Tasting Notes: Orange, Vanilla, Chocolate

Tasting Notes: Orange, Vanilla, Chocolate

Item information

El Tambor

Item information

Palencia, Guatemala


Variety: Red Bourbon, Caturra, Pache

Processing: Washed

Origin: Palencia, Guatemala

Producers: Victor Calderon

Altitude: 1750m

El Tambor was founded as a cattle ranch in 1930 and was first planted with coffee in 1966. Nowadays, it's one of the most respected coffee farms in Guatemala, with several Cup of Excellence wins to show for its efforts. Owner Victor Calderon is serious about quality - implementing a rigorous process to identify the highest quality plants early on in the lifecycle. For every 50,000 seeds germinated, they only pot the most promising 40,000. As the coffee continues to develop, only the best 18,000 to 25,000 starts are planted at El Tambor, and the rest are sold to other producers. These high standards carry over through the entire production process at El Tambor, from picking to milling to patio-drying. Mr. Calderon is also very proud that the farm uses only biodynamic and organic practices - and hopes to be an example of how to sustainably produce exceptional quality coffees.

After featuring one of El Tambor's decaf lots, we knew that we needed to try some of their caffeinated offerings - and this one surpassed our already high expectations. We're picking up on a fragrant orange blossom aroma and some delicate vanilla notes - along with a smooth chocolatey undertone that really emphasizes the body of this brew. El Tambor is a fantastic cup of coffee from a fantastic producer, and we couldn't be more excited to share it with our fantastic members.

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5.0 out of 5

One of the best

Maybe my favorite cup of coffee I've had! El Tambor has it all - a nice, high, acidic burst without being bitter, a creamy mouthfeel, and a chocoately, robust body. The complexity and richness is enthralling. I'm obviously a huge fan and could drink this all day, every day!

Ethan R


Member Since

October '15

4.5 out of 5

oh coffee.....

taste all the notes, suttle smooth,enjoyable



Member Since

May '19

4.0 out of 5

El Tambor

This coffee is beautifully balanced, with subtle orangey notes on top and a chocolate bottom. Kudos to Victor Calderon!

Randall LaLonde


Member Since

July '15

3.5 out of 5

Only Good, But That Might Be User Error

This coffee was good. It's chocolatey and fruity, which I do like, wakes me up quickly, and creamy. We sincerely enjoyed it. It didn't blow our socks off though. To be fair, this may have been user error. We are used to really crappy coffee from the WinCo bulk section. That stuff is so flavorless that we usually have to grind 1.5 to 2 cups of beans to get a pot to taste like anything. The first time I made this, I did the same by habit. That was strong stuff. Then, I cut back, way back. And it was coffee-flavored water. Good flavor, but weak. Today is our third day doing it, and I broke out the Cafflano. Now that was significantly better. I'm still adjusting to figure out the best way to make it, but so far, this coffee was just good. Other users may, and probably will, experience much better results than we've had.

Brian Jeppesen


Member Since

October '19