GUATEMALA HUEHUETENANGO TXOL WITZ
We're excited to introduce the latest addition to our McLaughlin Reserve line – a wonderfully sweet washed coffee sourced from the Bella Vista group in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. This coffee offers a medium-light body complemented by a balanced acidity that blends seamlessly with its inherent sweetness.
Upon your first sip, you'll notice the refreshing acidity evoking the flavors of ripe kiwi. As you delve further into the cup, you'll discover delicate floral notes reminiscent of rose petal sugar, intertwining gracefully with subtle hints of tangerine zest. This citrusy sweetness lingers into the finish, where it melds gently with notes of a light-bodied maple syrup.
The delightful sweetness of this coffee leaves a lasting impression on your palate, making each sip a pleasurable experience that keeps you coming back for more!
Roast Color: Light
Cupping Notes: Kiwi, Tangerine Zest, Light Maple Syrup, Rose Petal Sugar
Story: We have featured coffee from Luis Pedro Zelaya the Bella Vista wet/dry mill before and we are very excited about this micro lot from remote smallholder farmers in the San Pedro Necta municipality, Huehuetenango. Though famous for Antigua coffees, Bella Vista works with targeted smallholder groups in other departments throughout Guatemala, often overseeing processing and lot building from cherry to export. In this case the Bella Vista team has been advising a select farmer group in San Pedro Necta for the past 8 years, transporting their finished parchment to Antigua, and then carefully building highly-traceable lots for buyers.
Huehuetenango is perhaps Guatemala’s best-known department for bright, articulate coffees. Coffees from here are often clear-flavored and buoyant on the palate. Huehuetenango is a ruggedly steep and lush area, consisting almost entirely of highland valleys that benefit from temperate climates at high elevations, narrow passages and sharp peaks, a landscape with seemingly endless potential for outstanding coffees. Most of Huehuetenango’s smallholders descend from pre-Columbian civilizations and identify as Mam, Q’anjob’al, Chuj, Jakaltek, Tektik, Awakatek, Chalchitek, Akatek, and K’iche’. The department’s entire population is estimated to be 70% indigenous, many of whom live with daily political and economic insecurity despite producing some of the country’s top coffees, be they certified or conventional.
2013 was the first year the Bella Vista team began working with farmers in San Pedro Necta. Because of the physical distance, and because participating farmers are processing their own coffee, Bella Vista relies on a resident coordinator, Byron Benanvente, to stay in constant communication with the growers and arrange the training programs which have been central to the success of the project, and which cover agricultural practices on the farm as well as processing and storage techniques to maximize results in the cup, and on the shelf. Byron and the Bella Vista team rely greatly on local community leaders to translate between Spanish and the local dialect, to keep farmers engaged and empowered to provide feedback.
Farms in this area are roughly 1 hectare in size only, and harvesting coffee is a core family affair. Families typically have small depulpers and concrete tanks for fermentation—though families also use wooden containers and plastic bins. Cherry is depulped the same day it is picked and fermented for 36-48 hours depending on the climate at the time. Once fermented, the parchment is manually washed and dried on plastic tarps placed over household patios, where it is constantly rotated. Once completely dried, samples are packed and sent to Bella Vista for evaluation.