Minimum resting period
Filter 7 days | Espresso 14 days
For all brew methods
Jose Miguel grows coffee just outside the town of Meste in Huehuetenango, not far from the producer of our previous Guatemalan release, Andres Francisco.
Jose Miguel only started growing coffee relatively recently, after a lifetime in agriculture. Previously, he grew mainly potatoes, but has now been working to create high quality coffee for 8 years. He has had several challenges in this. Even in the context of the very remote region of Huehuetenango, access to Jose’s farm is difficult. He can only reach the farm on horseback, so gathering ripe cherries at harvest time is a very physical task. In order to streamline the process, Jose takes a small depulper up into the field, and removes the coffee from the cherry amongst the trees, before transporting it home for fermentation and washing. This means there is much less weight to carry back to the wet mill, and the pulp can be spread in the field as fertiliser immediately. Jose has also struggled with price fluctuations in coffee, and actually considered selling his farm at the height of the C-price crisis a few years ago. Fortunately, it was during this very harvest that he first met buyers from Primavera, our partner in the region. He was pleasantly surprised by the price he was offered, no one had paid him based on quality before. This harvest meant that Jose could keep the farm, and that we can still enjoy his coffee today. Jose’s field blend of quality varietals Caturra, Catuai and Bourbon lead to a deep sweetness, truly reminiscent of ripe fruit, with a bright berry-driven acidity.
Huehuetenango is a very remote area; Jose’s farm is only accessible by horseback.
ABOUT THE REGION
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.
VarietalCaturra, Catuai, Bourbon
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 flavour that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.