Jake shares his recipes for brewing with a returning favourite, Guatemala Las Rocas.
Nestled by the Mexican border nearby the Guatemalan city of Huehuetenango lies the La Libertad region where third generation producer Renardo Ovalle manages three farms: La Bolsa, El Rincon, and Las Terrazas.
(Above) Huehuetenango region in Guatemala.
Alongside his wife Jacqueline who uses her Q grader training to help refine their coffees, and his parents, Renardo strives carry on a humanist philosophy left by his grandfather Jorge Vides whom Renardo’s company is named after.
Ovalle’s family are involved with many social projects in the region that aim to improve the living and working conditions for farm employees, including day care facilities for workers’ children, higher wages, and providing balanced meals for the employees.
With his farms, Renardo and his family have produced several Cup of Excellence coffees which really shows through the Las Rocas that I have had the pleasure of roasting, and today brewing.
Huehuetenango has provided a reliable component for our Seasonal blend for some time now, and the Las Rocas lives up to the quality of the region and the hard work of the Ovalle family with a coffee that is extremely well balanced, smooth, and sweet.
(Above) Picked cherries at La Bolsa.
Our philosophy when roasting any of our coffees is to maximise how much of the coffee’s character is present in the cup so that when it comes time to drinking it none of the hard work that farmers put into caring for the trees is lost.
I like to keep the method as simple as possible to let the coffee express itself, and the V60 to me represents the best of filter brewing with neat and simplistic extraction.
What results with the Las Rocas is a brew that is buttery and resplendent with notes of caramel, cocoa. It has a wonderfully melon/orange peel acidity that really comes out as the brew cools down.
With the kind of work that Renardo and his family put into their farms in mind this is a coffee that ought to be brewed thoughtfully and enjoyed slowly.
Guatemala Las Rocas V60 Recipe
Grind size: medium course (22 clicks on Comandante)
Brew Time: 2:30-3:00
Water Temperature: 98°C
Place your water on a boil. If you don’t have access to a temperature controlled kettle, bringing a kettle to a boil and removing from the heat for 30 or so seconds before brewing will do just as well.
As the water is heating grind your coffee on a medium-coarse setting. On the Comandante 22 clicks was perfect, but you may have to experiment to find that sweet spot for the target extraction time of around 3 minutes.
Prepare your V60 and paper filter, place this on your vessel, and then all of this on a scale. With your heated water, wet the filter thoroughly to rinse any papery residue from it and also preheat the entire setup.
Discard the rinsing water from the vessel and place your ground coffee into the filter. Gently shake the V60 cone to flatten out the coffee bed, and be sure to zero out the scale before beginning your first pour.
Start a timer and pour around 50 grams of water over the coffee bed to ensure all of the grounds are saturated with water with a circular pouring motion.
You will see bubbles and cracks forming as the coffee grounds release excess carbon dioxide, which will minimise harshness in the final brew.
Allow this process to happen for around 30-45 seconds or until bubbles have stopped appearing.
Now with the same circular motions pour an additional 100 grams of water in. Allow the water to almost completely drain from the cone.
Add in the final 100 grams of water, and let drain completely.
Once all the water has filtered through your filter paper, your brew is finished! Dispose of your filter paper and enjoy your coffee!
Guatemala Las Rocas Espresso Recipe
I’ve created this recipe on the Breville Bambino Plus. You may have to adjust the dose depending on the size of your basket - if you do, just be sure to adjust your yield too, according to the ratio.
This recipe produced a delicious espresso, and tasted great with milk too!
Extraction time: 32 sec
Grind size: Fine - 8 on the Breville Smart Grinder Pro