Villas B'alam Ya, Km. 4 Carr. Sta. Catarina Palopó, Panajachel - Sololá, Gautemala


We are staying at a delightfully elegant Villa near the town of Panajachel. It's not rated, but definitely falls into a five star quality hotel for comfort, beauty, service, vistas and everything else one really needs for rest, contemplation and quiet. We are very fortunate, the owner is very kind and generous and has loaned to us her Rancillo espresso machine and grinder to use and experiment with.  As well I brought our Gene Cafe roaster in my carry-on luggage. 

Yesterday we roasted some green beans, kindly provided by Ricardo, the owner from Azotea Coffee Estate. The beans were a little varied in size, and  from the first pick of the season, not the premium time we were told. The roasting went fairly well for the first roast since arriving and the beans turned out to give a lovely chocolatly taste accompanied by lots of grapefruit finish, not too acidic and gentle fruit notes. Today we made a blend of 60% Azotea, 30% PNG from Green Beanery Roasters in Toronto and 10% Ethiopia Sidamo (a micro lot with a distinctive blueberry smell) from 49th Parallel Roasters, Burnaby, British Columbia. This blend proved to be our best cup of coffee since arriving in Guatemala. Layers of various chocolate flavours with touches of grapefruit, berries, cherry.... YUM!!! Wonderful coffee accompanied by the view of Lake Atitlan and volcanoes, supported by the gentle even restful quality of the Villa. It makes for a very lovely place to meditate and rest and experiment with coffee!

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