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Baltasar Mendez

Crisp apple notes are backed up by a rich toffee sweetness, followed by a finish with notes of black tea and brown butter.
  • Grown by Baltasar and the Mendez family in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala.
  • The local dialect name for the farm, Q’antxabina’, is taken from the name of the most prevalent shade tree in the area.
  • We visited Huehuetenango and Primavera, our partners in the region, in March 2020.
  • Notes: Apple, Toffee and Black Tea.
  • Whole Bean Coffee: 250g (8.8oz).
  • Minimum resting period: Filter 7 days | Espresso 14 days.

Expect notes of:



Black Tea

Baltasar Mendez

A long drive up into the mountains from Concepción Huista, one of the larger towns in the area, lies Baltasar Mendez’s farm. Here in the Huista micro-region, the landscape is dominated by very small scale farms and the Mendez family farm is no different, at only 0.9 hectares. Growing and selling coffee provides the main income for the family, like many others in this remote and agriculturally dependent region. They have named the farm Q’antxabina’, the local dialect word for the Guachipilin tree, which provides much of the shade on the farm. Just a few years ago, Baltasar settled back in Guatemala to start farming with his family, after years as a migrant worker in the US. He sought out the Primavera program in the Huista area, gaining vital knowledge in order to increase and stabilise his income from coffee. Like many rural farmers, Baltasar is motivated to earn more in order to give his children better opportunities than he had. The family do all of the farm work themselves, transporting baskets of cherry back to their small mill on horseback. Here, they are depulped directly and fermented in tanks until the mucilage is broken down. The conditions high in the tropical Guatemalan highlands, characterised by high humidity and cool temperatures, lead to a long slow fermentation of around 40 hours. This leads to a crisp and complex expression in Baltasar’s coffee, with notes of apple balanced by a rich sweetness of toffee and brown butter, before a black tea finish.


Huehuetenango is located in the north-western highlands of Guatemala, and borders with Mexico. It is home to the highest altitudes in all of Central America, due to the presence of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes mountain range, which peaks at 3837 masl. This creates lots of high altitude land to grow high-quality coffee, an important crop in an area where agriculture is the largest industry. A dry hot wind also blows in from the Tehuantepec plain in Mexico to the north, which protects crops from frost, allowing coffee to grow even higher up the slopes, often above 2000 masl. These high altitudes also lead to very beautiful scenery, something the area is known for, but also to a remoteness not found elsewhere in Guatemala. 9 different ancient Mayan dialects are still spoken here, and the region is home to some of the best preserved examples of Mayan architecture. The remoteness also makes sourcing coffee a challenge here, the journey to farms often takes days over unforgiving terrain, and would-be coffee buyers require knowledge of the local dialects, or an experienced guide. We have visited our Guatemalan partners at Primavera for the past three years, and have been stunned by the beauty of both the coffees they have been sourcing, and of this captivating region.

About La Cabra

A focus on raw material

If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.

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Producer Baltasar Mendez
Region Huehuetenango
Altitude 1850 masl
Varietal Bourbon, Caturra, Pache
Process Washed
Harvest January 2020


The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is then sliced open by either a metal or a sharp plastic blade. The two seeds (also known as beans) are pushed out of the cherry, which leaves the seed with mucilage as their outermost layer. It is essential in the washed process that all mucilage is removed from the seed which leaves only the flavor that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.

La Cabra

Brew Guides

You can brew our coffees any way you want it is just a matter of the right ratios.





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