After a long, exhausting trip out of town, it’s good to come home to Chicago. It’s even better to come home to a package of freshly roasted coffee from one of my favorite hometown roasters.
While I was doing the #NashCrawl, as you probably remember, I got to try a cup of Kaldi’s Coffee’s Mexico Coatepec while at Dose Coffee and Tea. Today, we get to try a cup of the same from Passion House.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we are sipping Passion House Coffee Roasters’ Mexico Altura Coatepec. Feel free to pull up a chair.
It’s no secret that Mexican coffees, as a whole, are really hit-and-miss. For every moderate to good cup you’ll find there, you’ll find a half dozen awful ones. While beans that come from Oaxaca or Chiapas are mostly okay (sometimes you’ll find an exceptional Oaxaca), beans that come from Coatepec or Ayotec are almost always subpar.
And don’t even get me started on Veracruz…
That’s why I was so incredulous at the guys from Kaldi’s Coffee telling me that their Coatepec, Veracruz was great. That’s why I was so surprised at how great it really was.
It was also very surprising how much of my foot I could actually fit in my mouth.
But, hey, that could have just been a lucky cup—who knows? We’re going to find out today with this offering from my friends at Passion House Coffee Roasters.
The Mexican state of Veracruz sits along the Gulf of Mexico along the eastern side of the country. Although much of Veracruz is low lying, as you move inland the elevation increases toward Mexico’s central mountain range. Again, these beans come to us from the colonial city of Coatepec, also known as Mexico’s coffee capital. Coatepec is situated in the mountains in the state of Veracruz on Mexico’s central Gulf coast, in the middle of one of Mexico’s largest coffee producing regions.
Coffee is one of the main exports of the state of Veracruz, and the Coatepec region produces some of the finest shade grown coffee in all of Veracruz. Coatepec coffee is also sometimes referred to as “altura” (high) coffee because it’s grown in a very mountainous region of Veracruz.
origin: Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico
elevation: 1200-1400 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of this coffee is light and sweet—pretty delicate, too. It has some lovely citrus and floral aromatics (orange blossoms and lemongrass), tied together with berry fruitiness.
The first couple sips are absolutely wonderful.
The flavor starts off with a steady flow of creamy milk chocolate that runs down the middle of the tongue and soothes the back of the throat, like sucking a chocolate milkshake through a straw. Blueberries provide a sweet juiciness that coats the palate like a syrup, while pink lemonade rushes into the sides of the cheeks.
As the cup cools off, it gets a little bit lighter, brighter, and cleaner. The milk chocolate flavor shifts to more of a salted caramel or toffee and orange blossoms and green grapes emerge.
Light body; creamy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
The Mexico Altura Coatepec, from Passion House Coffee Roasters, is a perfect example of just how good a Mexican coffee can be. It’s a very clean cup, has shockingly great clarity, is very well-balanced, and has some really nice flavor.
With the combination of this and the offering I had from Kaldi’s, one more cup like this and I might have to change my opinions of Coatepec coffees altogether!
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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.