The San Rafael Urias Estate is located in the valley of Antigua, Guatemala. This region in Guatemala is known for consistently producing some of the highest grade coffees in the country.
known for consistently producing some of the most sought after Cup of Excellence coffees each year. Three volcanoes tower above the estate, with mountain fed sources of naturally-filtered water nourishing the coffee plants.
Raul and Isidro Valdes tend these shade-grown plants on an estate that has been in the Valdes family since the 1880’s, and over the past ten years their coffee has won four Cup of Excellence competitions.
This coffee is part of a direct sourcing program that insures the farmer up to ten times the fair trade price.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Guatemala Antigua San Rafael Urias Estate, from Hoot Owl Coffee Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Antigua, Guatemala
farm: San Rafael Urias Estate
producer: Raul and Isidro Valdes
elevation: 1700 meters above sea level
cultivars: Bourbon, Typica
process: fully washed, patio dried
The San Rafael Urias has a sweet, mellow aroma, but I will tell you this—it completely fills the kitchen with scents of cocoa, honey, red fruits, and cherry blossom.
The first few sips of this coffee present my palate with a fairly roasty profile. However, despite the roast, there are some nice flavors of raw cocoa nibs and honey. The roastiness doesn’t really go away, but it definitely subsides as super clean notes of sweet cherry and clementine cut through the front, streaming down the center of the tongue.
As it cools off, more sweet and tart red and orange fruits come to the forefront of each sip: raspberry (raspberry cheesecake, I think!), apple, black cherry, pomegranate, orange dreamsicle, cane sugar, and a touch of roasted almonds in the finish.
Full body; juicy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
The Guatemala Antigua San Rafael Urias Estate, from Hoot Owl Coffee Company, is so close to being a really great coffee experience. So close, but just not quite there. Having said that, though, it’s not too far gone in the other direction either. This is a decent coffee; one that I’d be happy to be served in a cafe.
It has some really nice, elegant flavors in the cup—not the least of which are cherry blossoms, cocoa, and honeysuckle.
However, the roast level the cup presents really holds those flavors back; it doesn’t overpower them, it just sort of drags them down and makes the cup seem a little flat. Of course, that perceived flavor flatness could also be, in part, directly correlative with the quality of Guatemala’s crops this year.
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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.