Peru San Ignacio El Horcon
The tiny hamlet of El Horcon is located in San Ignacio District, Cajamarca, a region known for producing specialty grade coffee. With less than 20 families in town, they've banded together as one part of a coffee farmer's alliance called "Finca Santuario". The goal of this association is to aggregate resources in order to not only gain the small farmer transparent access to the global market, but also work as a collective to increase their coffee's value by planting cultivars with cup quality in mind, and improve harvest techniques as well as processing and drying conditions. This is a fully washed coffee, meaning that after most of the fruit is mechanically removed from the seed, the remaining sticky layer of mucilage is broken down by overnight fermentation and then washed away the next day. Most of the farmers wet process and dry their coffee at home, and then deliver their dry parchment to the local association arm in town where it is stored until export.
Sweetness is apparent in the dry grounds, a mix of nut and spice smells come through like honey-roasted peanut and cinnamon. Nutty sweetness builds with hot water, a sort of walnut brownie smell coming up from the wetted crust, and a waft of candy coated peanut takes shape. An underlying cocoa flavor offers a bittersweet backdrop for burned sugar and roasted nut notes to stand out against. The cool cup reminds me of chocolate-peanut butter cookies, and inky body does much to carry that flavor into the long aftertaste, along with a woody spice accent. A bittersweet espresso too, inky, and with loads of baking cocoa, and great for milk drinks.