Farm: Finca El Carmen
Varietal: 95% Bourbon and 5% Catuai
Processing: Fully washed & sun dried on concrete patios
Altitude: 1,300 metres above sea level
Owner: The Alfaro Family
Town / City: Ataco
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec, Ahuachapán
Overall: nectarine, apple, brown sugar, caramel, hint of florals
Finca San Agustin - Guatemala
Finca San Agustin is located on the eastern slopes of the Antigua Valley, ranging across the hills at 1,600 to 1,880 meters above sea level. Its rich, volcanic soil combined with the Antigua Valley’s humid and cool microclimate helps coffee grown here to achieve a unique and marvelous flavor profile. The plantation is covered with Grevillea shade trees, allowing the coffee trees just the right amount of light during the different stages of their development throughout the year and promoting slow, even cherry maturation, making for a sweeter cup.
San Agustin was originally part of Finca Cabrejo, a very old and renowned farm in the Antigua area. After Cabrejo was fragmented, Elsa Hegel and her husband Francisco Salazar purchased the farm and managed it until the crisis in coffee prices and weather events of the 1990s forced them to abandon it. In 2005, they were approached by Ricardo Zelaya, a well-known coffee producer in the Antigua area and owner of Finca Santa Clara, regarding renting the land under a 16 year contract. Since that time, Zelaya’s supervision and agricultural skills, plus the processing infrastructure of Santa Clara mill, have made San Agustin’s coffees, again, into some of the best that the region has to offer.
Between 2005 and 2006, Zelaya took out the beans and corn that previous owners had planted and replanted 25 hectares of the farm’s 27, including new plantations of 17 hectares of Caturra and Villa Sarchi and 5 of traditional Bourbon. The carefully handpicked cherries are processed at Finca Santa Clara mill, using a traditional fully washed process. Coffee is pulped and then fermented for 16 hours, followed by careful washing with clean water and finally dried on concrete patios or raised beds inside a greenhouse made exclusively to provide more uniform drying. After 15 to 20 days the coffee is moved to a warehouse to be rested and cupped by Q graders to assure its quality.
The stringent cultivation and processing methods that Ricardo Zelaya has implemented have lead San Agustin to be a two time winner of The Cup of Excellence, placing in 2013 and 2014.