This is a traditional washed coffee from Huehuetenango, Guatemala, produced by Dr. Carlos Serrano on his farm Finca Severa.
The flavor profile is bold with an emphasis on chocolate and citrusy notes like lemon and grapefruit.
Our roasters found that the coffee seems to take on heat and color somewhat quickly around first crack.
When brewed, the coffee can be a little intense at higher extraction percentages and might benefit from coarser grinds or quicker brew times.
Taste Analysis by Colin Cahill
This is a clean coffee with a broad audience; it leans towards more chocolate-y or more citrus-y flavors depending on the roast and brew method. With a creamy body, the chocolate notes give way to flavors reminiscent of a lemon curd set in a flakey, buttery crust. With its balance of sweetness, chocolate-y body, and citrus aftertaste, this could be a fun drip or pour-over coffee, as well as a classic espresso.
Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell & Chris Kornman
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to roast coffee grown by a doctor. However, with this coffee, from farmer Dr. Carlos Roberto Serrano Roa and his farm, Finca Severa, you can do just that. Coffee from Finca Severa has been a staple in the Royal menu for years and we’ve Crown Jeweled it almost every season since we started the program.
Sourced from a family-owned estate located within the municipality of Santa Cruz Barillas, in the department of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Finca Severa was established by Dr. Carlos Roberto Serrano Roa in 1969 and named after his mother Severa. Over the past few decades, Dr. Serrano and his family have developed 111 of the 135 acre estate for coffee cultivation and preserved the remaining portion with natural forest and a pristine water source that is used for processing coffee.
Finca Severa has its own mill where cherry selection, depulping, fermentation, and drying are meticulously executed. Wastewater is treated before it is returned to the environment and coffee pulp is converted into organic fertilizer and returned to the coffee plants. Great care is taken to provide housing, healthcare, education, and social activities to those who work at the estate because the remoteness of the Finca Severa makes these essential amenities an important part of ensuring a dignified quality of life at the estate.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This is a fairly large-sized green coffee with a really clean physical appearance. The coffee takes color nicely in the roaster, as well. It’s not terribly dense, on the lower side of average, and has a slightly elevated moisture and water activity. Overall, you can expect the beans to behave nicely early in the roast but the high water activity and moderate density may cause a little extra heat absorption during later stages.
Dr. Serrano has a nicely diversified menu of cultivars in his farm, including the well-regarded dwarf Bourbon mutation Caturra which evolved in Brazil, and its less frequently seen Guatemalan counterpart Pache, first reported in 1949. There are also two introgressed hybrids in the mix, protection from the ever-present risk of rust and other afflictions traditional arabica varieties are prone to. Here, we have Sarchimor (the dwarf Costa Rican Villa Sarchi mutation crossed with the Timor Hybrid) and Anacafe 14, named for the coffee agronomy research and support organization in Guatemala.
Anacafe 14 belongs to the Catimor (Caturra x Timor Hybrid) group, but was then crossed with Pacamara (a hybrid of dwarf Pacas with giant Maragogipe); purportedly the inspiration for the cultivar came from a spontaneous occurrence. In either case, the result of this cross is a varied generation, from which selections were made for the best plants, and then non-uniform seeds bulked and distributed. The result is a genetically complex field of trees, capable of better resistance to disease but with a higher percentage of Arabica than traditional Catimor cultivars.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman
Working with a slightly high moisture and moderate density coffee like this Guatemala, I decided to take a page from Doris’ new playbook and work with a slightly higher charge temperature and more open airflow settings throughout the roast.
At the turnaround, I opened the air halfway, and then to 100% at color change. The coffee seemed to be tracking nicely at the 70% gas setting, so I held my course on gas until about halfway through Maillard reactions when I began to back off incrementally in 3 small stages, nudging down to our lowest burner setting of about 30% power.
I’ve been paying more attention to the exhaust temperature profile on the Diedrich recently and have been trying to smooth it out a little for better heat environment consistency. My goal was to reach a temperature about 10 degrees above my intended end temp, and attempt to hold it there until just before the drop, which allowed the coffee to reach equilibrium with the environment naturally rather than by cutting the burners entirely.
