With a new year comes a new coffee menu for us at Water Avenue Coffee. While we’re going to miss the coffees leaving the menu (Colombia La Esperanza Natural and El Salvador Las Delicias Bourbon) we’re excited to welcome in two new offerings.
Guatemala Santa Isabel
Finca Santa Isabel sits near the city of Coban in the heart of the Alta Verapaz of Guatemala. This high plateau is home to some of the regions densest rainforest and richest biodiversity. The Valdes family has been growing coffee on this land since 1875, when the Guatemalan government gave it to them, and this longevity is a testament to their respect for the environment. These fifth generation farmers continue to implement practices that reduce their impact on the surrounding jungle, using composting and water recycling to break down the byproducts of the milling process. The composted materials are then distributed back to the coffee plants to enrich the soil and nourish the next year’s crop.
The lot we purchased from the Valdes family is a washed Caturra, a lot we’ve featured in years past as well. Although many farms in Guatemala produce Caturra lots, this one tastes distinct from its neighbors. Alongside the traditional notes of chocolate and nut found in many Central American coffees, this cup presents notes of aged black tea, fig jam, and a bright citrus acidity. This is one of those truly special coffees that presents you with something unique and different every way that you brew it. Look for this farm direct lot in our café, in our online store, and at select wholesale partner locations.
El Salvador Santa Barbara Pacamara
Every year we feature several different lots from the Menendez family, and the Santa Barbara Pacamara is the latest to grace our menu. Finca Santa Barbara lies on the slopes of Cerro Las Ranas, a volcano in western El Salvador. This region boasts some of the best coffee growing conditions in this small country, with regular rains and cool breezes coming off the ocean. The Menendez family has planted this mountain with coffee up to 1600 meters above sea level, the upper limits for coffee cultivation in El Salvador.
The specific lot we purchased from Santa Barbara this year comes from Pacamara type coffee plants. These area cross between the giant Maragogype and the dwarf Pacas types that were developed in El Salvador. The coffee was processed at the Menendez family’s mill, Beneficio Piedra Grande, located in the same mountain range. It went through a mechanical demucilager before being dried on patios. This machine washing is a relatively new innovation in the coffee industry and was adopted at Piedra Grande to improve the consistency of the lots produced and better control the fermentation process. The cup from this year’s crop is a delightful example of what this type and process can produce. Clean yet complex with the chocolate and nut notes you’d expect from a washed Central American coffee, and complimented by hints of tropical fruit and a pleasantly bright acidity. Look for this premium offering in our café, in our online store, and with select wholesale partners.