ICEBEAR has the comforts of picnicking with friends and the delights of fire flies fillings the darkeness of night. This seasonal blend is for my friend, Ernst Schaefer, and the dedicated espresso fanatics out there looking for something substantial to become a part of their everyday. With the right amount of development, ICEBEAR delights through a Faema E61 and welcomes you to enjoy in an array of brewing options. The goal is to produce a roast that's works well under the intensity of the espresso extraction. This coffee is intensely sweet and round at this roast level. Acidity is sculpted with a more developed roast, with the intention to manage the brightness and provide structure and body for the sweetness to jump from when brewing an espresso. Sturdy and sweet, balanced and refined, your morning routine will soon be complete as ICEBEAR makes each day divine.
San Martín Jilotepeque's meaning comes from its patron saint and an indigenous word meaning "on the hill of tender corn”. Home to the legendary Kaqchikel culture, this plateau region has very particular characteristics. Its temperate and nutrient-rich soil allows for a very controlled agriculture that produces exquisite and very rare coffee. It may be one of the youngest coffee growing regions in Guatemala, but it has grown at a very rapid pace with exceptional quality. Small producers in northern Chimaltenango call Typica ‘gigante,’ or ‘giant,’ for the long curved shape of the bean. Typica is planted abundantly, alongside smaller amounts of Bourbon, in an area of northern Chimaltenango called San Martin Jilotepeque. This region has ideal conditions for growing these older varieties, with elevations upwards of 2050 masl. These smallholders have less than one hectare of coffee planted, and most harvest their own cherries, taking them to nearby receiving stations where they are then processed and dried.
Casimiro Loxicha is a family lot, a group of several family members farming in San Agustin Loxicha who separated their coffees. This whole area is known as "La Costa" in Oaxaca, it is in a rugged, mountainous area that slopes southward towards the Pacific and deals with the many effects of the ocean. It is quite remote and fairly hard to access. At higher elevations, the main activity is coffee cultivation in traditional systems in which coffee is intercropped with other plants like avocado, guava, and mango under the cover of native tree species. This area has historically provided the better quality coffee for what was sold and known as "Pluma Hidalgo" which is kind of a legendary Mexico name brand. However, almost all of the farms in "Pluma proper" are larger estates from wealthier landowners, at lower altitudes, topping off around 1400 masl. Loxicha and Ozolotepec are geographically closer to Pluma and as such, the small land holder farmers in this higher altitude area, 1800-2100 masl with almost all Typica, previously sold their parchment or even cherry to the larger estates in Pluma, or to larger umbrella co-operatives who blended it all with coffees from different regions and from different altitudes, losing anything truly special about the profile. Those days are gone.
ICEBEAR brings together these Typica varietals from both Guatemala and Mexico, with Bourbon blended into the Jilotepeque. This provides us with structure and depth as well as endless sweetness. The Bourbon gives the structural framework of toasted almonds, vanilla, and dark chocolate with a ringing sweetness throughout. Typica embellishes us with subtle florals and honey, accentuating both fruit and chocolate. This espresso rings the bell of sweetness that echoes long into the aftertaste. Black cherry, wild flower honey, dates, nougat and chocolate are some of the flavors you might find as ICEBEAR continues to unfold in your espresso cup. ICEBEAR, you might be my spirit animal. See you in the morning.