A juicy and berry forward expression of Huehuetenango, grown by Jose Miguel and his wife just outside the town of Meste
A fruity & balanced coffee
Producer: Jose Miguel
Altitude: 1700 masl
Varietal: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon
Harvest: February 2021
Optimal brew: Filter 4-30 days | Espresso 10-60 days.
RRP for 250g: 129 kr.
RRP for 1 kg: 480 kr.
Jose Miguel only started growing coffee relatively recently, after a lifetime in agriculture. Previously, he grew mainly potatoes, but has now been working to create high quality coffee for 8 years. He has had several challenges in this. Even in the context of the very remote region of Huehuetenango, access to Jose’s farm is difficult. He can only reach much of the farm on horseback, so gathering ripe cherries at harvest time is a very physical task. In order to streamline the process, Jose takes a small depulper up into the field, and removes the coffee from the cherry amongst the trees, before transporting it home for fermentation and washing. This means there is much less weight to carry back to the wet mill, and the pulp can be spread in the field as fertiliser immediately. Jose has also struggled with price fluctuations in coffee, and actually considered selling his farm at the height of the C-price crisis a few years ago. Fortunately, it was during this very harvest that he first met buyers from Primavera, our partner in the region. He was pleasantly surprised by the price he was offered, no one had paid him based on quality before. This harvest meant that Jose could keep the farm, and that we can still enjoy his coffee today. Jose’s field blend of quality varietals Caturra, Catuai and Bourbon lead to a deep sweetness, truly reminiscent of ripe fruit, with a bright berry-driven acidity.
Huehuetenango is located in the north-western highlands of Guatemala, and borders with Mexico. It is home to the highest altitudes in all of Central America, due to the presence of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes mountain range, which peaks at 3837 masl. This creates lots of high altitude land to grow high-quality coffee, an important crop in an area where agriculture is the largest industry. A dry hot wind also blows in from the Tehuantepec plain in Mexico to the north, which protects crops from frost, allowing coffee to grow even higher up the slopes, often above 2000 masl. These high altitudes also lead to very beautiful scenery, something the area is known for, but also to a remoteness not found elsewhere in Guatemala. 9 different ancient Mayan dialects are still spoken here, and the region is home to some of the best preserved examples of Mayan architecture. The remoteness also makes sourcing coffee a challenge here, the journey to farms often takes days over unforgiving terrain, and would-be coffee buyers require knowledge of the local dialects, or an experienced guide. We have visited our Guatemalan partners at Primavera for the past three years, and have been stunned by the beauty of both the coffees they have been sourcing, and of this captivating region.