Finca Potrero has been in the Herrera family for four generations, spanning more than 100 years. Three brothers and one sister now own and operate the original estate, which has been divided into four parcels. Carlos Olivero named his parcel “Cubito” after a famous natural spring on the property.
Cubito is planted out with Bourbon trees that thrive in the rich alluvial soil. In 2011 Carlos shared management responsibilities with our sourcing partner in Guatemala.
Now, coffee from Cubito is wet and dry milled at Beneficio Bella Vista. Incoming coffee is mechanically de-pulped, fermented for 14-16 hours, and washed in concrete channels.
The washed coffee is spread out on raised African drying beds where it dries for up to 15 days.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Guatemala Cubito, Carlos Olivero, from Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco, California, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Antigua, Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala
farm: Finca Potrero
producer: Carlos Olivero
elevation: 1500 meters above sea level
cultivars: Bourbon, Caturra
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Guatemala Cubito is unique—savory and complex. Spicy notes of cinnamon, brown sugar, and hazelnut waft out of the cup, before introducing scents of cocoa, brown sugar, black cherry, and almond.
Taking my first few sips of the cup immediately post-brew, my palate is greeted by an immensely flavorful coffee, but one that is silky, soft, delicate, and genteel. It’s throwing a lot at my taste buds, to be sure, but it’s not a party on my tongue as much as it’s a black tie affair, or debutante ball. The first thing I notice about it is that it really resembles unsweetened iced tea—a little bitter, a little astringent, but a lemony tartness and a brown sugary sweetness that round out the finish.
As it cools, the cup becomes even more complex and dynamic. Brown sugar, waffle cone, and raw cocoa nibs lead the way, while sweet and juicy cherry, apple, cantaloupe, blackberry, apricot, and white peach well up from the bottom of the cup to provide a beautiful, elegant, clean finish.
Light body; silky mouthfeel; lemon acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Ever since the Central American leaf rust epidemic began a year or so ago, Guatemalan crops are not at all what they once were. Guatemala used to be my absolute favorite region because of the quality of the coffees and the reliability of the quality. Nowadays, though, with leaf rust and climate change and a slew of other troubles, Guatemalan coffee just doesn’t have the quality it once did and there is so much of less of it to go around.
It’s been a while since I had a really, really great Guatemalan coffee. So, when one comes along, it’s a real treat for me, personally. The Cubito, from Sightglass Coffee, was that really, really great Guatemalan coffee. It was clean, elegant, complex, dynamic, intricate, and beautifully flavored—everything you want a high-quality Guatemalan coffee to be.
Did you like this? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome here at the Table! Pull up a chair and speak your mind by entering a comment below. Also remember to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!
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.