I've enjoyed a number of Guatemalan coffees -- the Finca La Folie from Ritual Roasters, Itzamna from Intelligentsia, the Nimac Kapeh and the Soma blend from Barismo -- so I picked up these beans on another side trip to Stumptown's Manhattan location at the Ace Hotel in the 20s. As always, the service was fast and pleasant, and I received a complimentary coffee because I was buying beans. (I was also playing around with Foursquare and its iPhone app, and discovered that there's a fierce battle to become "mayor" of this location.) Name Finca El Injerto
Origin: Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Roasted: Sept. 24 by Stumptown Coffee.
Purchased: Sept. 28 at Stumptown in the Ace Hotel at 18 West 29th Street and Broadway, Manhattan.
Description From the label: "A jasmine fragrance is met with flavors of Dutch chocolate, roast almonds, meyer lemon, plum and a chamomile tea finish."
In the cup Finca El Injerto has fierce partisans in the coffee world. I had received at least one heads up on Twitter to be on the lookout for it. The official blog Thumpology says this is the first farm that had a Direct Trade relationship with Stumptown. A Bourbon variety, this coffee is grown in a region of Guatemala just south of the Mexican border by Arturo Aguirre and his son. Here is an gorgeous video showing how the Aguirres grow their coffee (I love Stumptown geeks). This bean -- billed as the most popular coffee roasted and sold by Stumptown year after year -- is not to be confused with the Cup of Excellence winner Pacamera from the same farm, which I'm now interested in trying.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been drinking this as both regular coffee and espresso. It's pretty good. There was a slight bitterness, a flavor I couldn't place, that was off-putting at first, but quickly forgotten. Did I pick up a fragrance of jasmine mutating into chocolate and almonds and finishing with a tea-like grace? Oh, I don't know. I still find these descriptions rather precious and embarrassing. I guess I should get over that. I do like it, and there is a hint of nuts and chocolate, though not nearly as sweet as I tend to prefer. I have no idea what a meyer lemon and plum might taste like, and there's definitely a tea-like something in there, which reminded me ofNimac Kapeh (the tea flavor was much stronger in that coffee).
I've had coffees I enjoyed more (I think I liked Stumptown's Montes de Oro more, for example), from other regions, from Intelligentsia and other roasters, but this is definitely far superior to most of the swill out there. I wish there were more locations, since this one is a little off my regular path. I'l definitely drop by Stumptown again -- and I look forward to writing about the other coffee I picked up -- but I'll never be its Foursquare mayor, alas.