Finca El Limonar (‘The Lemontree’) extends over 123 hectares, and is located close to the Mexican border in Guatemala’s mountainous Huehuetenango region and next door to the famous El Injerto farm.
Finca El Limonar first came into existence towards the middle of last century, when the two brothers from the Aguirre family inherited their father’s coffee estate and split it in two. Rogelio Aguirre took over the land that became Finca El Limonar. The farm is now owned and managed by his widow, Rosa María Ovalle Mont, whose main goal is to produce a quality cup under conditions that are environmentally sustainable.
The farm is planted with Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai varietals, chosen to balance quality and yield. Every year the farm raises some 15,000 new seedlings in it nursery to replenish existing fields or to create new plantations. In the higher areas of the farm native shade trees have been planted to give the coffee around 60% shade.
The farm avoids using chemical herbicides where possible, instead weeds are removed by hand using a machete. El Limonar has a wet mill on site, where treatment tanks are used to purify and recycle the waste water in order to avoid polluting the many local rivers and streams. Left over coffee pulp is then recycled as a fertilizer for young plants.
This was my absolute favorite coffee when I sampled it from Passion House last year, and, to be honest, it remains my absolute favorite coffee of all time; so I am really, really excited to taste what Buzz did with it.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Guatemala Finca El Limonar, from Buzz Killer Espresso in Chicago, Illinois. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: El Injerto, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
farm: Finca El Limonar
producer(s): Rosa María Ovalle Mont
elevation: 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra
process: fully washed, patio dried
Opening the bag of Finca El Limonar fills my nostrils with sweet, fragrant, and perfumed scents of cherry and orange blossoms, citrus, red berries, honey, and pistachio.
Diving into the first few sips and my palate is greeted by creamy dulce de leche and some faint hints of milk chocolate that aren’t as obvious. I’m also tasting sweet and tart flavors of honey, raspberry, and pistachio in the finish, but I’m also detecting just the slightest traces of a papery taste that’s leaving a modicum of astringency. It’s not overwhelming at all, but it’s definitely there.
As it cools off, the cup explodes with flavor. Here’s an accurate simile: it’s like I just opened a can of Sprite that somebody shook then put back in the fridge. The coffee has a really unique bubbly profile akin to soda water and bright, effervescent flavors of lemon shandy and orange peel. Meanwhile, I’m getting further fruit flavors that jump all over my tongue: white grape, peach, nectarine, lime, apricot, and apple while the cherry blossom aromatics in the aroma show up again here, tickling the roof of the mouth and sides of the tongue.
Medium body; citrus acidity; bubbly mouthfeel; clean finish.
the bottom line:
This is my favorite coffee, so I went into this review with an extremely discerning palate. And, I have to say – while the Guatemala Finca El Limonar, Buzz Killer Espresso, didn’t blow me away like it did last year, it definitely made me reminiscent.
This is an incredibly special coffee, that is intricately layered and complex, despite that it’s intensely flavored and has crystalline clarity. It has really bright, lively, and effervescent fruits, very light savories, and a bubbly profile that dances all over the palate and leaves behind a clean, sparkling, fresh feeling after each sip.
I’ll never have the same Finca El Limonar that I had last year again – that was a once in a lifetime experience. Having said that, however, this offering from Buzz certainly pleased my taste buds.
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