Crown Jewel Mexico Bella Vista Mayan Harvest Women’s Group Washed CJ1528 – 30708 – SPOT RCWHSE

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Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile cherry, pomegranate, sesame, lemon, honey, caramel

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This is a traditional washed coffee from Bella Vista, Mexico produced by Mayan Harvest Women’s Group. 

The flavor profile is zesty and floral, with dominant notes of cherry, pomegranate, lemon, and honey.  

Our roasters found the coffee easy to manage. If you’d like to showcase the sweetness, please stretch the Maillard reaction and develop the caramelization a little longer. 

When brewed, our barista team found the coffee to be versatile. We recommend a higher dose and coarser grind size to unlock the creamy texture and fruity flavors.  

Taste Analysis by Joshua Wismans 

The consistency and vision of Rosalba Cifuentes have nurtured not only a blossoming community of women farmers in Chiapas but also stellar coffee that appears as a Crown Jewel year after year. This community lot embodies a dedication to excellence not as a selfish pursuit, but as something that can be a unifying goal.  

A medley of fruit flavors makes this coffee a delight. Think cherry, persimmon, and apple. All notes exemplify the bourbon and caturra cultivars found at the heart of this lot. The acidity harkens to plum and citrus.  

The other strength of this coffee lies in its complex sweetness. Tamarind, marzipan, fig, and baking spice round off the fruity acidity in a way that creates an exceptionally drinkable coffee.   

They say consistency is the key to greatness. This coffee is drinkable proof of that concept.

Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell & Charlie Habegger

Mexico Chiapas Mayan Harvest Women’s Group is sourced from 168 women-owned farms averaging 5 hectares apiece, all of whom grow coffee in various communities throughout the Bella Vista region of Chiapas, in southern Mexico. Rosalba Cifuentes Tovia, who was raised in the Bella Vista coffee community, has for the past 8 years dedicated herself to helping her local producers showcase their potential and earn a better price for their coffee. In our eyes, she has been wildly successful by any measure. 

Changing Coffee in Chiapas 

Rosalba Cifuentes Tovia came to the US as a teenager and has lived here for decades, building a career and retiring successfully before getting into coffee. But as a child in Chiapas, coffee was everywhere. She had an idea of how much her region was producing, but when she discovered specialty coffee she was surprised that Mexican coffees were rarely featured on Third Wave menus. She set out to change that.   

Chiapas is a large southern state in Mexico that shares a border with Guatemala and is dominated by highland forests. The highlands produce huge amounts of coffee, but the market has long been dominated by large cooperatives and aggregators who naturally are interested in volume over quality. Farm support among these groups tends to be passive at best. Many of the indigenous communities throughout the highlands, despite having some of the highest quality potential in the world, often go overlooked or ignored and are left to fend for themselves with low investment, low yields, and low prices.  

By contrast, Rosalba has spent the last few years investing in better processing equipment, training producers in the details of meticulous harvest and post-harvest care, and training in quality control measures and cupping. She’s started several local programs, notably one for the women of Bella Vista, who produced this coffee. Rosalba organizes events and trainings for the women farmers and makes a point of curating their coffee as a standalone offering. 

Rosalba ensures traceability for her communities’ coffee by personally exporting the coffee directly to the Bay Area. Rosalba also concerns herself with the small details like being sure to pull samples without piercing the producers’ bags, which has eliminated the cost of replacing damaged bags. These efforts allow producers to earn higher prices and reinvest in better agricultural practices and improve the livelihoods of their families. 

Rosalba, Royal, and Mayan Harvest  

Rosalba imported her first coffees in 2015 on a refrigerated container ship usually used for bananas (other suppliers of Royal’s over the years shipping coffee via Mexico’s southwestern coast have used similar vessels, affectionately referred to as “banana boats” around the office). It’s extremely unusual for a producer to offer coffee to buyers that is already landed in the United States, rather than still at origin, but that’s what Rosalba did. Royal buyers connected with her, tasted the samples she had and realized right away her coffees were exceptional, some of the best quality Royal had tasted from the region. She continues to manage export and import logistics for her company, now called Mayan Harvest, and works with Royal each year supplying a small variety of traceable coffees from her home community. 

Green Analysis by Doris Garrido 

 This coffee is brought to us by a group of 168 women producers from the region of Bella Vista and close communities associated with Rosalba Cifuentes. They work together to bring resources to the community to improve their quality of life which in turn gives them time to work on the quality of wet and dry processing procedures. It is important to mention the personal work that Rosalba does herself controlling the quality of the milling site. She leads the work on the dry processing using all her experience during production in California and her attention to detail ensures each bag of coffee improves in quality year after year. This is very noticeable on the green stats. The green came with mostly 16 to 18 on the average screen size which is perfect for roasting. In terms of moisture, this coffee has been maintaining a solid 11% every year. With an above-average density, I would recommend not to hesitate to push the roast a little at the beginning of the roast. This coffee can take it. Cultivars are mainly Bourbon, Arabe with some Caturra, Catimor, and Mundo Novo which makes an interesting combination and tasty coffee. 

