||Guatemala El Limon Natural Bourbon 2015
My friend in Guatemala has been buying from these guys for a couple of years now and was very keen for me to go meet them. Located around an hour's drive to the east of Guatemala city, in the small town of Palencia, this farm sits at an altitude of around 1600 metres above sea level. It's owned by Guadalupe Alberto Reyes ('Beto'), who used to be the Mayor of Palencia and has helped to build and develop the town.
Palencia is not part of the eight regions of coffee from Anacafe, but you can see a lot of development in that zone. San Patricio el Limon is a perfect example of that development. I like being in places that are working to be hot and up and coming, as well as those that have established players.
The farm produces mainly Caturra and Bourbon, and does some experimentation with Pacamara. Ooh, we do like experimentation!
In fact the experimentation comes from Beto's motivation, who in the last two years has really focused on the farm. He wanted to take more care in every step that they take, from picking to processing to shipping, and also in the agronomy of the farm. This is very much a family affair, with his wife and son also working on the farm, along with Beto's siblings. In fact, his son is actually studying agronomy at the local college for the benefit of the farm.
The dedication and care in each step is reflected in the fact that they have built a new wet mill so they can separate different lots and have control over the quality of all the coffee. Previously the mill could only process one lot; now they are able to process many lots and keep separate day's pickings and varietals in their parcels.
With this wet mill came another opportunity, which was for neighbours and people within the region of Palencia to bring their coffees and the process them. Again, another sign that this is a hot spot for Guatemalan coffee.
When I visited the farm Beto was the perfect host, welcoming me around the farm and into his home, and he prepared the most amazing meal. When you travel as much as I do, mid-trip you find yourself longing for something big, home-cooked, and not from a restaurant or roadside pop-up cafe. This traditional Guatemalan meal was just the ticket and I am sure it saved my life.
But more importantly you can tell that this is a farm on the up; a farm on top of their game. Every question was dispatched with exactly the right answer, every suggestion was listened to and taken on board, and in the coming years I think this will be one of the most exciting relationships we have.
In the cup there's plenty of dark chocolate alongside mashed banana, think of a banana sandwich sprinkled with dark chocolate. On the finish it's super clean and there's also a lovely soft waft of sherry.
Farm: San Patricio El Limon
Farmer: Guadalupe Alberto Reyes
Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Processing System: Natural
This one is great at medium roast to medium dark. Anywhere after first crack and around 20 or so seconds into second.
"Quick Look" Guide
Dark chocolate, mashed banana, sherry, super clean.
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