Orange chocolate, light florals and marmalade jam.
A delicious example of the elegance of washed Guatemalan coffee from a 3rd generation coffee family.
In the remote Cobán region, the Valdez family is capturing the coffee quality resulting from slow cherry maturation due to year-round rainfall. Purchased in 1987, Finca San Lorenzo is the second farm of the Valdez family. Their 31hectares are perched between 1300 and 1500masl, planted out with quality Bourbon and Caturra varieties. Over the years, the Valdez family have been reforesting their hills, planting Acacia and native shade trees amongst their coffee. For this lot, ripe cherries of each variety were picked and processed separately, allowing for optimum treatment of both. The resulting washed processed coffee showcases classic flavours of orange choc, light florals and jammy marmalade. Enjoy!
We have long been a fan of their Santa Isabel farm, first visiting Wicho some 3 or 4 years ago.It was obvious that their geography presented a number of challenges, however after years of experience the Valdez family seemed to not only cope but sort of embrace in a way that directly contributed to their coffee quality. Traditionally, the region of Coban does not have a high reputation for coffee production; it literally is a rain forest and therefore wet and humid most of the year. Not only does this create abnormal flowering (8 to 9 per year) and harvest patterns, but it also creates challenges processing the coffee and especially drying.
What I found quite unique was the way they utilized water to stall the processing and system for boxing the coffee overnight.Regarding water, if the coffee was at the stage where it pulped and needing to hit the patio to dry but it was raining, they often would submerge it in clean water to, as almost a holding pattern, to protect the coffee from a) uncontrollable moisture, and b) sitting in a pile over-fermenting. The second thing that stills stands out, are these boxes on wheels that Wicho created to hold the coffee overnight. Boxes probably give you the wrong picture so perhaps its better stated like a two-story kids doll house. What’s interesting about this is that it brings the coffee back together after a day separated on the patio, homogenising much of moisture percentage while also protecting the whole lot from rain.