It's hard not to dip back to PT's Coffee Roasting Co when they send you 25% coupons and run weekend specials quite often. (Be sure to get on their email list for new coffees and regional and farm specials.) And this week I am pulling and brewing the somewhat unusual, but very killer Maracaturra from the El Socorro farm in Guatemala.
Maracaturra is an uncommon varietal hybrid of the very large Maragogype bean and the more traditional and sweet Caturra. The El Socorro farm is regarded as one of the best in Guatemala and this unique washed coffee certainly doesn't indicate otherwise. Described as:
This lightly roasted coffee features a floral aroma of orange blossom and honey, silky body, and juicy acidity. When brewed it has a grapefruit and honey flavor and cantaloupe sweetness. The finish is creamy and balanced with notes of caramel and candied almond.
I knew the coffee would be light, bright, delicate and challenge my brewing skills, so I was really interested just how good I could make this. To my delight, I think I nailed it:
- 21 grams in the 02 size Hario V60
- 65 gram stirred bloom for 30 seconds using 200*F water
- Slow steady pour to about 225 grams, stir
- Remaining pours in 50 gram increments
- 357 grams total yield and brew time of 3:00
Although I look at the flavor descriptors when I purchase coffee, I try to brew it a few times and form my own opinion of where I think it's dialed in and then go back and reference the description. In this case, the description seemed very accurate once I was able to create really tasty, nuanced, sweetly layered brewed coffee. The floral orange blossom aroma gave way to a bright tangelo like sweetness and acidity with a juicy sweet grape and honey sweetness that lingered on the palette. I was luckily able to hit this recipe early on, which allowed me to make multiple delicious cups.
As espresso, this is not for the faint of heart, but fans of lighter roasted more "third wave" espresso will be interested. I found the flavors to be a bit muddled and not consistent with the brewed cups on the first few shots using the IMS Precision Double 16/20 basket dosing 18:5 grams in to about 32 grams out. I switched to a finer grind and the 18 gram VST basket in search of more transparency.
The coffee is demanding of good prep technique and yielded very bright but still sweet espresso. Grinds are very fluffy and full, requiring a slight down dose to 17.8 grams in the 18 gram basket. First shots yielding 37 grams out in 26 seconds were bright and sweet, slightly astringent in the finish, so I went a touch finer.
Ultimately, I found shots to have the best balance and tame some of the brightness when pulled at:
- 17.7 grams in the 18 gram VST basket
- 37 grams out
- 30 seconds using 202*F water
These shots were still very bright and more for the "acid hounds" but were more balanced and you could actually enjoy and appreciate the coffee's strong origin flavors.
Overall, I really enjoyed this coffee, especially when brewed. Normally priced at $20 for a 12 ounce bag, this one was on sale for 25% off last weekend, so be sure to sign up for PT's mailing list for specials.