Farm: Finca El Regalito
Varietal: Mainly Bourbon & Caturra
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 1,370 metres above sea level
Owner: Arturo Villatoro
Town / City: Cuilco, Hoja Blanca
Finca El Regalito - Guatemala
Arturo Villatoro’s family has produced coffee for generations. From a young age, Arturo watched and worked alongside his grandfather (Pedro), and then his father (Jacinto), on their farm in La Libertad Huehuetenango. This deep exposure to the full growing process provided Arturo with insight into the art of coffee production and fuelled the enthusiasm that still drives his desire to produce the ingredients of a fantastic cup today.
Having discovered his love for plantations and passion for growing great coffee at an early age, Arturo has since dedicated his life to producing quality beans. Arturo first acquired his own estate, El Regalito, with his wife and family 20 years ago. The farm lies in Aldea Hoja Blanca; 80km west of Huehuetenango, one of the key coffee-growing regions in Guatemala. Coffee is the only crop grown, with the other 120+ hectares remaining as forest. Arturo sees El Regalito as a blessing and believes that without God’s help he never would have been able to acquire the farm; hence the name El Regalito which translates as ‘The little gift’ in English.
El Regalito is self-sufficient with its own wet mill and mechanical dryer operated by Arturo’s family. Coffee cherries are carefully picked according to quality and then separated by density using a siphon. This allows Arturo to remove any inferior, less dense beans from his harvest. The coffee is then fermented for 36 hours, before being washed and prepared for drying. The mechanical dryer allows Arturo to increase his output, with the first harvest between January and February being dried by the sun on patios, and the late harvest dried using the mechanical dryer.
Arturo takes great care of his farm and carries out regular maintenance. The trees he planted 20 years ago when he first arrived still stand today, with new crops planted in five-year intervals as the farm’s output expands. Other than general upkeep, when asked what plans Arturo had for the future of El Regalito, he simply replied that he is happy and content with what he has, and envisages no major changes in the near term.