Guatemala coffee of the month
Varietal – Red Bourbon
Preparation – Washed
Location – Santiago Atilan
Altitude – 1300-2000 masl
Importer - DR Wakefield
Thanks to the team at DR Wakefield for the following information:
Atitlan is both the name of a lake and a volcano, situated in the Sololá department of Guatemala. The lake itself is endorheic, meaning it does not drain in to the ocean or sea, and is overlooked by three volcanoes, Atitlan (with a peak of 3535 metres above sea level) and Tolimán (3158masl) to the south and San Pedro (3020masl) to the west, the slopes of which provide the vast majority of this coffee. Headquarters for the cooperative are in Santiago Atitlan, on the banks of the lake. Although the full range of the cooperative covers altitudes of 1350-2000masl, the majority is grown around 1700masl.
Between 2013 and 2014 various meetings and discussions amongst the local coffee growers mooted the idea of organizing in some way shape or form to the mutual benefit of each. With the support of Anacafe, the national association of coffee for Guatemala, the idea for the cooperative took form. In 2015, the 19 men and 5 women that made up the initial 24 producers registered the name and Cooperativa Agrícola Integral Atitlán “El Paraíso Tz’utujil” R.L. was born with the aim of working with small producers and their partners to better support them in processing and marketing their coffee. They now set their objective as To be a leading and innovative cooperative producer company at the international level, developing socio-productive activities in the management of coffee in the region, with highly qualified personnel.
Since the formation, they have worked hard to offset what they see as their main challenges; Coffee plantation deterioration caused by the impact of diseases and pests brought about by climate change; Lack of adequate technical support; lack of investment; low prices; lack of transparency in their supply stream. They have done this by grouping together producers as they know that smaller producers better value their plantations, Investing in rural education for small producers, investing in both agronomic and market research to develop those areas better, and marketing their coffee in fairer markets that recognise the efforts of their growers.
This is a great example of a clean, well rounded and very balanced coffee from Guatemala. We love the rich, silky chocolate body that combines very well with fruit notes that include blackberry, raspberry and fantastic sweetness.