This lot is a blend from a number of small producers that live on the slopes of the Volcan de Agua, one of three volcanoes that surround Antigua, Guatemala. This volcano provides excellent coffee growing conditions, and is home to hundreds of small coffee producers. This lot is a blend of a number of these small producers, some of whom produce as little as one bag of green coffee per year! Each of these lots was carefully processed by Luis Pedro Zelaya, resulting in one of the most exciting espressos that we have from Guatemala this year.
Each of the producers involved in this blend were selected for the quality of coffee that they produce. A program to support these producers technically and financially was implemented six years ago to improve farming practices and access to fertilizer. Additionally, each lot of coffee cherry that is delivered is inspected and scored according to the percentage of ripe cherries. This provides a financial incentive to improve the picking of cherry.
Once the cherry has been received, Luis Pedro’s team ferments, washes, and dries the coffee at the Bella Vista mill. While this is just the fourth year that we have bought this particular coffee, this is the seventh year that we have worked with Luis Pedro and his mill. We love working with Luis Pedro because he is a real gentleman and he is also committed to improving the quality of all the coffees that he processes. He is always willing to try new things that might improve the quality, efficiency or consistency of the coffee that he processes.
In 2015, we worked with Luis Pedro to make sure all the lots of coffee were dried to the correct end-point and stored in GrainPro bags to prevent further changes to present moisture. Because of this initiative, the water activity and moisture of all the coffees from Volcan de Agua fell nicely within the safe range. The coffees tasted amazing in Guatemala and arrived tasting just as delicious in Calgary.
These producers are often too small to have direct relationships with roasters, but by working through Luis Pedro it is possible to have a positive impact. We are excited to continue buying from them, and will be working closely with Luis Pedro to focus on some of the quality-minded producers in this region. Meanwhile, we will enjoy this delicious coffee. This green coffee was immediately frozen upon arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.