This Mexican coffee from San Antonio has it’s roots in a Colomian coffee farm project started over a decade ago. In the late 1990’s Don Camilo bought his first farm, Finca Santuario, in Colombia’s Huila Department, refining his knowledge of coffee agronomy and post harvest production. Through a partnership with a larger multi-national exporter, Camilo has been able to take what he has learned by running his farm in Colombia, and apply it to projects in Costa Rica, Brazil, and Mexico. This cultivar grown at San Antonio is called “H3”, a modern hybrid comprised of Caturra and an Ethiopian heirloom, produced for cup quality and some disease resistance. The process method for naturals is very controlled. After rinsing and soaking the ripe coffee cherry, the coffee is moved to a large drying room where it is dried on raised beds. The climate inside the room is controlled with a series of tools including UV lights, dehumidifiers, and large fans, in order to inhibit the growth of mold and facilitate even drying.
While fruited smells are a little on the muddled side, the dry fragrance is still very sweet, and I’d categorize the “fruity” smells as being like stewed fruits, albeit on the non-descript side at this stage. Fruits begin to take shape and have berry qualities in the wet aroma, providing a nice contrast to deep chocolate bittersweet smells, and a boiled peanut accent on the break. The cup has a cherry flavor with a somewhat wine-like edge. Bonus, there’s still quite a alot of berry fruit character even when roasted for espresso, where the cup profile shares similar flavor characteristics to those dark chocolates filled with fruited liqueur. This will make a fairly fruit forward espresso shot on it’s own, but I’m still going to give it my recommendation based on hefty body, muted acidity, and perhaps most important, strong dark cocoa flavors found in the drip roasts.