This week we’re sharing our subscription coffee from Guatemala for the year, with this crop from Amilcar Perez’s farm Finca La Benedición.
It’s a 1.2 hectare farm in Canalaj, within the Huehuetenango region that might be familiar. where he has just about 500 coffee trees planted.
After the ripe coffee is picked, it’s depulped that same day, then fermented for 18–28 hours. Once fermented, it’s washed two or three times and laid out to dry on patios or nylon for 3–4 days.
Guatemala’s production of coffee first grew in the 1860s on the back of a declining indigo trade, which had previously existed as its main export. Until 2011 Guatemala was in the top 5 highest producing coffees nations in the world, before being overtaken by Honduras.
The region of Huehuetenango is a non-volcanic area characterised by high altitude and a predictable climate. It’s often considered to produce the highest quality coffee in the country – characterised as the most fruit-forward and can be the most complex of what Guatemala has to offer.
The geography that helps produce the region’s flavours also creates challenges: most farmers are required to process their own coffee, rather than attempting the difficult journey to transport the cherry to a mill for processing.