Farm: Finca Culpan (San Marcos)
Varietal: Caturra & Catuaí
Processing: Fully washed & sun dried on screens
Altitude: 1,200 to 1,500 metres above sea level
Owner: The Toledo family
Town / City: Colomba
Region: San Marcos, Quetzaltenango
Finca Culpan - Guatemala
The Toledo family has been growing coffee at Finca Culpan for five generations. The farm lies in the foothills of the Santiaguito volcano in western Guatemala, at 1,200 to 1,500 metres above sea level.
Culpan was founded over a century ago by Don Francisco Ocheita who, after many years building up his farm, passed it on to his grandson Roberto during the 1940s. Roberto Toledo spent the rest of his life seeking excellence in coffee - and was still in charge of the farm when Mercanta first started buying coffee from Finca Culpan in 2003. After his death in 2008, his daughters and grandson, Juan Diego, decided to take over Culpan - and to continue Roberto’s quest for quality and, in the family’s words, his ‘tradition of care’.
The farm limits its production to maintain quality and follows a careful operating cycle - planned out over a 20 year period! New planting is carried out every May - with the goal to always keep 20% of the farm’s land in a process of renewal. The coffee trees - Caturra, Catuaí, Bourbon varieties - are normally pruned twice a year (in January and March).
The main harvest season runs from December until February. The process begins with the selection of only the ripest deep-red cherries by the farm’s trained pickers. These are processed immediately in Culpan’s ecologically-friendly wet mill (or beneficio humedo). The beans are then fermented, washed and dried in the sun on screens until they reach their optimal humidity for further storage and processing. Before shipment the parchment is husked and a final sorting removes any other unwanted material.