Crown Jewel Guatemala Antigua Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora Washed B300 CJ1563 – 33184-1 – SPOT RCWHSE

Price $174.96 per box

Box Weight 22 lbs

Position Spot

Boxes 34

Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Lemon, cherry, peanut brittle, custard, milk chocolate

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Overview

This is a traditional washed coffee from Antigua, Guatemala, produced by 18 contributing farms to the Bella Carmona mill run by Luiz Pedro Zelaya.

The flavor profile is classic and refined, reminiscent of negroni – citrusy with hints of floral tonic – and with gently caramelized notes of honey.

Our roasters found a balanced approach with heat to work best, and that the coffee may be a little slow to yellow at color change.

When brewed, we recommend a moderate grind, a flat-bottom brewer, and a slightly lower dose.

Taste Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano  

A legacy coffee in its own right, Luis Pedro Zelaya and the Bella Vista mill team have once again, hit the bar they have created for themselves. Their reputation is esteemed and with good reason. From the southern region of Guatemala, you’ll find a sublime melody of flavors in the cup. Classic flavors like caramel, lemon, and honey are present but you’ll also find stone fruits like plum and cherry.  

Reminiscent of a negroni with flavors like gentian, pomelo, and orange zest you’ll not only be able to make it into a crowd-pleasing drip, but you could also get a little crazy and make a coffee-inspired cocktail (all the rage). Perfect for a summer menu and beyond, this calls for easy sipping and ideally 72-degree weather with clear skies. Am I asking for too much? No matter the circumstance, we know you’ll love this washed blend from talented team from Bella Vista mill and their partnering producers.

Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger 

Bella Carmona is one of the most superb regional blends a roaster can find in Central America. This lot is a blend of 100% dwarf bourbon cultivars from farms throughout the valley. Luis Pedro Zelaya and his team at the Bella Vista wet mill not only personally manage each of the 18 contributing farms; they also work like perfectionists at the cupping table to maintain the quality of the blend, shipping what they believe is a true representation of the Antigua valley’s volcanic and bourbon-based terroir. We buy a variety of Bella Carmona coffees each year and they routinely astound us with how early they arrive and how crisp and sweet they taste.   

Welcome to Antigua  

The city of Antigua is in many ways a modern coffee Eden. It’s iconic, laid back, gorgeously ornate, and for a city of its size it is absolutely teeming with historic coffee infrastructure. It also was the center of Guatemala’s specialty universe for many years. Prior to other departments in Guatemala having their own name recognition, coffees from all over the country were regularly transited to Antigua mills and exported as “Antigua” coffee, simply because its reputation was so strong. (Some departments, like Quiché, continue to have strong cherry pipelines to Antigua and struggle for their own name recognition in the market.)   

The Antigua valley itself is a gifted area for coffee: it’s accessible and flat, highly volcanic, and older farms remain planted with majority bourbon-based genetics under very precisely managed shade canopy. The best coffees of the valley are decadent with butterscotch or marzipan-like sweetness, with brightness ranging from piquant lemonade to dessert wine or tangy dried fruit.   

Guatemala’s best centralized wet mills and boutique exporters are based in and around Antigua. There are hundreds of farms in the greater area, from the city’s legacy estates to patchwork smallholder communities climbing most of the way up Volcán de Agua (which is not flat!), one of three looming stratovolcanoes that seem to be visible from every street corner in town and play a large part in Antigua’s famous soil composition. Such a variety of producers begets coffees with endless combinations of microclimates, elevations and varieties. There is a lot to work with here, and a lot of talent.  

“LPZ” and the Bella Vista mill  

Luis Pedro Zelaya (LPZ) is a fourth-generation producer and miller who for the past 20 years has established one of the best quality reputations in the country. Originally an employee of Bella Vista, he now runs the entire combination wet and dry mill in Antigua. Bella Vista services the coffee produced from LPZ’s own family estates and numerous other legacy farms which he manages via a unique profit-sharing agreement with the owners. Many of these farms are among the oldest in the country.  Bella Vista also processes coffee from hundreds of smallholders across the greater Antigua area, most notably along the slopes of Volcán de Agua, whose blend is sold as “Hunapú”, after the local indigenous title of the volcano. As a result of relentless perfectionism from harvest management to dry-milling and customer service, the brands designed and produced by LPZ and his quality team, particularly Bella Carmona and Hunapú, are some of the best-recognized Central American coffees in the specialty world.  

