Of all the coffee producing countries and regions in Central America it would be hard to pick a favourite, but Huehuetenango in Guatemala would be a worthy contender. This coffee from Isabel Ramirez typifies what we like about working with fruited, winey coffees from Huehue.
Having taken over from her husband who has since emigrated to the US, Isabel Ramirez is now the custodian of Q’antxabina, a 1.5-hectare coffee farm named in the local indigineous language of Popti after a native shade tree, Guachipilin. It spans from 1,700 to 1,750 metres in the small region of Aldea Com, near to the town of Concepcion Huista in Guatemala’s Huehuetenango region.
Taking the reins doesn’t just mean undertaking the mammoth task of looking after the coffee plants at the farm, but also training up and passing on the knowhow and techniques of coffee husbandry to her own children and the other workers on the farm.
In previous years Isabel has been selling into the local commodity market, but Primavera have provided her with access to a specialty market due to her potential for great quality. In her own words, “From the beginning I have tried to make producing coffee profitable. This has been the first year when I have been producing and marketing my coffee for its quality. I feel very motivated to keep on improving my work.”
The Bourbon and Caturra coffee trees on Q’antxabina are grown under Gravilea and Guachipilin, which is great for the coffee but also for biodiversity on the farm. The coffee itself is fertilised with homemade lombri-compost.
Hiring pickers during the main bulk of the harvest, Isabel instructs them to perform multiple passes around the trees, ensuring a more uniform and ripe selection of fruit, which is just one of the many starting blocks needed to produce quality outturns. The beneficio is located a short horse ride from the trees, and so after a quick journey they are depulped and fermented under water, for more control, for a 48hr period.
Once the parchment is scrubbed clean it is laid out to dry on patios for around 6 days.
Primavera are one of our longest standing exporting partners, who have in recent years invested in a brand-new dry mill. Installing solar panels and being kitted out with Pinhalense grading and milling machines, they have also installed a digital colour sorter to further refine the quality of the lots they’re buying and exporting. As well as taking care of the quality analysis, dry milling and export logistics, Primavera have a boots-on-the-ground approach, sending their team of agronomists to visit their producers throughout the year with the intention of supporting them with both harvest yield quantity and quality.
Aldea Com, Concepción Huista, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Juicy & vibrant, look for flavours of black cherries & ripe plums. Delicate floral notes give way to comforting milk chocolate in the finish.