||Guatemala El Libano Nogal Washed Geisha 2015
El Libano is located in the traditional Guatemalan coffee region of Chimaltenango and is 21 hectares in size with 17.5 of them set aside for coffee production. Its owner is Herbert Estuardo Perez Liquidano, a third generation coffee producer on this farm.
Originally this farm was called La Pampa and was purchased by Mr Prudencio Perez Rosales in 1915. When he unfortunately passed away his daughters inherited the farm and divided it equally into three properties called La Pampa, San Juan and El Libano. Herbert purchased El Libano in 1992.
In the early days of El Libano (or La Pampa I guess I should say) coffee was commercialized in cherry form with other farms and/or buyers who took it to local wet mills for the post harvest process. When coffee production at the farm increased, between 1958 and 1960, a wet mill was built on a lower part of the farm and drying fields were built in the higher parts. At that time, coffee was taken by workers on mules from the pulping area to the drying fields, down a narrow road, which as I'm sure you can imagine made work rather difficult. Later, in 1970, this was extended and thanks to increasing coffee sales they were able to buy a vehicle to let the mules get some rest.
Since then as I'm sure you guessed there have been many changes to the farm...they improved the quality of what they could produce via modernisation of the wet mill, the pulping area and in the drying process. In the drying area, they have increased the drying patios and added a guardiola dryer, which has the capacity of processing 40 quintales (4 kilos) of coffee. Besides producing delicious coffee El Libano also plays a really important role for the local people, the worked of the farm have been provided with equipped houses to live on the farm with their families and they've also built not just 1 but 2 modern swimming pools for workers and their families!
The farm sits at 1,350 metres above sea level and has a mixture of Typica, Catuaí, Caturra and Geisha, this lot is the almighty Geisha! A controversial varietal when found in Central America and extremely rare although is starting to pop up in a few more places. It was made famous by Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda and the Best of Panama Auction which is held by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama.
It was a little known varietal and was originally introduced to Central America in Costa Rica (1953) not Panama as many think. Originally from the south western Ethiopian town of Gesha it's an heirloom (or should I say, wild) varietal that's low yielding, has thin and spindly branches open to strong winds, and as pest friendly as they come (although it is resistant to coffee rust!). The leaves are very long and thin too and grows very tall (if not a little gangly).
This is our second year of working with El Libano after working with them for the very first time last year, back then I said I had high hopes for the future and guess what, I was right ;)
In the cup is a very special place, just as special as the price implies...upfront there's a big floral waft alongside beautifully delicate jasmine, quickly following behind are glugs of apricot and peach with a soft note of black tea in the aftertaste. It's a super clean cup with a sweetness that reminds me of demerara sugar, a fantastic example of just how delicious a Geisha can be.
Nearest Village: La Pampa
Farm Name: El Libano
Area of Farm: Nogal
Farmer: Herbert Estuardo Pérez Liquidano
Altitude: 1,350 m.a.s.l.
Drying: Sun dried
Farm Size: 21 Hectares
Coffee growing area: 17.5 Hectares
Medium to medium dark, from before second to just into the first pops, nowhere else. This one needs to be treated very carefully.
"Quick Look" Guide
Granny Smith, green apple, sweet, clean, mango.
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