Barista Stefen Highlights Mexican Maya Vinic
Higher Grounds Trading Company began its life with coffee from the Maya Vinic co-op. This was the first coffee we ever roasted, and represents our longest standing relationship. The story of Maya Vinic is actually pretty amazing. I highly recommend learning more about them, as well as Las Abejas, the activist organization they grew out of. Learn more here.
Let's get into it!
SPEAKING OF FIRSTS….
The first coffee I ever fell in love with was Mexican Maya Vinic. At the time, I thought coffee was nothing but hot, brown water. Coffee was fuel, coffee was that sweet, sweet go-go juice for exam cramming and essay writing. That first year of college, I became one of those coffee goblins that orders a quad espresso in a medium cup, made sure it qualified for a free refill of drip coffee, and then lurked at the condiment station for way too long, adding cream to the brim and ripping a fistful of sugar packets over it. (And hey, only respect for those of us who still remain true to our inner coffee goblin. It knows what it wants.)
I forget where I ordered it, some small café in downstate Michigan, but it hit me instantly: this wasn't like any coffee I'd ever had before. It didn't need cream or sugar (though I probably still put a little in, thanks coffee goblin). There was actual flavor present, and it was delicious! I didn't have the coffee vocabulary then to describe it, but just the mere fact that it tasted like something was shocking. So, how would I describe it now, as a real, live, professional barista? Read on!
Coffee: Mexican Maya Vinic
Method: Aeropress (my preferred method). I used my standard brewing practice: inverted, scoop the coffee in, fill the chamber with water, vigorous stir, let sit for 3 minutes. One final stir, flip, and pluuuunnge.
Dose: 1 and 1/2 scoops using the Aeropress spoon, which is roughly 3 tablespoons, or 15 grams.
Freshly ground, the Mexican Maya Vinic smells like those chocolate malt ball candies, what are they called? Whoppers. There's fresh cream too, with a dollop of maple syrup. After a little more nosing around, I get an unmistakable aroma of peanut butter. If you can't go trick-or-treating this year, just stay home and smell this ground coffee.
Continuing our jaunt down candy lane, on the first sip I get nothing other than Milky Way Bar. There's caramel, there's milk chocolate, and that peanut butter from before is asserting itself as nougat. The milk chocolate is deep and lingering, like a waterslide designed by Willy Wonka.
The finish is somewhat dry, a little earthy, but not in a bad way, more like straight cacao powder. Nothing too complex, but still satisfying.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
There have been quite a few times when someone says to me in the café, "I just want a good, straightforward coffee," and more often than not, I will recommend the Maya Vinic. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in depth and richness. The flavors present are exactly what someone wants out of a coffee if they're not worried about pushing the extreme boundaries of flavor discernment but instead, want to wake up with a satisfying cup of honest-to-goodness coffee, maybe read the paper, do a crossword. And hey, it tastes great with cream and sugar too.
Thanks for reading! --Stefen