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Summer is fading fast, school is back in session, vacations are over and the workaday reality of our millstone existence stares us in the face. This is the season when the real coffee drinking begins, demand and consumption are high, yet as always it corresponds with a time of year when deliveries have ended and availability is waning for many of the most popular coffees, primarily the coffees from Mexico and Central America. There are still great coffees available and the “C” market remains shamefully low, so if you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to load up and cover for the next several months. Following is a regional review of what remains in stock and my personal recommendations in both the top shelf gourmet category and the quality high value realm from our southern neighbors.

Mexico

Our final containers of the year from Mexico arrived this week, so this is an ideal country to examine what remains and what stands out.

 

The Cuppers –

40123 – Francisco Javier Montel Valencia Typica – COE finalistextraordinary cup with floral, lush, spicy flavors bordering on magical realism. Extreme top shelf.
39522-3 – Pluma Oaxaca Los Naranjos PochutlaClassic Pluma, refined caramel
39185/38186 – Finca San Carlos – crystal clear sweet cinnamon
40103 – FTO Oaxaca CEPCOthick lush cinnamon and caramel; Jaime Hernandez lives
39399 – FTO Jaltenango y Montecristo de Guerrerofocused density and honey cinnamon

The Tasty Values –

39852 – Organic Chiapas El Triunfo Alturanot pretty but sweet and luscious cup and easy on the wallet
40009 – FTO Oaxaca CEPCObrother to 40103, nearly as good, FT Minimum priced

Guatemala

This was a stellar year for Los Chapines and many fine coffees are still available

 

The Beasts –

39583 – Quiche Finca Los Caballitos
39652 – Huehuetenango Finca la Bendicion“A” Grade in all categories
39780 – Genuine Antigua Bella Carmona DuenasSuperb rich chocolate

The Steals –

40107 – SHB EPclean thick caramel and butterscotch and sinfully cheap
39557 – San Martin JilotepequeEstate quality, regional SHB price
39916 – Huehuetenango MAMdusky tropical fruit flavor
40080 – Organic Huehuetenango from AsobagriGreat coffee, great deal

Honduras

The silent Central American coffee giant just keeps getting better every year

 

The Medal Winners –

39769 – Santa Elena Catracha Dulce MelosoFinest Honduras in our warehouse
38627 – FTO Marcala RaosRich tangy caramel subtle chocolate
39572 – Organic Santa Barbara Cielito Lindosweet and juicy, coffee Kool Aid

The Moneymakers –

39094 – Marcala COMSA SHBCan’t miss, well balanced blender
38428 – RFA Siguatepeque El JaguarTop shelf Central quality at budget price
38953 – Organic San Marcossweet full bodied clean organic

El Salvador

Tiny country, fancy coffees

 

The Performers –

39437 – Ahuachapan Finca San Carlos
39256/39257Aida Batlle Ethiopia and Kenya process lots
38737 – San Rafael Los Naranjos – perennial favorite, Costa Rica substitute

Nicaragua

A slide into mediocrity, but still a few winners

 

The Stand Alones –

39037 – Organic Paraisohefty and herbal
39584 – Organic Segovia Ojo de Aguatop notes all categories
38108 – FT Organic Alta de Jinotegastand out Central FTO, minimally priced
38321 – FT Organic Segovia Miraflor – well rounded velvety Royal veteran

Costa Rica

Producing less coffee every year but consistently great deliveries again this year. We are on the verge of running out, buy now if needed

 

The Alphas –

40059 – El Diamante Carlos Fernandeztop shelf, bring your American Express
38059/38060 – El Vapor Dota Tarrazu – Superbly bright full and clean
39888-1 – Monteverde Honey Processbright, creamy and sweet

The best remaining deal that will be gone in a week –
37890/37890M – Dota Tarrazu Santa Maria – quintessential Tarrazu, unpretentious price

Panama

The ever-dwindling coffee export nation

 

The Fascinating –

38573-3 – Los Naranjos Lerida Natural Catuaidizzying tropical fruit flavors

The Old School Classic –

39737 – Boquete SHB – tight balance of caramel and cola, tastes just like Costa Rica

 

It’s not easy sleuthing out the highlights amongst our vast offerings but hopefully this succinct string of suggestions will help you with your end of the year Mesoamerican shopping. As I say, now is the time to get this done. Thank you for your ongoing support.