TUGBOAT COFFEE // GUATEMALA FINCA EL INJERTAL
Finca El Injertal is a family owned and operated estate located near the small town of La Democracia in the mountains of Huehuetenango, in the northwest region of Guatemala. Founded by Jose Olivio Chavez in the 1930’s, the farm has been producing high quality coffees for three generations and is operated today by Jose Olivio’s grandson, Jose Alejandro.
The 205 acre farm has 173 acres in coffee productionwhile the remaining 32 acres are kept as a forest preserve where native species of trees provide refuge for wildlife in the area. The farm contains several natural springs that provide an adequate wate supply during the dry season and are used as a source of energy to run the coffee processing mill.
Certified by the Rainforest Alliance, the coffee plantation is completedly coverd with shade trees, a source of abundant organic matter and an aid in soil erosion control, an important consideration due to the steep hillsides in this area. All of these circumstances—rich soil, adequate water, and high altitude—result in a unique miroclimate well suited for the production of high quality coffee. The quality of El Injertal’s coffee was first recognized in the first Guatemala Cup of Excellence Auction of Guatemalan coffees and is still recognized today as a farm of distinction.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Guatemala Finca El Injertal, from Tugboat Coffee in Addison, Illinois. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Huehuetenango, Guatemala
farm: Finca El Injertal
producer: Jose Alejandro
elevation: 1490 – 2000 meters above sea level
cultivar: Caturra, Mondo Novo
process: fully washed, patio dried
certifications: Rainforest Alliance
It doesn’t take long, after ripping open this bag of Guatemala Finca El Injertal, for its intense aroma to fill my home brewing space. Massive scents of cocoa powder, lemon, and roasted nuts explode out into my nostrils; there’s also a fair amount of roasty elements, herein.
Taking my first few sips of this cup immediately post-brew, my palate is greeted by an aggressive coffee that shades toward the heavier side of a medium-bodied coffee. Just these few sips in, I can already surmise that this coffee would be really tasty and complex if not for the level of roast put on it. As was indicative by its aroma, this coffee has three flavor highlights: chocolate milk, hazelnut, and zesty lemon rind.
Having said that, though, there is a considerable amount of roast on the coffee. It’s not so much that it renders the coffee undrinkable, but it does make the cupping experience somewhat unpleasant. A bit of smoke, copper, and roasted nut shell element that lasts through a dry, lingering finish.
Medium body; creamy mouthfeel; citric acidity; dry finish.
After tasting this coffee as a component in RAM Brewery’s Big Red Tugboat Coffee IPA, I was really excited to try the coffee on its own. Considering how light, bright, lively, and zesty that beer was, I thought for sure that the coffee would be the same.
Unfortunately, though, Tugboat Coffee’s Guatemala Finca El Injertal was just a touch overdone in the roaster. The flavors were definitely there—it was sweet, creamy, sugary, zesty, citric… But there was a cloud that hovered over the coffee, masking all of its best attributes.
Shame. This one could have been dynamite.