GUATEMALA - San Carlos - Bourbon / Caturra / Catuai - Washed Process 250g
Another truly delightful coffee from Guatemala with great all-rounder appeal; Gloriously juicy with stone fruit notes and a hint of yuzu within a buttery and delicate mouthfeel.
Our time in Guatemala completely converted us to the love-in-a-mug coffees of this beautiful country, where rich fruit and round chocolate flavours can be found in a single cup. The heady mix of Caturra and Bourbon beans shown here is exemplary. Treat yourself!
LOCATION: SACATAPÉQUEZ DEPARTMENT, ANTIGUA REGION
ALTITUDE: 1500 - 1700m
San Carlos is a 16 hectare farm owned by the same producers of Villa Estela and San Ignacio, three historic farms located amongst the ruins, tiendas and restaurants of downtown La Antigua, Guatemala. Josué at Los Volcanes is currently running the farm and has brought out the full potential for specialty coffee production.
The main cultivar found on this farm are 100 to 135 year old Bourbon varietals, managed and pruned so that at a certain height (around the average height of a Guatemalan!) they bend and grow downwards, many with their tops now touching the ground. This method ensures harvesters are able to reach all of the cherries without stunting the growth of this precious variety. The trick to keeping the plants productive for so long is alternating between plants harvested every year which matches the natural cycle of a coffee plant which, without humans stressing the plants to produce every year, would fruit only every two years. On San Carlos the plants are allowed to rest each year between production and are stripped of every leaf and cherry at the end of the harvest season to help keep these ancient Bourbons healthy and productive through continuous regeneration.
Aside from Bourbon, San Carlos produces 40 year old Caturra and Catuaí varietals. The main shade trees used on San Carlos are Gravilea and Inga. Particular care is given to those shade trees which get pruned only once every 10 years, allowing the trees togrow higher than those found on traditional Antigua farms.The taller shade trees help protect the coffee plants from the frost characteristic of the cool Antigua nights, while allowing a breeze to pass through the plantation to keep a lower level of humidity.
An interesting fact about this farm is the duration of their harvest season that start in December, sometime even November and lasts all the way through to April. This is markedly longer than those of the neighbouring coffee farms which harvest from January to March. How they manage to achieve this long season remains a mystery as nobody around had been able to figure it out yet...