The city of Antigua in Guatemala is one of the most stunning coffee growing regions in world to visit, and the coffee has built an enviable reputation for excellent quality over many many years. The city itself is steeped in the history of the old Central American colonial capital and still retains a unique mix of Spanish and Mayan culture. If you look up from the criss-cross of cobbled streets Antigua’s unique geography that defines the coffee from the mico-region is inescapable. Three vast volcanoes, Fuego, Agua, and Acetenango form a ring around the region and their shelter provides a cool and dry micro-climate perfect for coffee growing. The edge of the city merges seamlessly with the surrounding coffee farms which rise up onto the lower slopes of the volcanoes to heights of around 1900m above sea level.
San Agustin sits on one of these steep volcanic slopes to the east of Antigua and has an unusually cool micro-climate for Antigua because it sits mostly north facing. This means with a little less sun the coffee ripens a little slower and sugars develop over a little more time. Several awards with the Cup of Excellence show how this maturation benefits taste, and Ricardo’s coffee has a denser structure too, ideal for the style of roast we use.
When roasted fuller, Antigua coffees are renowned for their rich chocolate aromatics and creamy, dense mouthfeel. We’ve taken this approach with San Augustin and a rich dusted cocoa note runs through the flavour profile from beginning to end. This is balanced by flavours of caramel, amaretto, and plum leading through to a sweet clove and stewed raspberry finish. The supporting orange citrus like acidity is soft and muted, while the mouthfeel is big, dense and deliciously creamy.
A tip for brewing this coffee for most enjoyment is to let the water temperature come off the boil to around 90 - 92 °C. Brewing at this lower temperature with a french press (and even lower with an aeropress) helps the luxurious chocolate aromas and supporting caramel flavours come to the fore. In a filter look for more of the caramel aromatics, along with the red fruit notes and roasted coffee flavours.
Of course, this developed roast style lends itself perfectly to espresso. Again, if you can control the temperature of your machine brewing at a lower 90°C - 91°C brings out the best of San Augustin. The following recipe is a suggested starting point for San Agustin. It’s based around the idea that darker roasts work well with a shorter, ever so slightly faster extraction than our other lighter single origins:
This recipe was developed on a La Marzocco GS3/VST19g basket/Mahlkönig K30 Grinder.
Ratio: 1 : 1.89 ratio / 18g : 34g
Brew Temperature: 90.0°C
Brew time: 26 - 28 seconds