When we recently received our weekly order of beans from Maniac Roasting, we were anxious to try out the “new” Guatemala “Tikal.” Specifically, we were interested in judging how it measured against our favorite Guatemalan from Finca Vista Hermosa, to see what differences we would be able to note.
John and I decided to do a tasting with the aeropress. I have to say that I was prejudiced towards the F.V.H. My tasting notes on the the F.V.H. noted soft caramels, floral honeysuckle, and light smoky chocolate. I expected the Tikal to be somewhat flatter, not as bright. And I was surprised. John and I immediately nodded approval as we took our first sips. A very nice cup of coffee. We both noted a unique toffee undertone, verging on a light apricot-fermented quality, that distinguised it from the F.V.H.. And with only a hint of the smoky chocolate giving it a lighter, cleaner taste.
We source this coffee from Atlas Coffee Importers.
Thanks to John Oppelaar for the beautiful photographs. More to come. Also to Alexarc Mastema, head roaster (in many ways) for his generosity and patience.
Predominant Varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuaí
Elevation: 4,500 to 6,500 ft.
Climate: Average temp: 72°F (22°C), 60% humidity
Soil conditions: Clay loam
Processing method: Wet Milled
Drying method: Sun and Dry Mill
Harvest period: January through May
From Atlas Coffee Importers:
We worked diligently with our sources at origin to define a quintessential Guatemalan flavor profile that would not only exceed the standard grade qualities at a better price than an Antigua, but also offer consistency from year to year. Our “Tikal” answers the challenge by giving our exporter the flexibility to utilize coffee from all of the growing regions (Huehuetenango, Antigua, Atitlan, etc.) in varying quantities as the production and cup quality changes throughout and over the years. Hints of smokiness, excellent consistency cup-to-cup, and a nice, clean finish define the “Tikal” profile and make it an excellent single-origin offering. “Tikal” also works well as a blend component because while it offers a solid profile, it is quieter in the cup than an Antigua, and therefore won’t overwhelm the flavors of its companion coffees.
Tasting notes: SHB EP Fancy “Tikal”: Our profile Guatemala offers the bold citrus and smokey tones Guatemala is known for, but also has exceptional sweetness and a lingering toffee finish.
Guatemalan coffees are revered as some of the most flavorful and coffees in the world. Strictly Hard Bean European Processed; “SHB” refers to coffee grown at altitudes higher than about 4,500 feet above sea level. Beans grown at high altitudes mature more slowly and grow to be harder and denser than beans grown at lower elevations. The inherent consistency and taste attributes of high grown beans makes them more desirable, and generally more expensive, than coffees grown at lower elevations.