Guatemala Finca El Olvido
Orange Zest, Red Apple, Chamomile
Elevation: 1700 m.a.s.l.
We Taste: Orange Zest, Red Apple, Chamomile
Located in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Finca El Olvido sits on Sierra de Los Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America. Being one of the farms under the Family Bonds group, we can only expect the most consistent quality from them. It is located next to Finca Isnul, one of our perennial favourites under the care of the Perez family.
Finca El Olvido was originally owned and managed by Alfonso Anzueta, who has been a coffee producer all his life. The farm has become part of the family heritage, passed on to Alfonso's daughters, Leticia and Lorena Anzueta. The 20 hectare farm is now managed by Leticia's husband, William Perez, who also manages his own farm, Finca Los Pinitos.
Since taking over the management of the farm, William (more affectionately known as Don Willy) has focused extensively on the quality as well as the productivity of the coffee. Some of the projects include new irrigation and fertilisation systems, as to improve the quality of the coffee while keeping the production costs from going up. Don Willy hopes new processes such as these will improve efficiency at El Olvido, reducing time and cost of production for certain activities.
Huehuetenango is one of the highest coffee cultivating regions in Guatemala, but also one of the driest. This makes it optimal for growing and processing specialty coffee. El Olvido sits on Sierra de Los Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America, not far from the border with Mexico.
During harvest season, up to 150 workers are employed to handpick the coffee cherries, typically over 4-5 passes, to ensure only the ripest cherries are picked. Workers will rotate between neighbouring farms under the Family Bonds group, completing harvesting passes and picking when needed. Once picked, the cherries are sorted for quality via a mechanical siphon, separating the heavier cherries from the low density floaters, which are removed.
The coffee is then taken to the farm's wet mill. With an abundance of rivers and streams in the area, each farm typically process their own cherries. This works well considering the remoteness of many farms in the region of Huehuetenango, where it is more efficient to transport coffee after processing.
At the wet mill, the coffee cherry is first pulped using an eco-pulper, and then placed into tanks to undergo dry fermentation for 24 hours. The high altitude makes for a cooler climate, and in turn a slower fermentation. The coffee is then washed in a mechanical washer, followed by drying in a mechanical dryer for approximately 36 hours.
The result is a clean and consistent cup profile, which is what we expect of the quality that comes from the farms under the care of Family Bonds. We're tasting a mild acidity of citrus and red apples, lightly floral with a pleasant mouthfeel.