A couple weeks ago, MistoBox and Barefoot Coffee teamed up and presented MistoBox’s subscribers with an incredible coffee—the Palo Blanco Select from Guatemala.
I couldn’t get enough of it; very really one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in 2013.
Knowing that I polished off that coffee in hardly any time at all, Barefoot benevolently replenished the Table’s stock with a care package of five more coffees to sample. Included in that care package was another offering from Guatemala, this time from a farm that has become massively famous in the specialty coffee world and is home to some of the best coffees in all of Guatemala.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Guatemala Finca Vista Hermosa, from Barefoot Coffee Roasters in San Jose, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
Finca Vista Hermosa (or, “Farm of the Beautiul View”) represents a legacy of three generations of coffee lovers who have poured their hearts into the rich land of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Because it is situated in the highlands, Huehuetenango coffees are among the more coveted coffees of altitude from Guatemala. The family plantation is located in Agua Dulce, Huehuetenango in northwest Guatemala.
Finca Vista Hermosa is ecologically sound and healthy, a model for many shade grown and organic plantations. Finca Vista Hermosa runs a good model for being both environmentally and socially responsible for a farm in the region, as they don’t use any herbicides, pesticides or fungicides.
Barefoot has been doing business and has built a friendship with Edwin Martinez and his family over the past seven years—a figure that truly embodies Barefoot Coffee’s direct trade philosophy.
origin: Agua Dulce, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
farm: Finca Vista Hermosa
elevation: 1650 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, patio dried
certifications: Direct Trade
The aroma of the Finca Vista Hermosa is delectable and impeccable. I can smell the creaminess that will be in the cup’s flavor as I’m picking out notes of warm and smooth salted caramel (Barefoot calls this “dulce de leche”—I’m not going to make that claim, however, as I’ve never had dulce de leche), butter, soft red fruits, and honeysuckle rose.
The flavor of the coffee kicks off with a creamy chocolate cake batter and a touch of bakers spices that tickle and tingle the tip and back of the tongue.
As it cools down, the body of the coffee firms up, becoming light and crisp. Floral honeysuckles and rose hips complement a soft caramel flavor, while even softer red fruits (raspberry, cherry, and apple) and plum traipse in behind. A cool and refreshing malic acidity streams down the middle of the palate. It isn’t sharp, rather it is crisp and quick, briskly making an appearance on the middle and sides of the tongue before washing it clean, leaving behind a fresh, sparkly finish.
Light body; crisp mouthfeel; malic acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
This, the Guatemala Finca Vista Hermosa from Barefoot Coffee Roasters, had me baffled the first few times I brewed it. I brewed it with pretty standard settings through a Hario V60 and I really liked the body, mouthfeel, and crispness of the finish that I got; I wasn’t really tasting the flavors.
So I tightened up my grind and lowered the amount of water I was using. With that, the flavors really popped (because it was so concentrated, obviously) and I really liked what I tasted, but I lost the crispness of the body and finish that I liked the first few times around.
Logic says that if I brewed exactly right, right in the middle of the two methods, I’d get what I was shooting for. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get the twain to meet.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.