Crown Jewel Mexico Bella Vista Mayan Harvest Women’s Group Washed – 33075-1 – SPOT RCWHSE

Price $158.88 per box

Box Weight 22 lbs

Position Spot

Boxes 17

Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Raspberry, caramel, milk chocolate, bright, syrupy

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Overview 

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

The flavor profile is bright and sweet with notes of orange, cranberry, milk chocolate, and sweet basil. 

Our roasters found the coffee’s profound sweetness and intricate acidity benefit from a classic, balanced approach to roasting without rushing the process too much. 

When brewed, we preferred coarser-than usual grind settings and, for espresso, a lower than standard dose. We plan to begin serving it as an espresso in the coming weeks at The Crown. 

Taste Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano  

 As charming as she is a force of nature, Rosalba Cifuentes Tovia runs the exporting and importing group, Mayan Harvest. She has made quite a name for herself in the specialty coffee industry in the past 10 years, facilitating the elevation of Mexican coffee reputation. If you ever get the chance to meet Rosalba, you’ll be struck by her warm demeanor and acuity for the industry. Her reputation precedes her, and she is well-known and respected in the industry, particularly in the Bay Area.  

Her coffees are as charming as she is, and this lot is no exception to that. In the cup this women’s group lot is approachable but distinct with syrupy texture, deep flavor and complex sweetness. On the first sip you might notice the distinct decadence to the profile, think chocolate cake, dried dates, pecans and warming apple cider.  

Our team found lots of versions of orange in the brew analysis like orange zest, orange peel and on an adjacent thread, watermelon rind. Although the sweetness remains and elemental part of the cup, there is a pear and lime-like acidity that brightens up the profile and keeps the intrigue going.  

My dream version of this coffee is an endless batch brew that is conveniently magically refillable. But with a profile like this, it has the versatility to float around on a menu and fit in as single origin espresso, batch brew or pour over with ease.  

Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell & Charlie Habegger 

 Mexico Chiapas Mayan Harvest Women’s Group is sourced from 168 women-owned farms averaging five 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 Isabella Vitaliano  

Rosalba Cifuentes Tovia is a well-known Bay Area legend who has elevated Mexican coffee in the Third Wave coffee scene. Working closely with producers Chiapas, she has worked tirelessly and traveled extensively to showcase the quality Mexican coffee is capable of.  

Typica, Caturra and Bourbon are usually the most commonly grown varietal types from Mexico. The additional of Catimor being an interesting addition to this blend of varietals. Screen size in the 16+ is typical for this region and will support easy roasting. Moisture content and water activity are both in the average range with the density being on the slightly higher side. All metrics predict a steady and smooth roasting experience.  

Diedrich IR5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

Bella Vista, Chiapas, is the birthplace of one of the coffees I have a high appreciation for, not only by its excellent taste but because of the people behind it. The quality is exceptional, from the seed, the farmer’s year-round dedication and to the meticulous milling process that yields a coffee we can all enjoy. This year has been particularly challenging for the town of Bella Vista due to the intrusion of organized crime in the region and the resultant roadblocks. Despite these hardships, the women and the entire community have not ceased production, unwilling to abandon their homes and lands. This demonstrates the resilience of the Chiapas people, who have a storied history of defending their territory, including the recent indigenous Zapatista movements in the state of Chiapas. Among their leaders was a woman I deeply respect and admire, La Comandante Ramona, an inspiring woman who fought for land and specially for the women’s rights from the abandon communities of Chiapas, until her last day. May she rest in peace; her struggle will not be forgotten. She continues being the inspiration of the Bella Vista women’s group and Rosalba Cifuentes, together tirelessly pushes boundaries to improve the living conditions for their community and future generations. 

As a coffee roaster, I feel proud to contribute my part by completing the process on the roasting side with all respect to the arduous work they do every day.  

Typically, I would emphasize the juiciness in the roast to highlight the coffee’s inherent bright acidity. However, this coffee’s versatility led me to go back to my older roasting method, where I looked at a more balanced approach, allowing for a more complex caramelization. This year, the sweetness is particularly delicious, complemented by a tastefully silky body. 

I initiated my roast with a slightly lower charge temperature of around 400°F and set the airflow to 50%. At the start, I applied the gas at 80% and reduced it to 70% after 3 minutes into the roast. Approaching the 5-minute mark, I decreased it further to 60%, and at 370°F, I lowered the gas to its minimum at 30%. The beans began to change color at 304°F and reached the first crack at 383°F. Throughout the roast, I maintained 50% airflow, increasing it to 100% at 360°F. The development phase proceeded smoothly for 1 minute and 36 seconds before I dropped the beans at 398.5°F. 

The results were delightful: caramelized sugars with hints of honey—some tasters noted maple—yielding a rich and complex sweetness. The tart acidity was present, with notes of cranberry, plum, and Meyer lemon, while the round body offered flavors reminiscent of peach, vanilla, and milk chocolate. 

This slightly prolonged roast, lasting 9 minutes, and 48 seconds, allowing the coffee to develop a profound sweetness and intricate acidity. As a roaster, I am pleased with the outcome, and I ‘am proud to announce that this coffee will be featured this year -as every year since the crown was opened- in on our espresso menu. 

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

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

Once again, Rosalba’s selections grace our menu! Year after year, coffees from the communities she works with have been sweet and fresh, almost fresher than any others due to their inclusion on the Banana Boat. Speaking of sun dried and screen sizes, this coffee has an ideal moisture content and middling to high water activity for optimal balance between maintaining freshness and providing for ample Maillard reactions, as well as a fairly tight screen size distribution around 17/18.  