Despite a relatively short 80 seconds after a slightly late and very vigorous (albeit somewhat late) first crack, the coffee appeared a little on the dark side to me. My end temperature was a few degrees hotter than intended, the rate of rise a little quicker than I’d like, and the ground Colortrack score of 56 is a little closer to our espresso target than our pour-over. That said, on the cupping table the coffee was bright and vibrant, showing relatively little roastiness and instead offering a lush, deep dark chocolatey body with zesty acidity of green apple and a buttery, spicey, black tea-like finish.
You could probably edge a little lighter if you like on this one, it seems to take on heat fairly quickly and might have a tendency to brown a little quicker than average after crack. If you wanted a darker style with less present acidity, you could probably avoid baking easily with a lower overall heat energy and longer roast time to good results.
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 200g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
Earlier this year, I was musing that we hadn’t seen Guatemalan Crown Jewels in some time, and I was anxious to try some heavy and chocolatey coffees. My ruminations seem to have been answered in the form of this delectable coffee, which I should have known was on the way, just running a bit late due to the slowdown in international shipping.
Much like Chris, I used a higher charge temperature (390F), and plenty of airflow. I started this coffee off with the usual high heat application of 10A and high fan speed. Then, I cut fan a little before turning point, and didn’t reintroduce until 270F / 3:35 when I had seen my rate of rise peak. I wanted this coffee to roast hot, and I only reduced heat application to 7.5A at 315F / 4:55, rather later than usual. Just a bit later at 325F / 5:15 I increased fan speed to full and really began to slow down the roast through the later part of Maillard. Things were moving just a bit more quickly than anticipated, so I reduced heat to 5A before first crack at 365F / 6:40, and rolled into what was a rather late first crack at 390.2F / 7:54.
Single-mindedly focused on sugars and development later in roast, I allowed this coffee to hit 402F before dropping the batch with 10.7% post-crack development. I would have liked to roll into first crack a little more slowly; do plan ahead and keep in mind that this coffee tends to crack late in the game, at higher temperatures! That said, this coffee didn’t display any notes of overdevelopment, and held strong past 400F on the Quest M3s.
Super heavy chocolate mousse, orange marmalade, and a finish like a dark chocolate bar made this coffee a very dessert-like experience. The strong amount of development later in Maillard gave this coffee a very thick mouthfeel, and sweet stickiness. This would make an excellent espresso, but I’m perfectly satisfied with the drip coffees I made with this batch. The cupping took the cake, though; this coffee kept its sweetness and complexity all the way until room temperature. I may suggest trying this coffee in French press, or any of your favorite full-immersion methods.
Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill
When this beautiful washed coffee from Huehuetenango came into our tasting room and labs, we decided to play with grind size and brew it up a few ways on the Hario V60 conical brewer. We started out with something of a classic recipe here in the tasting room, grinding it at an 8 on our EK 43. This initial brew came out with a bold, milk chocolate flavor and layers of citrus notes—orange and lemon zest, in particular. It was beautifully balanced with a creamy, rich body, clean citrus acidity, and a cinnamon-chocolate sweetness.
We coarsened the grind up to a 9 on our EK 43 to reduce the extraction. This yielded a brew with a slightly lower extraction rate. This was perceivable in the absence of the light astringency from the previous brew. This second brew was brighter and sweeter. It still had a clear, rich, milk chocolate flavor, and was loaded with citrusy notes, including lemon curd and pomelo. It had the sweetness of caramel and ripe Cavendish banana, and was so, so easy to keep sipping on.
To contrast a little bit with the V60’s conical filters, we brewed this coffee on the Fellow Stagg brewer. The Stagg has a tendency to punch of extraction a little bit because of its narrow bottom and steep sides, and this coffee was no exception. It brewed with a high extraction of 22.3%, and it showed through in the cup as well. This brew was intense and bright, with a strong citric punch, and notes in the cup of ruby red grapefruit, lemonade, white peach, and a dark chocolate finish, with a silky body and long juicy finish. This will be an easy coffee to sell in our tasting room, and I look forward to continuing to play with it!