||Guatemala El Limon Washed San Ramon 2016
||Varietal: San Ramon
I first discovered El Limon on my trip to Guatemala in early 2013. At the time we'd never bought coffee directly from Guatemala, but since then this has become one of our strongest and most amazing relationships.
My friend Raul (who you may remember as the World Barista Champion of 2012!) in Guatemala had been buying coffee from these guys for a couple of years, and he was very keen for me to go and 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 between 1,600 and 1,800 metres above sea level. It's owned by Guadalupe Alberto 'Beto' Reyes. Beto used to be the Mayor of Palencia, and he helped to build and develop the town.
Palencia is not part of the eight regions of coffee as defined by Anacafé, but you can see a lot of development in the zone, and this farm 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 are established players.
One of the main reasons I love El Limon is Beto's desire to experiment. The farm mostly produces Bourbon and Caturra, but Beto also play around with a few other varietals.
This farm is very much a family affair; his wife and son also work on the farm, along with Beto's siblings. In fact, his son is studying agronomy at the local college for the benefit of the farm.
The experimentation at El Limon comes from Beto's high motivation. He has really focused on the farm in the last three years. He wanted to take more care in every step they take on the farm – from picking and processing to shipping – and also take more care in the agronomy of the farm.
The dedication and care devoted to each step of production is reflected in the fact that they have built a new wet mill so that they can separate different lots and have control over the quality of the coffee. Previously the mill could process only one lot; now they are able to process many lots, and keep separate days' pickings and varietals in their own parcels. With this wet mill came another opportunity, which was for neighbours and people within the region of Palencia to bring their coffees to the mill so that they could get them processed. Again, this is another sign that this is a hot spot for Guatemalan coffee.
As time moves on, Beto doesn't want to stand still and is continuing to invest in the farm. Recently he showed me lots of new planting during my visit, as well as a lot of building work around the wet mill. He is also building a QC lab and new accommodation for people working on the farm. It was a real hive of activity!
Beto and his family have always been the perfect hosts when I have visited the farm. They are such welcoming people and take great pride in showing me around their farm. One of the kindest things they've done for me is to welcome me into their home when I am visiting, and they always prepare the most amazing meals! 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. Traditional Guatemalan meals are just the ticket, and I always look forwards to the food – but mainly I look forward to the company.
In the cup expect fresh, biting green apple acidity, along with a caramel and brown sugar sweetness. It finishes with melted smooth milk chocolate. It's a tasty and interesting cup.
Farm: El Limon
Farmer: Guadalupe Alberto 'Beto' Reyes
Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Varietal: San Ramon
Processing method: Washed
Just up to second crack.
"Quick Look" Guide
Green apple, caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate.
Note: Cupping Scores for Flavour & Balance are actually 6.5 each, not as above (software limitation, allows whole numbers only)
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