Passion House Coffee returns to the Table with a coffee that hails from El Mirador Finca El Rincon in La Libertad, Huehuehtenango, which is managed by the Molina family.
Until the Spanish conquest in 1525, Huehuetenango was the capital of the Mam Kingdom. It is situated in the north west of Guatemala on the border with Mexico at an altitude between 850 and 3700 meters and covers an extraordinary variety of ecosystems (from subtropical rainforest to pine forests).
Lying at the foot of the Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountains of Central America, Huehuetenango is one of the most suitable areas of the country for growing coffee.
Huehuetenango is a city and a municipality in the highlands of western Guatemala. It is also the capital of the department of Huehuetenango. The municipality’s population was over 81,000 people in 2002. The city is located 269 km from Guatemala City, and is the last departmental capital on the Pan-American Highway before reaching the Mexican border at La Mesilla.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Guatemala El Rincon, from Passion House Coffee Roasters in Chicago, Illinois. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: La Libertad, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
farm/factory: El Mirador Finca El Rincon
producer: Molina family
elevation: 1600 meters above sea level
cultivar(s): Bourbon, Caturra
process: fully washed, patio dried
As the water hits the grounds of the Guatemala El Rincon, its aroma wafts in the air and greets my nostrils with notes of tobacco, cherry, and dark chocolate; sweet but rustic. However, there are also uniquely bright and lively scents of tropical fruits and lemon.
The first few sips of the coffee greet my palate with a mix of wood, earth, and caramelized brown sugar. The coffee has a very natural or “organic” rustic profile up front, and that is further compounded by notes of dark chocolate, sweet salted caramel, and English Blend pipe tobacco—a touch of vanilla, a little bit of cherry, a hint of spice, somewhat musty, but very sweet.
As it cools off, though, this like a completely different cup of coffee! I am honestly shocked. Based on the profile up front I was expecting flavors like apple, raisin, or fig to be in the second half. But… nope. Instead my taste buds are absolutely titillated by bright and tart tropical fruits—apricot, papaya, mango, cherry, and zesty lemon rind.
The finish, though, is more reminiscent of the first half of the cup, as demarara, cherry tobacco, and roasted pecans play out in a long lasting finish. This coffee came full circle.
Medium body; syrupy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Passion House Coffee provided the Table a very unique cupping experience today with their Guatemala El Rincon.
You know, Guatemala’s had a really rough go of it over the past few years with diminishing crops and plummeting crop quality due to leaf rust and climate change, but leave it to Passion House Coffee not only to find the best coffees the region has to offer, but to roast them in a way that brings out those coffees’ best qualities.
The El Rincon was certainly no exception—this coffee had a little bit of everything and kept my taste buds on their toes from sip to shining sip. While the cup started off with such aggressive, brooding, and dominant rustic sweetness, it progressed into bright and tart tropicalia before coasting into an earthy/organic finish.
This was a stellar cup of coffee that challenged my palate, but not nearly as much as it rewarded it.
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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.