Grown in a vibrant native forest, this rich and ripe natural lot’s process is rather unusual for Huehuetenango
Producer: Eddy Lopez
Altitude: 1900 masl
Harvest: March 2021
Optimal brew: Filter 4-30 days | Espresso 10-60 days.
RRP for 250g: 129 kr.
RRP for 1 kg: 480 kr.
This lot was grown by Eddy Lopez in Huehuetenango, a region we have become rather familiar with over the past few harvest seasons. However, Eddy’s farm Las Gardenias is located near the town of Malacatancito, further south than many of the other producers we have worked with and not so far from the regional capital, Huehuetenango City. The climate here is similar, but the access to resources and knowledge is somewhat easier. Eddy has therefore been able to establish his business very differently to the rural northern Huehuetenango farmers. He has a larger farm, and has been able to invest in environment measures and unique varietals in order to differentiate himself from other farmers in the region. The local environment is carefully preserved, with native shade trees, and minimal chemical inputs used. This means there is a wide array of local wildlife habitat on the farm, including for Guatemala’s national bird, the Quetzal. Eddy has even invested in certifications in order to cement his environmental work, recently having achieved Rainforest Alliance status on the farm. This lot is of the Marsellesa varietal, one we have not come across before in our sourcing work. It is a seldom used Sarchimor hybrid, a cross between high yielding and disease resistant Timor Robusta Hybrids and the high quality Villa Sarchi, often seen in Costa Rica. Marsellesa itself is known for having a higher acidity than other Sarchimor cultivars. Another way Eddy differentiates himself is through processing; this is the only natural lot we have purchased from Huehuetenango this year. The high acidity of the Marsellesa comes through in ripe currant notes, backed up by a deep and caramel-like sweetness enhanced by Eddy’s careful natural processing.
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.