Mtn. Air Guatemala

Mountain Air Roasting is a small-batch roaster located in Asheville, North Carolina. They offer a quality product at a nice price point. In fact, if you order a six-pack of their beans, the price per bag is only a little more than $8. Purchased a la carte, each bag runs $12 for 12 oz., which makes me nostalgic for 2010, when that price-point was almost the industry standard.

This past week I've dipped into their Guatamala Antigua offering. The beans are grown at a super high elevation: 5200-6100 feet. It's generally thought that higher elevation means higher quality. Something to do with slower development of the crop, and therefore greater flavor concentration in each bean. I almost flunked Chemistry. No expertise here. Believe me at your own peril.

Right. Guatamala Antigua. Their tasting notes say: classic Guatemala cup profile. Caramel, cocoa, apple juice, cherry, cranberry.

I ordered because those are some unusual tasting notes for a Guatemala Antigua coffee. Usually the notes will say chocolate + dark fruit (plum, or nectarine, or fig, or raisin). The cranberry and apple juice caught me off guard.

What they're trying to point to is the fact that this coffee has a sour candy quality. It reminded me of these two-sided lollipops I used to get as a kid, where one side was green apple and the other side was caramel. So, sweetness from the roast, but a pleasantly sour acidity. Not for everybody, certainly not those who like a "classic Guatemala profile." I don't think that this is classic (which is not to say that "classic" is necessarily good. Classic Sumatra? No thanks). It is pretty good stuff though. 


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