Peaks Coffee Co. Mexico Chiapas

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Chiapas mapToday’s coffee is from a new (to!) roaster called Peaks Coffee Co. based in Syracuse, New York. Before you read any further you should know that this coffee is not currently available because Peaks sold out of it really quickly. But, that’s a good thing and reason to keep on reading! Peaks is a small roaster and they are, wisely, roasting very limited amounts of coffee as they grow. They currently have four tasty-sounding coffees up for sale, but they can sell out quickly, so don’t delay checking them out!

Peaks is a young company of young friends and family with lofty ideals and big ideas. I’ve chatted with Sam Bender, Peaks’ roaster, and he is a cool, down-to-earth guy and I get that vibe from the company from their straightforward website to the hand-stamped boxes and kraft paper coffee bags. You can tell Peaks represents their hearts and souls!

The coffee Peaks sent me to sample for review was their selection from the Nueva Linda farm in Chiapas, Mexico. It contains Mundo Novo, Caturra, Catuai and Catimor varietals grown in the range of 1250-1550masl. It is a washed and patio dried coffee and was roasted to what Peaks considers “medium.”

Nueva Linda is located in the Sierra Madre mountains in the very south of Mexico, sharing soil with a large cloud forest preserve. This is also part of the same range as the coffee farms around Huehuetenango, 1 Guatemala, so there are similarities between these two growing areas. The farm is working toward becoming Rainforest Alliance certified. 2

Mexico grows a lot of coffee and, for the most part, these coffees tend to be relatively light, mild and subtle. I’ve roasted a bit of Oaxacan organic coffee in the past and it takes nicely to a Full City roast (just before 2nd crack), in my opinion. Here is a nice video from Cafe Imports about Nueva Linda (and, sorry, I still haven’t figured out how to make embedded videos smaller… I’m a coffee guy, dammit, not a WordPress wizard!):

Peaks’ website describes this coffee as having flavors of “chocolate and toffee with a bright lemon finish.” True to form, I found this to be a pretty straightforward coffee. The coffee had a nice round body to it with more “richness” than I expected. The roast level was nice, with some roasty, toasty notes coming through but not enough to mute the sweet apple-like acidity (I wasn’t getting lemon out of this coffee) that started each sip. There were nice floral notes in the aroma and in the finish on this coffee from Chiapas and the aftertaste was short and bit earthy, or maybe better said, a bit herbal, in a good way.

This is everything I would hope a Mexican coffee to be and Sam did a great job roasting it. I can see why they sold out so quickly! This coffee would be a great daily drinker and I’m looking forward to more samples from Peaks, although if they keep selling out I’m always going to be behind! Not a bad problem, if you ask me.