The mountainous region of Huehuetenango in Guatemala is, hands down, one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited in our pursuit of fantastic coffees. This year a lot of producers struggled with a drought during the period when their coffee cherries were supposed to be ripening. It was unfortunately pretty typical to witness clusters of semi-ripe cherries on a branch, that had started developing but not progressed to a ripe red colour. This was purported to be due to changes in the region’s microclimate; a severe lack of rain during the 100 days or so that run up to the main harvest period stunted the development of cherries all over Huehuetenango. For many farmers the amount of specialty grade coffee they were able to produce this year is as much as 30% lower compared to last year’s harvest.
Despite the problem with cherry maturation we were able to visit several farmers whose crops were coming in very healthily, and tasted so many delicious coffees that hadn’t been adversely affected by the change in weather patterns. One such coffee was this lot that comes from Finca La Bendicion (which translates as ‘The Blessing’), overseen by Artemio Morales.
This lot is comprised of 70% Caturra and 30% Bourbon, both varieties with the potential for a really good cup profile and sweetness. Grown on limestone soils up to 1,650m amongst Chalum and Gravilea trees the coffee plants are provided with much needed shade from the tropical sun. Once harvested the pulped seeds are fermented for 38-42 hours in tanks before being washed and then soaked in clean water for a further 24 hours. After processing the coffee is dried for 10 days on patios.
Coming to the end of our lot from Augusto Armas, we’re excited to release a coffee comprised of different varieties from the same region having undergone the same style of processing. Artemio Morales’ coffee definitely offers a more layered, less concentrated profile, with florals and peach notes present, which mark it out as unique amongst coffees from Huehuetenango, the best of which typically display berry and wine like notes. Enjoy!
Juicy, floral and very sweet, expect to find flavours of peach and candied citrus. Soft red fruits and light caramels linger in the aftertaste.