Guide Coffee is a new operation based out of Little Rock, Arkansas, owned and operated by Ben Young. After spending six years in the Air Force, Ben followed his passion for coffee and about a year ago, invested in a Diedrich IR-1 roaster. He opened Guide Coffee as an online retailer this year and Ben’s longer term goal is to have a brick & mortar coffee shop!
Today’s review is Guide Coffee’s Ocotepeque Belen Lentago Farm from Honduras. It’s a Bourbon, Catuai and Caturra mix of varietals grown by Victor Vasquez on his farm, Lentago, located in Belen, Ocotepeque. The farm is located in the southwest corner Honduras, bordering Guatemala and El Salvador and it rests at the foothills of the Celaque National Park. Victor’s coffee grows in the 1700masl range in a microclimate created by the mountains there. This is a washed coffee and you can buy it directly from Guide Coffee for just $11/8oz bag!
I was really excited to try Guide Coffee because I dig the aesthetic of the brand and I’ve also been nothing short of impressed with Arkansas-based Onyx Coffee Lab and Mama Carmen’s. One of these days I’m going to need to take a road trip and visit all these guys because there is something going on in Arkansas when in comes to coffee, folks!
Ben has a degree in graphic design and, as I suspected, he hand stamps the Guide logo on each bag, as well as hand printing the name of the coffee on the front of the strip and the tasting notes on the back. It’s a lot of detail work and care in a coffee package and it bodes well for what’s on the inside!
Ben gives us tasting notes of, “salted caramel, cinnamon apple, spiced cocoa” for this coffee and it sounds great, but how does it taste? I brewed this coffee up quite a few times using my usual 1:15 ratio of coffee to water (by weight… so 30g of coffee, 450g of water) with my notNeutral Gino dripper. I am currently using the white Kalita 185 filters and I get around a 3:45-4:00 total brew time. This is a delicious coffee, but this is also allergy season, so on some occasions I wasn’t getting much out of it because my nose was all stuffed up. I’m even drinking a cup as I write this and a full month after roast it’s still really, really delicious.
The salted caramel is really apparent in the aroma, which is sweet, sweet and more sweet. The flavor in the cup remains sweet with a touch of bitterness to balance it out and it finishes a little on the dry side. The finish into the aftertaste has a spicy quality, warm baking spices and a bit of pepper. This coffee has a medium body and a pretty low apparent acidity, although there is some malic acid in the cup that brightens it and gives it an apple juice quality. About 20-30 seconds after a sip is when the spice apples is really apparent and it’s not one of those flavors I had to hunt for or hallucinate!
A lot of times my tasting doesn’t fall in line with the bag description, but man, Ben’s tasting notes are dead-on for this coffee and I’m picking them all up, even a month after roast. Honduran coffees have been trendy for the past handful of months and while I don’t get to try many, I will definitely be on the hunt for more after this one from Guide Coffee! Beautifully roasted, this is a great cup of coffee!