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

Rosalba Cifuentes is back and with a women’s group bringing us another Crown Jewel. A couple of weeks ago during the Expo in Portland, I was lucky to have a fresh sample of this coffee that at the moment was landing in California (and close to sold out, that good is this coffee). I was able to throw a demo roast on the Aillio bullet booth. I was nervous because she was there expecting to taste the coffee the next day. The roast went great, tasting super fresh of course and acidity was shining with a nice touch of sweetness. That roast gave me an idea of how to approach the coffee in a 5.5 lbs batch that I did on the 5 kilos Diedrich.  

I ran the Sinar a couple of times since it arrived, and I’ve noticed that the density got a little higher compared to past years. I am a devoted fan of this women’s group and very proud of being Mayan as well, an extra reason for me to be careful of details like this when I am roasting their coffee. I aim to honor the hard work they have started and do my part the best I can to show them my respect and appreciation.  

I warm up the drum and introduced air during this process, I was looking to set my temperature at 435F with 50% air and I charge the coffee as soon as I got the two stabilized, I wanted to have a high turning point with air adding 100% gas on the first minute. After this, I drop air and wait for my rate of change to reach close to 50/60 seconds to start dropping gas, first to 60% and then 30% just at color change. I believe that this part of the roast is crucial, I wanted to bring the acidity I got in the bullet roaster but also the sweetness, for this I went hard during drying and hold the breaks on Maillard. Around 354F drop the Diedrich pilot to 0 for less than a minute and start 50% and then 100% air right after. Cracking started happening at 387F and dropped the rate of change from 13/60 to 1.7/60 in 1:39 minutes of post-development. I drop the coffee on the sweet spot I got by smelling from the trier ( this messed with my curve during post-development, but I knew how the coffee was going from the trier) 

Clear and crispy at the beginning, with plum and lemon acidity. As the coffee was cooling the sweetness was showing, with some dry fig, palm sugar, raw honey, orange jam, on the aftertaste, mild grapefruit, and some orange zest. I roast this coffee to showcase sweetness and acidity in a delicate way. In my experience roasting this coffee, if you are looking to showcase the sugar, you have great moisture to stretch Maillard and develop the caramelization a lot more. I’ll be moving this coffee for espresso on the 15 kilos Loring and will be available to taste here at The Crown. 

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  

Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

After seeing Rosalba (the founder of Mayan Harvest) at SCA Expo in Portland, I was particularly excited to see this coffee back on our Crown Jewel menu. Mayan Harvest has built up from being Rosalba’s individual project to a serious player in the Bella Vista area in Chiapas. Rosalba’s drive and ability to organize the members of her community is inspiring on multiple levels, not the least of which is bringing in some phenomenal lots like this one.  

I have classically had a problem stymying the late-in-roast RoR spike of coffees from Bella Vista, but have never found it difficult to get a tasty result. These coffees, to me, are the prime example of the ‘chuggability’ concept. Sweet and mellow with a consistent pop of lime acidity, they’re able to keep drinkers both satisfied and sipping ad infinitum.  

This is a coffee with a decent amount of moisture content and water activity, and with a slightly wider spread of screen sizes. This meant to me that I would need to give this coffee an extra push at the beginning of roast, hence my high charge temperature of 473F. I also started this roast off with low power and a good deal of airflow – P2 and F4 respectively, only returning to P7 and F2 at Turning Point. This slowed my roast considerably, and I might consider hitting it with high heat application from the outset next time around. 

As my Rate of Rise peaked around 32F/min, I reduced heat to P6 and increased fan to F3, keeping those settings for the majority of the roast. Around 350F my RoR turned around and began to increase ever so slightly per the bean probe, but the IBTS reading wavered downwards. This may serve as a reminder that not only do I give the IBTS RoR more attention later in roast, but also that I don’t take RoR readings as gospel. I steadied the course, actually increasing power to P7 and fan to F4 as First Crack approached, anticipating a big drop in momentum afterwards. After crack, I hit P5 and F5, really pulling all the heat from this coffee as it went through development. I was happy with my drop temperature of 395F but was sure that I could achieve a shorter roast time than 11:18 in the future.  

Regardless, this coffee did not come out ‘flattened’ or anything of the sort. That signature pop of limey acidity hits right away on sipping, and fades into a smooth almond paste finish that just reminds me of the most comforting times I’ve had with coffee. As the cup cools, subtle dried cherry and tamarind zestiness comes out to play, and gives this coffee yet another dimension. This coffee is going to perform phenomenally as an espresso or as a filter drip, and it’s up to you to choose your adventure. Heads up: it’s going to be a very comfortable adventure!  

