Green apple, riesling acidity, complex, apricot, juicy.
Cupping Score: 87
Huehuetenango is probably the most famous region in Guatemala and has the highest altitudes in the country, getting as high as 2,000 meters. With their crisp malic and citrus acidity, full body, and toffee sweetness characteristics, these coffees tend to be the most fruit-forward and complex of what Guatemala has to offer.
Francisco Morales Carrillo owns 19-Manzana farm La Esperanza, which has coffee planted on 93 percent of its land. Francisco grows several varieties of coffee, including Pache, San Ramon and Bourbon among others. After the coffee is harvested, it is sorted and depulped the same day, then dry fermented for about 24 hours. Once it has been fermented, it’s washed three times, until the mucilage is fully removed, and then the coffee is dried on concrete patios for 3–6 days.
This coffee was grown by Efrain and his wife in the famous Pitalito region of Huila, Colombia. After carefully handpicking only the ripest cherries, this lot was then exposed to dry, anaerobic fermentation for 28 hours after which it was sundried on raised, African style beds. This lot is 100% Gesha, after being discovered in Ethiopia in 1931, it made its way through Central America in the 1960’s and was first planted in Colombia in 2005.
MICROLOT: COLOMBIA LA AVANZADA
Cupping Score: 88
Finca La Avanzada is located in the La Paz township of Sierra Nevada. It is owned and managed by second generation coffee farmer, Jorge Alberto Uribe. At just 28 years old, Jorge is much younger than the average Colombia coffee producer which is 55. However, he has been involved with his fathers plantations since he was six years old and has a wealth of experience.
Natural process coffees are still somewhat uncommon in Colombia. With the help of Sweet Latitude Specialty Coffee and the slightly higher temperature of Sierra Nevada, Jorge has managed to produce a very sweet and complex coffee.
Edy Sarmiento is an enterprising farmer who has been dedicated to coffee farming from an early age. He learnt the coffee production trade from his father, who emphasised quality in the production process. Eventually Edy came to manage his own farm called El Palmar.
El Palmar is located at an altitude of 1,900 meters above sea level, in the municipality of San Sebastian in the Lempira department. This area is known for its striking landscape and is surrounded by mountains.
El Palmar produces Lempira, Catuai, and IHCAFE 90 varieties.The farm has a traditional manual de-pulper, fermentation tanks, and African-style beds for drying.
MICROLOT: Costa Rica Finca Chispita (Filter Roast) 150g Tin
Toffee, red apple, lime cordial, hazelnut praline.
Country: Costa Rica
Processing: Golden Honey
Cupping Score: 89
SL-28 isn’t common in Latin America, making this Golden Honey lot particularly special and a unique opportunity to experience the influence that terroir has on this varietal.
Carlos Barrantes’ family has owned and operated the Herbazu micromill since the early 2000s. With a desire to focus more on producing unique, quality coffees, Carlos decided to set out independently, and now owns five small farms and the La Perla Del Cafe micromill with his wife, Diana. A small production of only 300 bags per year allow the Barrantes to dedicate their efforts to producing quality coffees with meticulous attention to detail. They even work with the exact same pickers every year – a group of 45 indigenous people from Panama who travel to the farms every harvest season, and with whom the Barrantes’ keep in touch, like family, the rest of the year.
The mill produces mostly honey and natural coffees. Carlos likes to experiment with different varietals, currently growing Gesha, Villa Lobos, Typica, Villa Sarchi and SL-28. This particular lot is an SL-28 varietal, of which Carlos was the first producer in Costa Rica. Native to Tanganyika (now Tanzania), and related to Bourbon, SL-28 was selected from a single tree by Scott Laboratories in 1935. Highlighted for its drought resistance, the SL-28 was considered the prize varietal of the 1935-1939 intensive breeding by Scott Laboratories. It is now one of the main varietals grown throughout Africa and valued for its high cup quality despite its susceptibility to major diseases.
MICROLOT: HONDURAS LA CASCADA
Cupping Score: 87
Dagoberto Martínez is a third-generation coffee farmer who believes quality is derived from great attention to detail in every step of the production process. This meticulous approach produces coffee with exceptional results.
Dagoberto selectively harvests his coffee and dries it on concrete patios for about 25 days. Thanks to the income he has received from his coffee, Dagoberto has been able to care for his family, giving them a better life and supporting their education.
Floral, red grape, milk chocolate, juicy.
MICROLOT: KENYA Konyu
Altitude: 1,600 – 1800m
Varietal: Ruiru, SL28 & SL34
Cupping Score: 88
Kenya has one of the most transparent and strict coffee buying systems in the world via the Nairobi auctions.
The majority of Kenyan supply comes from smallholder farmers with an average of 0.5 – 3 acres of coffee production. According to Kenyan law, farmers with under 5 acres must be organised into a cooperative. A co-op may service a number of washing stations, with each washing station (or coffee factory) then looking after the smallholders in their surrounding area.
The Wamuguma Coffee Factory is located in the Gatundu Disctrict, North-East of the nation’s capital, Nairobi. Wamuguma is operated by the Ritho co-operative society, which was founded in 1972. This cooperative also operates one other coffee factory, Handege, who have produced some of our favourite coffees in recent years. Coffee cherries are delivered here from surrounding smallholders to be pulped, fermented with fresh water from Rwabura River, and carefully sun-dried on African raised beds.