Finca Consolapan is located a short drive from the town of Coatepec, a hotbed of quality coffee in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
It is a relatively small farm of only twenty hectares, practicing a passive organic method of farming. Once the team arrived at the farm, the first thing they noticed were the dogs – literally dozens of them! – earning her farm the nickname Doce Perros, or “Twelve Dogs.” Ms. Camberos has been rescuing dogs from the streets of Coatepec for many years, and has amassed quite the herd.
Her visitors were escorted around the farm by a throng of them, as they tour not just the farm but also the facility where she dries the coffee, on African-style raised beds within a protective shelter where she could carefully monitor the drying process. It is this kind of extra attention to detail, not to mention financial investment and patience, that allowed Ms. Camberos’ coffee to stand out from the rest at the first ever Best of Mexico competition in the state of Chiapas this March.
Taking first place in the competition, this coffee scored an incredible 92.5 points, a score that is practically unheard of for Mexican coffee.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Mexico Finca Consolopan, from Halfwit Coffee Roasters in Chicago, Illinois. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico
farm: Finca Consolopan
producer: Cecilia Avila Camberos
elevation: 1240 meters above sea level
cultivars: Typica, Mundo Novo, Garnica
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
method: Hario V60
grind: 17, Preciso
coffee: 32 g
water: 500 mL
pour: 2:00 pour, 1:00 drop
Mexico Finca Consolopan’s is fabulous, booming out of the cup with sweet scents of melon, toffee, vanilla, and citrus.
The first few sips of this coffee present my palate is a smooth, somewhat creamy and honeyed texture thanks to flavors of honey, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Right out of the gate, there’s already a gorgeous cantaloupe and red delicious apple juiciness. I have to say, though, just like the other two coffees I had from Halfwit this week (the Brazil and the Nicaragua), there’s a bit of roastiness in this Mexico; it’s not as roasty, but there’s definitely enough there to counter all of the coffee’s highlights.
As it cools off, it mellows even more; all those flavors up front congealing and completely coating the tongue. As it continues to mellow out, the abrasiveness of the roast mellows, too, and the finish reveals lingering aftertastes of tamarind, orange peel, and roasted almonds.
Medium body; honey mouthfeel; melon acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
It’s been a long while since I last spent time with Halfwit Coffee Roasters. Too long, considering how close I live to them and how accessible their coffees are. However, I have to say, after spending this whole week with them, maybe it hasn’t been long enough?
They certainly aren’t what I remember them being, and there’s nothing even remotely similar about them from my last experience with them. The packaging is different, their approach to sourcing coffee is different (this one is their first direct-sourced coffee), and their personnel is different, with somebody new at their roaster’s helm. What I’m most surprised by, though, is their different approach to roasting.
All three coffees they sent me were great coffees that were rendered as bland, boring, and flat in the cup. And I know I’m sounding harsher than usual, but that’s only because I have such high expectations for the product that Halfwit puts out.
Even though it was the best coffee I had from Halfwit this week, I am hugely disappointed in their Mexico Finca Consolopan, and in this past week in general.
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