This is a fruit-forward lot from Huehuetenango; one of Guatemala's more interesting regions for coffee production. Maria grows and processes her coffee herself, and is a part of the Q'om community of Popti Mayan speakers. In the cup we find a very sweet profile of ripe strawberry, cacao, and a light but balanced acidity.
Bourbon & Caturra
Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects. Depulped. Dry fermented for 24 hours. Washed. Soaked in clean water. Dried on patios for six hours per day for six days while being turned every 40 minutes.
Maria Magelena is a first generation coffee grower who lives with her children in Concepcio Huista. She and her husband originally grew vegetables and corn, however, the family was struggling with these crops and her husband was forced to migrate to find work. In 2010, Maria decided to start planting coffee and she, along with her children, have now taken over the growing and processing of the coffee they produce. This is our first year working with their coffee.
Bourbon is the most famous of the Bourbon-descended varieties. It is a tall variety characterized by relatively low production and excellent cup quality, but is susceptible to all the major coffee plant diseases. In the early 1700’s French missionaries carried Bourbon from Yemen to Bourbon Island (now Réunion), giving it the name it has today. The variety spread to other parts of the world beginning in the mid-1800’s as the missionaries moved to establish footholds in Africa and the Americas. Today, in Latin America, Bourbon has largely been replaced by varieties that descend from it—notably Caturra, Pacas, Catuai, and Mundo Novo—although Bourbon itself it is still cultivated in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru.
Caturra is a natural mutation of the Bourbon variety. It was discovered on a plantation in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil sometime between 1915 and 1918. Today, it is one of the most economically important coffees in Central America, to the extent that it is often used as a benchmark against which new cultivars are tested. In Colombia, Caturra was thought to represent nearly half of the country’s production before a government-sponsored program beginning in 2008 incentivized renovation of over three billion coffee trees with the leaf rust resistant Castillo variety (which has Caturra parentage).
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.