Guatemala Finca La Florida - Sierrra de las Minas Pacamara Washed Arabica (1kg)
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|Owner / Farm||Finca La Florida
|SCA Cup score and notes||87 Floral, Apricot, Chocolate, Bright Acidity and Elegant
Cultivating coffee is an art that requires skill, dedication and time… Experts have recognized Guatemalan coffee to be among the best around the world. La Bella has obtained the best quality to satisfy the requirements of the consumers. Its quality is influenced due to the strategic location and processing. It is located in a subtropical climate surrounded by forests in the heart of Las Minas Mountain Ridge. During four generations, the skills of planting, of growing, of harvesting, and of processing coffee have been handed down to each member of the family. This is why the location, the altitude, and the process influence in taste, in aroma, and in acidity perfection La Bella´s generations have been seeking throughout the years.
Finca La Florida has been in my family for 4 generations. It is located in the middle of a cloud forest in Sierra de las Minas, a mountain range in the Eastern part of Guatemala, between the rivers Polochic and Motagua.
We are blessed with many streams of clean water from the mountain and have a very special microclimate. The cool weather slows coffee maturation and helps to produce sweeter coffees. However, the constant drizzle and high humidity present a challenge for drying. That is why I have built polytunnels to dry all my coffees.
I have been competing on Guatemala's Cup of Excellence for nearly a decade now and strive to produce only high-quality coffees. I don't believe in crazy experimental coffees, though. I process all my coffees with the same care, following the same protocols. I think the best philosophy is to employ the same methods that produce award-winning lots to all coffees. I also always cup my coffees and send samples to 7 different Q Graders for evaluation.
For me, working on quality starts at the plantation. The post-harvest can maintain the quality, but not create it. As a chemical engineer, I am very careful with the products I use for nutrition and prevention of illnesses. Climate change creates disturbed coffee trees who need special attention on that front. I like to use nickel and potassium to improve the trees' respiration, for example. That way they regulate their temperature better and become healthier and more prepared against stressors.
I always start processing my coffees by rinsing the cherries with cold water. The beans are living organisms and are affected by the stress of picking. That bath cools them down. I then ferment the cherries overnight without water and depulp them the following morning.
There is a second fermentation stage that can last up to 2 days. The cold weather usually means everything takes longer, including changes in the beans' pH. I let the beans rest in 2 tanks of clean water to avoid the development of odours. Sometimes we change the water 3 times.
The first stage of drying happens inside the polytunnels to protect the coffees from humidity. This phase usually lasts 5 days and the coffee is constantly moved to avoid excessive fermentation. The coffees are then taken to mechanical dryers with low temperatures (30C - 40C). Drying here takes another 4 to 7 days because we let the coffee rest with no heat every night.
When the coffees reach 12 to 13% humidity we take the parchment to our storage room where it will finish the process and become stable. We are constantly monitoring the temperature and humidity of the bodega to avoid the development of defects.
Location: San Cristobal Acasaguastlán town, El Progreso department, Sierra de Las Minas mountain range, Guatemala
Soil: Loam clay
Awards: 4th place at the 2014's Cup of Excellence, national winner at the 2016's Cup of Excellence and 18th place at the 2017's Cup of Excellence