#SSSSS No11 – Nicaragua Baquelito Natural Mixed Varietals 2019

Summary

Bean name #SSSSS No11 – Nicaragua Baquelito Natural Mixed Varietals 2019
Country #SSSSS Limited Editions 2019
Region Verapaz
Other info Varietals: Mixed

Description

Number 11 of 12, November 2019, in the #SSSSS 2019 - Steve's Super Secret Stash Subscription. A limited availability series of roasted coffee beans.

This month it's: #SSSSS No11 – Nicaragua Baquelito Natural Mixed Verietals

Hello and welcome my Super Secret-est, Stash-iest friends, to Steve’s Super Secret Stash Subscription - November! We’re on our 11th coffee of 2019 and there have been some wonderful lots so far - but don’t pick a favourite just yet, we’ve still got two more delicious lots including this coffee for you to try!

Starting with this month’s lot from Guatemala - Baquelito Natural. Coincidentally, we featured a coffee from this farm - a Washed Pacamara - in November last year. It was a real stand out for me, full of sweet orange juice, so it’s perfect to be able to share another tiny lot from the farm with you this year.

Baquelito is a great farm in the Cobán region in the north of Guatemala. It’s a long journey from Guatemala City, making this one of the most northerly farms we buy from (it’s about 15 degrees north, similar to the Chiapas region in Mexico and to Yemen, but the crown of most northerly producers goes to Doi Pangkhon in Thailand at a Latitude of 18 degrees!)

Cobán is a challenging region to produce coffee in. Its primary agriculture is coffee and cardamom growing, but being very wet it’s not easy to get consistent quality in the cup - which means inconsistent prices for farmers. It’s also pretty difficult to get to – a long drive from the capital. All of these issues (along with the Guatemalan economy) mean that commodity-grade coffee production in Cobán is struggling - and that putting the processes in place to produce the great flavour specialty coffee demands is difficult and expensive.

Thankfully for us, Juan Carlos at Baquelito has put lots of effort into doing just that. It’s a testament to his enthusiasm for experimenting and improving that this year we’re getting a tiny amount of a natural processed coffee. Now Natural processing is common in many places, but not Cobán – because it’s in a cloud forest. As the name suggests, this means they get A LOT of rain, which makes the slow, carefully managed drying of coffee cherries that is needed in natural processing very, very difficult. As I said, Juan Carlos is someone who wants to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible at Baquelito and we get to enjoy the results!

With all this, plus the tiny size of this lot, it’s no surprise that the coffee looks very uneven (have a look at those green beans below), but whilst it might not be the prettiest, take it from me that the flavour makes up for that! So what can you expect?

A Victoria Sponge! Think the intense sweetness of cake sprinkled with icing sugar, a little hint of cream and a delicate raspberry jam which sneaks in on the finish. On top of that, there’s a hit of plum on the aftertaste and a little booziness too, which reminds me of cider.

Country: Guatemala
Department: Verapaz
Municipality : Cobán
Farm: Baquelito
Producer: Juan Carlos Estevez
Altitude: 1,000-1,450 m.a.s.l.
Varietals: Mixed
Processing system: Natural

Stephen Leighton

"Quick Look" Guide:
Victoria Sponge, icing sugar, raspberry jam, plum, cider

Cupping notes

Clean cup None/8
Sweetness None/8
Acidity None/8
Mouthfeel None/8
Flavour None/8
Aftertaste None/8
Balance None/8
Overall None/8
Correction +None
Total None

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