For such a relatively light roast, this has great soluble (strength) in milk. 16-18g of coffee into 32-35g of espresso liquid in 26-30-ish seconds. You could go wild and run 21g into 33g for even more punch.
Incredible sweetness once again, bags of carob and chocolate, with that super lactic sweetness.
Finca Santa Isobel has been in Adolfo’s family for over 25 years and it is their second farm. Both Adolfos’ grown-up children work in coffee. Jose’ manages Finca Santa Isabel and Karin helps her father run Cafe Kapeu. The purpose of Cafe Kapeu is to give coffee farmers more support in processing and sales, to achieve better prices. Karin is a Q grader and head of Q.C., cupping coffees from over 700 producers from the local area. Part of Karins’ job is to feedback to the producers on how they can improve, as a result of the cup quality.
Why not share your brews with us?