Friday, August 15, 2008

Barefoot's Guatemala Nahuala 2008

Am drinking this coffee right now, about two days after it was roasted. You can tell the beans still need to settle a bit. Most coffee beans need to settle for several days after being roasted before becoming ideal for grinding and brewing, but I didn't want to wait to try this coffee again after being treated yesterday by Barefoot's owner, Andy Newbom.

Still, this is a pretty cup. Grounds right out of the grinder have intensely sweet smell, almost like a candied-apple. That flavor carries over into the aroma and cup. Its a very sweet drink, almost like a syrupy sweet fruit taste. Imagine you make a fruit salad with apples, berries and peaches, and let it sit in a bowl in your fridge for a few days. The juice at the bottom of that bowl is sort of the kind of sweetness in this cup of coffee. After the the initial, and long-lingering sweetness subsides, there's a bit of apple juice component, and then it finishes with a dark-chocolately bitterness. Maybe bitterness isn't the right word, because this coffee is anything but. There's just a flavor left in your mouth that's sort of like what you would taste after eating high quality dark chocolate - like 75% cacao or more dark, with a fruity tinge. It's a very satisfying cup. I'm looking forward to seeing how it changes over the next week.

Barefoot's Website has a lot of info on the Nahuala co-op where the coffee comes from. Centered in Pasac, Guatemala, the co-op has at least 127 member families ( puts the number at 135) that grow their coffees under the cover of dense forest, which the co-op has worked to restore to the area.

The farms are around 4,500 feet above sea level, with an average temperature of 72 degrees. The soil is loamy-sanded, according to Barefoot. The variety of beans grown on the 65 hectare area are Caturra, Cattui, Bourbon. Annual production is close to 70 kilos.

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