BeanFruit Coffee Co. is located in Jackson, Mississippi, and the do a fantastic job with their roasting. I’ve reviewed quite a bit (scroll down to “Mississippi”) of their coffee and it’s always good. Today I’m looking at BeanFruit’s Finca La Bolsa, a washed coffee from Guatemala that you can buy directly from the gang at BeanFruit for just $15.25/12oz bag.
Finca La Bolsa is located in the famed Huehuetenango area of Guatemala and was established in 1956. The estate sits in a valley between two mountains and has two rivers crossing the property, as well as natural spring water. The drying patio, school for workers’ kids, mill and farmhouse are essentially on an island created by this confluence of water. The farm uses produces hydroelectricity and uses earthworms to compost in an effort to reduce its footprint on the environment. Today’s coffee is mix of Bourbon and Caturra, grown in the 1400-1600masl range.
BeanFruit’s Finca La Bolsa is a fairly complex coffee with quite a lot going on in the cup. I used my standard notNeutral Gino with Kalita 185 filters and a 1:16 ratio to brew this coffee (27g coffee, 450g water, 3:30-3:45 brew time). Aroma has elements of chocolate and salted caramel with a slightly savory component. In the cup, the flavors are quite complex. There is a lot of citrus character to this coffee. It comes through as a soft acidity, like sweet orange, that brightens the sip from beginning to end. There is a bit of an earthy and savory character toward the middle of the sip, although sweetness dominates the vibe overall.
When I first started tasting Guatemalan coffee, I coined something I called the “Guatemalan bite.” It was a flavor component I didn’t really love that gave Guatemalan coffees a characteristic flavor. Even in blind tasting like Populace’s Flight of Fancy, the “bite” has served me well in identifying Guatemalan coffee! It has been a while since I noticed it and I must say I like it in this coffee! To elaborate on the “Guatemalan bite” it is a slight bitterness toward the end of the sip. In this coffee it plays nicely with the chocolate, orange and savory elements and adds another level of taste complexity.
As the cup cooled, I found purple grape flavors and the slightly dry finish solidified that perception because the feeling wasn’t unlike that dryness I get from eating grape skins. To cap it all off, there is a spiciness in the finish and aftertaste that proved hard to nail down… maybe a little black pepper and some “warming spices,” but all I can say is a bit of “spiciness” and I don’t want to speculate any further than that.
This turned out to be a really complex coffee that has a lot going on. Despite having such a big range of flavors, they work well together, but this coffee does lose a little bit of drinkability for all the complexity. For a daily drinker, I am still a sucker for those super sweet sugar bombs Guatemala can produce, but for a cup that deserves some thought and mulling over, this one has plenty of elements to dig into and investigate. A great job, as always, by BeanFruit!