In My Mug

Episode 434 on Monday the 6th of March, 2017. Guatemala Los Jocotales Red Honey Red Bourbon.

March 5, 2017
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This coffee's farm is located in a region that is well known for some of the most interesting coffees, as well as some of the most renowned coffees, in Guatemala, Antigua.

It is produced by Alex Illescas, and he grows it on his grandfather's farm. His grandfather has owned the farm for just over 50 years, working the land and selling the cherry along as a commodity coffee because they have no mill with which to process their own coffee. The farm is located at 1,400 metres above sea level in Ciudad Vieja.

Alex had an idea that he wanted to produce amazing, interesting and challenging coffee for the specialty market. So, with the blessing of his grandfather and with help from his uncle, he used the farm to experiment with varietals and processing methods to see what might improve cup quality. This coffee is the result of those experiments. It's dangerous to do something like this, so the lots are small – but they're large enough that this could have caused financial hardship if something had gone wrong. The lucky thing is that, in the cup, this gamble has really paid off.

They chose the honeying process, because all they needed for that was a pulper and some space to dry the coffee. Alex used his uncle's roof on his home in town as the drying patio, and they took it in turns to keep the coffee turning and moving.

When I visited Alex you could see how excited he was, and you could see how proud he was about the coffee. All the time I was there I was praying the coffee would be as good as the story, and I'm pleased to report that it's even better.

In the cup you're going to find a fruity and sweet coffee, at the start there's cherry and a little bit of mixed berry tied up with a brown sugar sweetness and malty finish.

  • Country: Guatemala
  • Region: Antigua
  • City: Cuidad Vieja
  • Farm: Los Jocotales
  • Farmer: Alex Illescas
  • Altitude: 1,400 m.a.s.l.
  • Variety: Red Catuai
  • Processing System: Honey


Cherry, mixed berry, brown sugar, malt.

Clean Cup: (1-8): 6
Sweetness: (1-8): 7
Acidity: (1-8): 6
Mouthfeel: (1-8): 6
Flavour: (1-8): 7
Aftertaste: (1-8): 7
Balance: (1-8): 6
Overall: (1-8): 6
Correction: (+36): +36

Total: (max 100): 87

Roasting Information
Medium Dark - just to the start of second crack as you drop.

"Quick Look" Guide
Cherry, mixed berry, brown sugar, malt.