Processing Detail & Quality Control  

Cherry is delivered daily at Bella Vista from all over the valley. Processing is separated into numerous channels that represent Bella Carmona farms, Hunapú farms, and microlots such as this one, in which only the “B300” variety from each farm is picked and combined. Once inspected and weighed, cherry is depulped and fermented overnight in one of the mill’s many tanks, washed clean the next day, and patio-dried.   

The “B300” reference comes from a Costa Rican geneticist working to increase the productivity of the (normally quite rangy) bourbon variety. “300” was the selection number that was chosen for cultivation. The B300 is a precise dwarf version of bourbon, with many of the same characteristics in the cup but a more compact disposition—closer nodes and leaves, and shorter overall height. It is a beloved cultivar among the Bella Vista team and B300 plots are often used for agricultural trials, such as microbial amendments or weeding techniques.   

Each individual batch of cherry is tracked electronically using a software created by Bella Vista, and drying or finished parchment is tagged with a QR code that allows the team to scan and review the exact blend in each batch, by contributing farm or farmer, variety, and location. This traceability follows each lot to the cupping table, where the Bella Vista team approves individual day lots for blending and shipment. 

 

Green Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano  

Under the watchful eye of Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora, 18 farms are managed and coordinated to curate this regional blend from the southern region of Guatemala. Bella Vista mill is highly reputable for the quality produced and this lot reflects exactly that.  

As one can expect from the Central American coffees, the density is in an average range. A below average moisture content indicates great drying practices, which is especially impressive considering the coordination needed between 18 farms. The water activity is in the below average range, coupled with the lower moisture content it’s good to be gentle with this one in the roaster, too much heat can take away the gentle acidity this coffee has to offer.  

Diedrich IR5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

Analyzing the green grading numbers, the roast curve, and the cupping session results, I’ve concluded that the primary consideration for re-roasting these Guatemala beans is their rapid heat absorption. In my initial approach, I waited until the turning point to introduce gas, and although the 188°F turning temperature was slightly high for our 5-kilo Diedrich/5.5 batch, it wasn’t detrimental and went all the way with gas. Then based on the tasting results, I believe that starting gently during the drying phase could further enhance the complexity of flavors. The density readings fell within the average range, which confirms that the onset of my roast was reasonable, albeit it was my first roast of the day, which may have caused the coffee to experience a bit of extra stress initially. For the remainder of the roast, the three minutes I spent in yellowing seemed to have worked just great based on the moisture content (MC) of this coffee, as did the development phase. 

Here’s what I did: To start the roast, I preheated the roaster to 430°F, charged the coffee, and waited until the turning point to add 100% gas. After running it for two and a half minutes, I reduced the gas to 45%. The drying phase lasted 4 minutes and 29 seconds, and I noted the color change at 303°F. At the beginning of the yellowing phase, I decreased the gas further to the minimum of 30%, which provided sufficient energy to maintain the roast all through the Maillard phase. 

Regarding airflow, I initiated it at 50% when the temperature reached 360°F and shortly thereafter increased it to 100%, which helped decelerate the rate of rise and allowed for a smooth completion of the roast. The yellowing phase lasted three minutes and the first crack occurred at 387.6°F.  I allowed the coffee to develop for 1 minute and 15 seconds before dropping the batch at 400°F. Upon tasting, the coffee showed a clean profile with a slightly thin body, accompanied by notes of lime, lemongrass, lemon, lima, and orange zest in the aftertaste, which added complexity to the body. It also featured a delicate honey sweetness, red apple, raisins, butterscotch, milk chocolate, and sweet herbs. Overall, this coffee was very balanced, with smooth sweetness and a touch of zestyness on its clean acidity. 

