Acatenango is one of the under appreciated growing regions of Guatemala. It has always been overshadowed by nearby Antigua, and in fact many Acatenango coffees were sold as Antigua lots for many years. In mill-mark Antiguas, this is still the case, since farmers who sell cherries or the collectors who round it up and bring it to the mill rarely respect such boundaries. But Acatenango coffees come from some of the most beautiful farms in Guatemala, and San Diego Buena Vista is a case in point.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Guatemala San Diego Buena Vista, from Tony’s Coffee in Bellingham, Washington. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Acatenango, Guatemala
farm: Finca San Diego Buena Vista
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of the Guatemala San Diego Buena Vista… Honestly there’s not much to it. Not enough to pique my interest, anyway. There is a bit of brown sugar, caramel, butterscotch, maybe some stone fruit, and citrus, but these scents aren’t very lively or even very engaging. They’re dull, muffled, muted.
The first sips of this coffee immediately post-brew present me with an indistinguishable “coffee” flavor; it’s somewhat roasty, a bit metallic, a hint of peanut shells in the finish of each sip, a little funky. Beneath that there are some pleasant notes of salted caramel, toffee, vanilla… But they’re having a really difficult time breaking through the defects.
As it cools off, very small amounts of fruit flavors bubble up but, still, they can’t break through the stale roastiness that pervades the cup. There’s some apple, a bit of nectarine, cherry, apricot; but it’s mostly defect.
Medium body; slick mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The first few times I brewed this coffee I really thought my palate was broken, or that I had and pletely forgotten how to use my brewing equipment; but each cup was coming out exactly the same, with little variation from cup to cup. Maybe it’s a self-esteem issue, but when I get samples from a reputable roaster that turn out like the samples I got today, I’d much rather believe that the problem isn’t the coffee; rather, it’s me.
But when every single cup from the entire bag tasted exactly the same as the one before it, I could only reason that the Guatemala San Diego Buena Vista from Tony’s Coffee really was the problem.
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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.