A Special Coffee from Guatemala
This delicious coffee was undergoing intense processing and slow drying to lock-in all the rich flavours of the beans. The cup profile is complex: Sweet notes of toffee are dominated by funky flavours of blueberry and winegum. In the cooling, notes of raisins and red grapes are supporting beautifully the jammy mouthfeel of this coffee.
La Nueva Montana is located in the precious Fraijanes region in Guatemala. Antonio Gonzales has planted his coffees under the shade of Avocado trees. Natural spring water supplies the family and workers. Environmental aspects are important to Antonio and so he focuses on producing top level naturals and honeys without using much of the water sources.
Antonio’s coffees are processed with utmost care and attention to detail at his mill, which is at 1200 meters – a bit lower than the farm where the plants grow, which means stronger sun and warmer days that are perfect for drying naturals. This year, with the weather a little cooler than usual, the mill’s location was key to ensuring good drying!
Only the ripest red cherries are selected for this lot, and once the cherries are picked they are placed in clean, sealed bags in the shade. Antonio knows that fermentation begins soon after the cherries are harvested, and years of experience have taught him that the best results come when this process is carefully controlled and as uniform as possible. He allows this coffee to stay in bags overnight for a short fermentation of no more than 14 hours, and then early the next morning the coffee is prepared for drying.
Antonio soaks the cherries in water to remove any dust or floaters (immature or malformed beans). Soaking the cherries also serves to lower the microbial count and homogenize the temperature of the cherries. They are then placed on raised beds to dry for about 20 days. When on raised beds, the cherries need to be turned frequently in order to ensure thorough and even drying. The cherries are turned four times a day while they are drying at regular intervals.
In the future Antonio is interested in developing his agronomic practices. He also wants to provide support to other producers in the region. “Together we take care of the environment avoiding any contaminations. To produce honeys and naturals is a very important way for us to improve our income and the wages for those who work for us. Production of these special coffees also allows us to know our produce better”, tells Antonio. “We really want to support our children to be able to study at a university”.