||Guatemala El Limon Black Honey x Natural Pacamara 2016
||#SSSSS Limited Editions 2016
Number 2 of 12, February 2016, in the #SSSSS 2016 - Steve's Super Secret Stash Subscription. A limited availability series of roasted coffee beans.
This month it's: Guatemala El Limon Black Honey x Natural Pacamara 2016
This coffee is the kind of coffee that I had in my head when I was first thinking about #SSSSS, a tiny lot of coffee that's been processed in an experimental way, as in they're playing around with ideas and seeing what happens!
Purely as an experiment my good friend Raul Rodas and Guadeloupe Alberto Reyas ('Beto') the owner of El Limon decided they wanted to try doing something different with a coffee, tinkering with processing methods to see what happened, to see what they could get out of the coffee. When I visited they told me about it and OF COURSE I tasted the coffee and OF COURSE I bought the coffee! Totally had you guys in mind ; )
When the farms are processing a coffee, they use a Depulping machine that removes the cherry and most of the mucilage. There is a setting on this machine, which adjusts how close to the bean it cleans and therefore how much of the fruit is left behind. The farms Raul works with in Guatemala have, when honey processing, typically used a middle setting (Red Honey). However, Raul wanted to try a Black Honey.
In Costa Rica, where these are most often produced, this would mean leaving all the mucilage but just taking off the fruit skin, but when they have done it in Guatemala they have opened the Depulper very wide and some of the cherries have had the skin removed, whilst a few have been left intact. I guess this means it's kind of a hybrid Black Honey x Natural process. These were then on patios for 13 days which is about the same time that they use to dry their washed coffees.
Now I know you know that by being part of #SSSSS you're going to get special coffees but this really is SUPER SPECIAL! There's no more of this, it was an experiment and it's a delicious experiment, I'm SO EXCITED by the work that Raul and Beto are doing at El Limon, truly wonderful to be able to share such an interesting and different coffee with all you #SSSSSers!
A few years back on a visit to Guatemala, Raul was really keen for me to visit a farm that he'd been buying from for a couple of years, in Raul I trust so of course I said yes.
El Limon is 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 1,600 meters above sea level. It's owned by Guadalupe Alberto Reyes 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 and this experimentation is what you're going to get to taste!
The experimentation done on El Limon comes from Beto's motivation, who in the last couple of 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.
In the cup expect a bright, crisp green apple and citrus acidity up front that’s accompanied by a delicious fruity sweetness. On the finish and aftertaste there’s a whole heap of butterscotch, delicious experimental coffee!
• Country: Guatemala
• Region: Palencia
• Farm: San Patricio El Limon
• Farmer: Guadalupe Alberto Reyes
• Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
• Variety: Pacamara
• Processing System: Black Honey x Natural hybrid process
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