You can follow along with my roast here on 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano 

Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here.  

This distinct but approachable Mexican coffee has been curated by a group named Mayan Harvest. These profiles bring out a range of flavors from bright acid and plum to rounded cashew butter and mild grapefruit.  

 Our hot and fast profile (HD) has brought out a balance of almond, nutmeg, orange zest, pink grapefruit and some caramel-like sweetness. A little toasty on the finish due to the high heat but has a really nice acidity from those grapefruit and orange zest notes.   

The long and slow (LD) roast created some classic Mexican notes like brown sugar sweetness cacao nibs, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Paired with fig, chamomile, mild grapefruit, and orange jam the structure of this profile is delicate but firm. With the help of Doris’ masterful roasting background on hand, she advises that the best road to take would be somewhere in the middle for larger batch size. If deciding between HD and LD, I think the LD roast will give you an idea of the overall personality of this coffee. Keeping in mind that the acidity is a bit softer on this roast. The seemingly common sweet notes are paired with such a lovely brightness and soft mouthfeel it makes this lot stand out from the crowd.  

Likely to be our only CJ from Mexico this year, the Crown team is thrilled to be working with Rosalba and the Women’s Group. This coffee is headed straight to the espresso bar, and I’ll be the first in line to see how this coffee transforms into a beautifully dialed-in shot by our barista team. Don’t miss out!  

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast 

Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Taylor Brandon 

This traditional washed Mexican coffee had a diverse range of flavors to uncover with each of the five brews we explored. We traversed from bright citrus flavors to bold savory notes by focusing our major adjustments on coarsening the grind setting.  

We began our first brew using the Kalita Wave home brewer, a 9.5 grind, and 300 grams of water. For our first pulse, we stuck with our standard bloom recipe of 50g of water which bloomed for 40 seconds. This first brew had a lower TDS of 1.39 and an extraction rate of 18.66%. This initial brew was a zesty citrus fruit party accompanied by a buttery texture.  

To tone down the citrus and achieve a higher TDS we opted for a coarser grind of 10 for our second brew while keeping all other variables the same. This brew went a bit deeper bringing out notes of toasted almonds, chocolate-covered strawberries, and berry tres leches cake. This brew was a fan favorite amongst the barista team for its wide scope of flavors and achieved an ideal TDS of 1.43.  

For our third brew, I attempted the same brew recipe using the V60 because I wanted to see how the coffee would perform with a conical brewer. I went back to a 9.5 grind and noticed flavors of citrus, chocolate, and sesame. The third brew was not my favorite and presented a little too clean for my liking.  

In the fourth brew, I went back to the Kalita Wave in search of some of the savory notes present in the 2nd brew. I used a moderate grind of 10 and dosed lower using 18 grams of coffee. This brew was heavy on the chocolate and floral notes, think of a Ferrero Rocher dusted with lavender powder. We hit an ideal TDS of 1.4 and an extraction percentage of 19.99. On the final brew, we really wanted to play with a coarse grind, so we upped it to 11 and brought the dose to 19. We were gifted an Orangesicle dream in conversation with fig and herbal toffee. This is a versatile coffee but I had the most fun when we upped the dose and the grind for a buttery fruit blend. 

Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith 

I had the best time dialing in this espresso. I tried several different doses ranging from 18g to 19.5g, and they were all delicious in their own way. There was a common theme of cherry, citrus, and toasted almond throughout, complimented by a perfectly well-rounded body. I’ve been cutting back on drinking coffee a little bit over the past few weeks, but this espresso was so tasty that I couldn’t stop myself from sipping it down. After much over-caffeinated deliberation, I’ve decided on the two recipes to discuss. Let’s get into it! 

The first recipe I’m going to mention has a dose of 18.5g, a yield of 36g, and a pull time of 29 seconds. Initially, I picked up bright notes of pomegranate, hibiscus, and lemon balm, rounded out by honey and graham cracker sweetness. The rest of the barista team picked up some additional notes of cherry pie, apple, spiced honey, brown sugar, and roasted almonds.  

For my next recipe, the dose has been bumped up to 19.5g, with a yield of 39g and a pull time of 32 seconds. I love all my children equally, but I think this shot was my favorite of the bunch. It had a wonderfully punchy fruitiness in the form of raspberry, plum, and zesty orange, some brown sugar and honey sweetness, a bit of cardamon and Thai sweet chili spice, and just the slightest hint of mouth-watering umami. 10 out of 10.  

In short, this coffee works beautifully as an espresso. It’s versatile, easy to dial in, sweet, and completely sippable. Can’t recommend it enough! Still don’t believe me? Come on down to the Crown and try it, as it’s about to be our new Featured Espresso!