What’s Brewing: Guatemala Las Illusiones

It’s been a little while between What’s Brewing posts, with the last one profiling my Fifty K Christmas Blend. Despite this, it certainly hasn’t been more than a few hours between drinks — of coffee friends — of coffee.

The Region

Looking back through my previous posts, coffees from Guatemala have always been kind to me, both roasting well and tasting even better. This offering from the Las Illusiones farm is no different.

I must admit, part of my enjoyment in putting together these posts is also in learning a little more about the geographical and cultural aspects of the regions in which these farms reside.

I’ve previously written a little on the Huehuetenango (of course I cannot pronounce that) municipality in a post on the Guatemala Don Antonio last September, so this time I’m zooming out, and from Wikipedia, a little on this Central American country itself:

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Officially the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala);
  • Bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast;
  • Area of 108,890 square km (42,043 square miles);
  • Estimated population of 15,806,675, making it the most populous state in Central America;
  • The capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

The Coffee

Information courtesy Melbourne Coffee Merchants:

  • Country: GUATEMALA
  • Region: Huehuetenango
  • Town: El Pajal, San Antonio Huista
  • Altitude: 1,200 – 1,500 metres above sea level
  • Variety: Bourbon and Caturra
  • Processing: Fully Washed and sun-dried on patio
  • Owner: Emma del Carmen Munoz and daughters
  • Tasting Notes: Juicy and sweet, with stone fruit, orange and chocolate

Green beans purchased from Ministry Grounds – $AU20.50 per kilogram

The Brew

As time has passed and my palate has somewhat improved, I have drifted away from the one size fits all roast from my humble beginnings, and now roast specifically for either my espresso machine or filter based brew methods (V60, Aeropress).

The Las Illusiones was aimed squarely at the espresso machine, and roasted to suit. Given my roasting is often done in the late afternoon, upon opening the bag a few days later to use, I noticed (in the fuller light) the roast was probably a fraction lighter than what I was aiming for.

As a latte or flat white, the coffee definitely had a subtle choc-orange taste when used with milk. Fruity? Not so much. A medium to full body pushed the finish along nicely as well. Certainly a pleasant way to start the morning.

On its own as espresso, a lovely mix of honey and cocoa was apparent. Less perceptible was the orange, though a hint of stone fruit peeked through at times. A very nice mouthful, natural sweetness and a nice long finish completed the picture. Very pleasant.

A future post will look at a new app for tracking coffees and their origins – Press. For now, a couple of sample images after putting in the Las Illusiones as the first record:

image 2


The Finish

My expectations with most coffees from Guatemala are generally met with results pretty close to the mark, and the Las Illusiones was no different.

For a single origin which works well as espresso or mixed with milk, you could certainly do a lot worse – a very enjoyable coffee.

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