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 changes in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here. 

Creamy, light, and sweet this is everything you’d ever want from a Guatemalan coffee. Reminiscent of those Central American classic flavors, it also has so much more to offer with elevated herbal flavors and complex citrus.  

The light-density roast is lightly sweet, with notes of pear, gentian, lemongrass, and pomelo. Potentially unassuming at first, the more you sip the more you experience the nuance this coffee has to offer. 

On the high density roast this coffee presented more of a darkened caramel with lime and peach. This roast felt a bit flat in comparison to the creamy and cohesive flavors of the light-density roast.  

We highly recommend utilizing the light-density roast on this coffee, as it shows off all the exceptional work of Luis Pedro Zelaya and the accompanying 18 producers.  

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 Joshua Wismans

While terroir is an oft misunderstood concept, I just can’t help but put it out there: This coffee tastes like the fine Guatemalan bourbon that it is, in all the best ways. In brewing this coffee, this is something I tried to lean into and reinforce. Sometimes we like to find a recipe and profile that challenges preconceived notions about flavor from a certain origin or varietal. This is not one of those times.

One thing I noticed on the cupping table was the creaminess and body this coffee had in spades. My initial inclinations for a pourover recipe were to use a flat bottom brewer to make sure the characteristics came through. I also chose to dose down slightly and keep the grind right in the middle – not too coarse, not too fine. In this instance, my instincts were spot on. Using a 1:16.67 coffee to water ratio and achieving a TDS of 1.34, our first brew shone with buttery praline sweetness, cranberry, and cherry. The balance between sweet and acidity represented perfectly what makes Antigua coffees coveted around the world.

Just to cover our bases, we also made sure to try the recipe out on a conical brewer. While a lot of that creamy nougat character translated, a bit more savoriness was brought out by the brewer. We also tried to coarsen the grind a big, but found the results to be a touch herbal while losing some sweetness.

For this coffee, we recommend a moderate grind, a flat bottom brewer, and slightly lower dose. Enjoy!

Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith & Alisha Rajan 

MJ: Guatemalan coffees have always been some of my favorites, so I was very excited to see that we had one coming down the line as a Crown Jewel. This coffee from Luis Pedro Zelaya makes for a truly eye-popping espresso! In terms of alcoholic beverages, it was as if you somehow combined a margarita, a negroni, and an espresso martini (but of course, in the best way possible!) It had some delightful citrus notes, paired with some lip-smacking salted caramel and cacao sweetness. Alisha and I teamed up to tackle this analysis, and now we’re going to write about each of our favorite shots that we pulled… 

MJ: my favorite shot of the bunch was kind of a wild card! I started with an average dose of 19g but let it run a little longer than usual, leaving me with a yield of 41g and a pull time of 38 seconds. Turns out that it worked in our favor! I picked up notes of salted caramel, dried mango, black tea, lemonade, sunflower seeds, elderberry, pomelo, and cacao nib. Alisha contributed notes of roasted cashew and orange zest, as well as that salted caramel I noticed. It had lots of brightness, but held down by that caramel-y, chocolatey goodness! 

AR: This coffee from Luis Pedro Zelaya was a surprisingly bright and delicious adventure. Perfect for the warmer months, the freshness and brightness of this almost cocktail-like espresso made for a delightful dialing-in experience. My favorite shot of the group came in at a 17.8g dose with a 38g yield in 32 seconds. With the tartness of grape and unripe apricot, this one was balanced with the sweetness of salted caramel and the depth of cacao nibs.  

Overall, the aforementioned perfectionism of LPZ and his team are certainly evident in the manifestation of this Guatemalan coffee as espresso. The traditional washed nature of the coffee is elevated with the ideal proportion of creamy sweetness underlying the brightness of mango, lemonade, and pomelo. Certainly a welcome flavor arrangement for the approaching warmer months, this espresso will be one for the books in terms of approachability and ease on the palate.