Guatemala Antiqua Pulcal Inteligente - Clean, compllex, honey, caramelized sugar, ripe plum, pineappple, blackberry, Asian oear, elegant acidity, superb brewed coffee.
It's an old coffee estate overlooking the colonial city of Antigua, and is situated at a range of 6000 feet in altitude. The farm dates to early colonial times (check out the neat tile crest in the first photo below), but coffee was planted in the late 1800's and first exported in 1918. The farm is said to have a unique micro-climate in the Antigua valley, as well as hillside exposure and well-draining soils. "Intelligente" refers to a specific block of the farm, planted in old Typica and Bourbon cultivar trees. It has the best sun exposure, and ideal topography. To form this lot, we cupped too many small "day lots" to count, selecting those that had the best sweetness and brightness. Day lots are small harvest batches from particular areas of the farm. Intelligente is from the upper part of the farm, highest altitude, and so tends to ripen in the middle harvest. Though this year there was a much earlier crop too, from which this lot is derived from.
Pulcal Inteligente is a sweet and balanced cup, with enough top-note complexity to make it a 'highlight' cup. The dry fragrance has a fair amount of baking spice notes, along with brown sugar, a 'clean' grouping of smells. We found Full City sees a boost in fruited notes, echoed in the wet aroma and flavor too. A thick caramel scent is paired with black currant in the wetted grounds, and a scent of baked sugar is emitted in the steam. This coffee cups with extreme cleanliness, what we expect from cafe Pulcal. When hot, the brewed coffee shows beyond-convincing sweetness and an elegant, apple-like acidity. As it cools, indications of pineapple and orange oil come up, with fading to tart fruit skins and crisp black tea taste in the finish. As you near Full City, fruit notes have a dark sweetness like blackberry and Medjool date, a slight tartness in acidity backed by heavy sugar browning. From City to Full City this makes a fantastic brewed coffee, showcasing the pristine coffees that can be found in Antigua.
Cupping credit: Tom Owen. Processing: Wet; Varietal: Bourbon, Typica; Appearance: 15+ screen. (15 oz. bag)