San Sebastian is a large farm with over 500 hectares of coffee and nearly 2000 hectares of forest, macadamia nuts, avocado and dairy cattle. I first came across coffee from San Sebastian in 2018, when I met Adrian Cabrera. Adrian’s father, Edgar, is Estuardo’s partner in the exporting business called “San Miguel Coffee”. Even though San Miguel is a large exporter based in the Antigua region, I have been impressed that they are also able to operate and behave like a smaller, boutique exporter of specialty coffee.
Adrian, together with his cousin (Estuardo’s son) Sebastian, have been at the forefront of San Miguel’s push for better quality coffee. They have been pushing the envelope on varietal selection for new plantings, processing methods, cupping protocols, lot separation and many other quality-centred initiatives. I’ve visited both of them several times, and besides having a great time with them, I have been able to connect with them on our vision for quality.
I was thrilled to see this natural processed Pacamara from them this past harvest. They have been experimenting and refining their natural process for a few years now, but this is the first year that they took a large leap forward in terms of quality. This specific lot was harvested in February and benefited from dry conditions. The cherries were rinsed and floated immediately after harvest and then the coffee was dried on raised beds for 25 days. During this drying period, the team at San Sebastian manually picked the cherries, selecting only the ripe and undamaged cherries and discarding the rest. The result is a super clean, yet fruity and sweet natural that is also true to the natural characteristics of the San Sebastian Pacamara.