This means that in our roaster, we’re going to have a fine time roasting this coffee, and may need to give it just a touch more care towards the end of roast so it doesn’t get away from us and speed through First Crack. I want to keep this coffee on the light side, since I know it has just tons of beautiful acids and sugars.  

I started with high heat and power, with 464F charge temperature and P9 power, with F2 fan. I kept the P9 power on almost until Yellowing, which in retrospect I may have held on to for a little longer than necessary. At peak rate of change around 36F/min, I introduced fan speed to F4 to really bring airflow into the equation. Yellowing had me dropping heat application to P7, with my only other adjustments being a toggle between F5 and F4 leading up to First Crack that resulted in my rate of change staying between 15F-20F/min, with a slight trend upward at the end (much to my chagrin). This coffee didn’t need much push to keep the roast trajectory constant until its finish at 400F. Crack was very faint, so keep an ear to the roaster on this one! 

In the cup, I got just tons of sugars. This was a fairly light roast, and I feel like I could have spent more time in development with a higher end temperature… but the cup was so tasty I didn’t mind. Chewy chocolate texture and flavor with pear cobbler overtones came to mind. There’s a hint of vanilla in this coffee that could have been a pudding snack or perhaps ice cream. That said, it’s not overwhelming in its sweetness, and like Isabella, I could go for an endless cup of this coffee to chug for the duration. Slurp with confidence, dear roasters. 

You can follow along with my roast here at roast.world: https://roast.world/egilman/roasts/YYrAcnrLV52ZyY0W8o4-4 

 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman

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. 

I hopped onto the Ikawa this week and took this coffee for a literal spin in the hot air. After a few days of rest, I cupped the coffee and felt that the lower charge temp and slightly gentler approach of the Low Density roast benefitted this offering from Chiapas, Mexico. I tasted blackberry syrup and deep decadent chocolate cake, dried dates and sweet maple syrup. 

The High Density profile, unsurprisingly, produced a slightly brighter albeit thinner cup, with hints of lime zest and salted caramel, but a light nutty finish and none of the lush character that the slower style revealed. 

There’s no need to rush it with this coffee, at least not in the roaster. 

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 Katie Briggs 

Another exciting coffee from Mexico’s Mayan harvest women’s group! Rosalba has been a recurring name here at the Crown, and we are always excited to indulge in her delicious coffees. Her dedication to quality over quantity really shines through in every cup and I was so excited to get to brew this up and share it with the team.  

I started my first brew off with a dose of 19g, at a 9.5 grind on a V60 cone brewer. I then did a standard 50g of water and let it bloom for about 40 seconds. I then did the remaining two pulses of water for a final water at 300g. This brew was alight, though the TDS was a tiny bit high. We got notes of plum, butterscotch, basil, and a touch of bitterness.  

I wanted to try and sweeten it up for the next brew, so I just coarsened the grind to a 10.5 and did the same brew on the V60 cone brewer. This brew was much better! It brought out a bit of fruitiness with notes of cranberry, and orange; it still had a dark chocolate sweetness and a delightful basil on the end. 

I did one last brew just to see how this coffee would perform on a flatbed brewer. I did the same previous brew but this time on the Kalita Wave brewer. This coffee just keeps getting better! I liked the last brew a lot, but this one was also delicious. We got notes of orange zest, pear, cinnamon, and a bit of chocolate and coconut. 

This coffee, along with all of Rosalba’s coffees we’ve had the privilege of tasting, was so much fun to play around with. Every brew will have something positive about it, but I recommend a coarser grind and a flatbed brewer to really make this coffee shine! Come by the Crown for a taste soon!  

Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith

Rosalba Cifuentes does it again!! I tried some of the brews from the brew analysis, and dialed it in for espresso, and all I can say is “Wow, what a truly exceptional coffee!” As soon as I heard gossip that we would be featuring this coffee on our espresso bar here at The Crown in the coming weeks, my tastebuds started to shiver with anticipation. Dialing this coffee in was a breeze… one of those coffees where it’s good right off the bat, and the only difficulty you face is deciding which recipe tastes the best. Overall, there were some playful citrus notes, toasted sugary sweetness, and just a touch of delicate spice sprinkled throughout all the shots I tasted. Like I said, it was difficult to narrow down my favorite recipes, but I managed to make it happen… 

First up, we’ve got a dose of 18.5g, a yield of 39.4g and a pull time of 26 seconds. I shared some of this shot with Josh, our tasting room manager, and we both agreed that it was love at first sip. I personally picked up notes of orange juice, burnt caramel sauce, orange blossom, and candied ginger, while Josh found notes of lemon curd, almond frangipane, and creme brulee. While we both loved this recipe, it was only the first shot I pulled, so for the sake of tasting it a few different ways, I had to keep it moving… 

My next favorite recipe dialed in at a 19g dose, a very similar 39.7g yield, and a 30 second pull time. This shot packed a little more of a punch (in the best way possible!) My tasting notes included pomegranate, ginger ale, Sunny D, cacao, medjool dates, and a bit of that creme brulee that Josh found in the first recipe. I imagine that this shot would be amazing in something like an espresso tonic! 

Anyways, like I said before, you’ll be able to find this coffee on the espresso bar here at the Crown in the coming weeks, but if that’s not enough, I highly recommend picking some up for yourself! As far as recipe recommendations are concerned, I really enjoyed it with a dose range between 18.5g-19g, a yield around 39g, and a pull time between 26-30 seconds. As always, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!