Happy Halloween, Dear Readers!
We continue our week of spooky reviews (just kidding—they’re just regular reviews) dedicated to the fine folks at Halfwit Coffee Roasters and, subsequently, The Wormhole, both here in Chicago, Illinois.
So far, we’ve sipped some remarkably tasty naturals from Halfwit—the Ethiopia Gelana Abaya and the Costa Rica El Cedral. We’re giving our palates a rest today (possibly) and brewing up a cup of a washed coffee.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we are taking a look at Mexico Coatepec, from Halfwit. Feel free to pull up a chair.
The country of Mexico has never been a player in the High-End Specialty Coffee world until recently. The perception of many in the industry is that Mexican coffee is mediocre to say the least (and justifiably so). However, this not entirely true by any means. There is huge potential in Mexican coffee and things will only get better over time. The cup quality on these has been improving year after year.
There is no reason why this area can’t produce great coffee! Coatepec has all the right conditions such as: heirloom coffee varieties (Bourbon, Typica), great altitude (this Coatepec, however, was only grown between 900-1200 meters above sea level—we’ll see how that plays out in the cup), passionate coffee growers who want to produce high quality microlots, and importers who are constantly seeking out only the best coffees any region has to offer.
Keep in mind that the winner of the Cup of Excellence in 2012 was from Coatepec!
origin: Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico
farm: smallholder farmers
elevation: 900-1200 meters above sea level
cultivars: Typica, Mundo Novo, Bourbon, Red Caturra
process: fully washed, patio dried
There’s a very pleasant aroma wafting out of this Mexico Coatepec from Halfwit. Raw cocoa nibs, orange blossoms, and nuts dominate the fragrance.
This is a simple, straightforward cup of coffee. It starts off with a swell of cocoa and walnuts that really never goes away. As the cup cools off, of course, more flavors present themselves and the cocoa starts to taste more like a creamy milk chocolate, but it’s the chocolate covered nut flavor that never fades.
Closer to room temperature, some velvety, juicy fruit notes begin to emerge, washing over the palate with a sticky sweetness. Macintosh apples, peaches, a touch of honey, and a green grape acidity that sparkles, while each sip finishes off with a smack of roasted almond and a lingering caramel or nougat aftertase.
Medium body; velvety body; low acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
Halfwit Coffee Roasters describes their Mexico Coatepec as “approachable, versatile, unoffensive”—I think that sums it up quite nicely.
The thing that is most special about this coffee is how truly accessible it is. While many (not all, but many) Coatepecs are incredibly unremarkable or, in some cases, even awful, this cup was smooth and tasty with a pretty low acidity, but a velvety body and a great finish.
It’s a perfect breakfast coffee—a terrific and reliable standby for days that you just want to sip something a little more… comfortable.
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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.