What’s in your cup: Bella Vista, Guatemala

In an effort to keep the coffee palate from being idle after finishing last weeks beans, I went ahead and bought another one pound bag from 10 speed coffee. Normally I’ll finish a bag in about 7-10 days. I had hit the bottom of my bag a little earlier than expected and decided to keep things going.

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This African single origin (Kenya) had all the bright notes one can expect from coffee of this location and elevation. One of the issues was I bought it the day after it was roasted. I figured this would give me enough time to finish the first bag, then transition to the second.

It’s been a while since I’ve made coffee before it’s “sweet spot” and the days immediately following it. It is true that the taste develops day by day up until the point that the beans tend to lose their pulse.

This made things run smoothly during the week. My car is nearly fixed, I’ve submitted all my paperwork for one of my job certificates, and the bike riding is coming along just fine, what with me finding a good balance between riding the track bike and the road bike.

As the end of the week approaches I get an email saying the next batch of beans is coming, a little earlier than expected. In order to keep from finishing one dull batch only to switch to another batch that is past it’s prime, I did what any coffee lover would do, gift the beans to a friend.

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Once that good deed was done I could move on to this new Central American batch I had received in the mail.

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Instead of my usual French press method, I decided to further explore the aeropress and find a technique that works for me. I did my usual 20g beans to 171g water dosing with a 30 second bloom and a 2 minute brew time (inverted style) only this time I added water to the finished cup once it was poured into the mug since it yields about 8oz of finished coffee without added water.

This made finding the pulse of the coffee very difficult. The water temps were fine (200F) but the amount of coffee was lacking given the ratio of coffee to water. I can remember looking at the instructions and seeing that this was a viable option. Then I remembered the instructions used about twice as much coffee as I had used. So for the sake of science, I tried again. This time adding no extra water and settling for a lower volume cup.

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“There it is!”

I said after the first sip. The all too familiar taste of sweeter fruit and a creamy finish. This batch doesn’t hit the palate until about half way on the tongue. Not as bright as a fruit salad, but not as dark as maple oatmeal and whiskey (I’ll have to test out oatmeal and whiskey one of these days. Sounds very American.)

Two days ago was my moms birthday and after having helped her find the style of coffee that would get her out of her grocery store buying ways, I wanted to take her out and try some more.

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She seems to have a preference for the African styles. Nothing to heavy or full bodied just yet.

The reason I brought this up was to mention how I’ve been tasting purple fruits in recent coffees and this Guatemalan is no different. Grapes, dates, and figs bring a good balance between the bright and significantly sweeter notes that come from different locations. Sometimes melon notes can do this too, but I find the dark fruit does this the best.

Incorporating more fruit in my diet has helped pick out certain notes in coffees. Having just switched to the second fermentation process of my current kombucha batch, I just grabbed what was ripe in my fridge and threw it in there for good luck. Along with an unflavored control, for science.

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The DIY nature seems to be running strong right now. Not having a functioning car for about two weeks now, I’ve been forced to find ways around my usual errands that involve my car. Grocery shopping and going out have proved to be a little challenging, but worth the extra prep time. As long as I’m not in a hurry, things seem to work themselves out.

Until next time….

-dfj

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