Guatemala San Antonio de Esquipulas 250g
Tasting Notes: Dark chocolate, orange
Altitude: 1,432 - 1,828 m.a.s.l.
Variety: Cattura, Bourbon
This beautiful coffee is the second lot we’ve bought from the San Antonio de Esquipulas farm through the small Guatemalan specialty importer, Coffee Bird. Known for their distinctive eco-conscious denim coffee sacks, Coffee Bird was founded by Marta Dalton in 2011. Dalton is from a coffee farming family in Guatemala (their farm has won Cup of Excellence twice), and she started her importing company with the goal of shortening the supply chain so that farmers could get more of the value of their coffee.
Buying from importers who facilitate a fairer redistribution of value along the supply chain is becoming more important as the coffee price crisis stretches into its third year, and many farmers are simply ripping up their coffee plants because they can’t make a living farming coffee.
San Antonio de Esquipulas is a 95 hectare farm planted with 49 hectares (about 121 acres) of coffee. The farmer, Jorge Ovalle Mendez, has been growing coffee there since 1965. According to Coffee Bird the biggest challenge this harvest was finding pickers. The farm is in a remote area, which makes accessibility and transportation difficult. In years past they’ve relied on local pickers, but many people have emigrated to the United States, leaving a labor shortage and requiring farms to become more efficient to maintain quality.
This is a washed coffee, which means that immediately after picking the cherries go to the farm’s wet mill where the fruit, or mucilage, is removed from the bean. The coffee gets pulped without water, then ferments in concrete tanks for about 12 hours. Afterwards, the coffee is washed with clean water and passes through to the patio where it begins drying. Drying is finished in a mechanical dryer—a guardiola—for about 36 to 42 hours, until the coffee reaches the correct moisture content. Coffee is stable for shipping at 8 to 12.5% moisture content.
At Steampunk we love this coffee for its juicy, sweet orange notes underpinned by dark chocolate flavours. I reminds us of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. A perfect seasonal coffee as the days get colder and we head towards the holidays.