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Guatemala San José Ocaña - COE #2

September 9, 2007

This coffee was roasted in a PID'd Sirocco "fluid bed" hot air roaster and was cupped blind against five other winning lots from the Cup of Excellence competition in Guatemala. After cupping, it was tasted as a brewed coffee and espresso extraction. For more information on my sample roaster and method, see our reference page.

Sometimes I find coffee gems hidden in competition winners that did not take first place. It happens quite often with the Cup of Excellence, perhaps because members of the international jury appear to differ in their preferences, depending on which country or continent they come from. This lot placed 2nd in the competition but was my first choice of the 19 samples. I scored it just a bit higher than the jury score of 91.5.

The farm was founded in 1623 and 5 generations ago, started to produce coffee. Since then it has been passed down from father to son and is still run by the family today. Along the way, in the middle of the last century, a portion of the land was donated to the farm workers.

This is about as good as a Guatemalan coffee gets; a superlative classic cup! It's surprisingly fruity with a full range of fruit types, from citrus to berries to stone fruit. Even as it cools, it retains its aromatic qualities and the scent of jasmine lingered long after the cupping sessions ended.

It's sweet and clean in the cup with excellent acidity that balances well against the smooth, creamy body and hints of chocolate. A long finish gives an additional "hit" of fruit as it fades on the palate. Its best qualities emerge as a brewed coffee, but, roasted to just before second crack, it makes an excellent cappuccino and a rather tart but tasty straight shot of espresso. It would be difficult indeed, to find a better Guat than this one.

Dry Fragrance: 4.9
Wet Aroma: 4.8
Flavor: 8.3
Finish: 8.6
Acidity: 7.8
Body: 7.8
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 92.2

  • Lighter Roasts: Fruit, fruit and more fruit.
  • Darker Roasts: OK, but some of the fruit is lost.
  • As Espresso: Tart as a straight shot, good as a cappuccino.


UPDATED: September 10, 2007