In its inception, Finca Retana was a sugarcane field. Macadamia nut trees were planted later, but eventually the property was almost exclusively planted with coffee. Retana also has a small production of navel oranges, Persian lemons, and (still) some macadamia nuts.
The farm has elevations ranging from 1500 to 1600m. The farm has almost 50 hectares planted with coffee trees, Yellow Bourbon and Caturra. This specific lot is 100% Caturra. The farm also has a natural forest containing a mix of cypress and pine native of the region. Including the forest, the farm is nearly 100 hectares.
I found this coffee through our relationship with San Miguel Coffees. San Miguel is one of the oldest coffee producers in Guatemala (located near the heritage town of San Miguel Dueñas) but they also work with a number of producers in the Antigua and Acatenango area to process and export these producers’ coffees. I have been working closely with San Miguel for two years and was able to cup through dozens of coffees this year. The Finca Retana coffees stood out for their crisp acidity, yet sweet and round balance. The San Miguel operation is currently overseen by Estuardo Falla, son of the original owner of the farms, Arturo Falla.
I have had the pleasure of working closely with Adrian Cabrera (nephew of Estuardo) and Sebastián Falla (son of Estuardo) who are trying to steer San Miguel into the next wave of coffee production. They are experimenting with many innovative processing methods and have also planted a number of interesting varieties on one of their farms that extends up to 2400m in elevation.
This family is very well respected in the area, and for good reason. They are innovators, community leaders and have a great reputation for being model employers. These characteristics of a producer create a solid foundation for growing and processing amazing coffee.
This green coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.