A journey to discovering exemplary coffee
Featuring: El Guatalón and Annexes, Guatemala
The road drags you in a landscape of unsuspected beauty. The dirt disguises every mile like daring your imagination to find what you think is an ideal terrain for growing such a noble bean. The narrower the path, the wider view posing with luxuriant nature and magnificent mountain hills until your eyes discover El Guatalón and Annexes, integrated by four parcels: La Loma, El Cuje, El Pajuil and El Guatalón. The first one belongs to Jalapa department while the other three are located in Santa Rosa department, in the municipality of Santa Rosa de Lima.
History of El Guatalón and Annexes, Guatemala
The paternal grandfather, Daniel Juarez established the first commercial coffee plantation in this region in the early of the 20th century, (year 1,900) in the village of Belen, Santa Rosa de Lima, using the genetic materials Typica and Mundo Novo. In the next generation only our dad, Juan Alberto Juarez Reyes took the decision to grow coffee commercially, establishing its first planting in El Cuje parcel by the mid 70s, in an area of 4 hectares. On this location he planted the varieties Pache San Ramon and Catuai.
Who grows the coffee?
Guillermo Juarez, the oldest of seven siblings is the person in charge of the farms management in the most sensible items. This could be the first time that you heard from us, but we have been in this game for a long time, since until 2012-2013 crop we decided to explore the world of specialty coffees through the identification of distinctive cup profile micro-lots. A task we recognize is of titanic proportions since all four parcels are located in the slopes of the mountain. But it is a challenge we are willing to embrace.
A cooperative work
We are determinate to achieve higher prices for our efforts. In May 2012, our coffee was very close to qualify for the Cup of Excellence auction. This coffee lot ended up in the 24th place, just one spot behind. We have always been selected during the national and international competition. We knew there was still one step further, just an extra one. Finally our dreams have become true, on May 16th, 2014 we receive the reward, and our farm was selected as one of the best Guatemalan coffees. This is considered for us not a reward but a challenge from now to the future; to continue making efforts to enhance the coffee quality produce in our farms, after this event we have been nominated as Guatemala cup of excellence winners in 2016 and now in 2018.
Since the last three crops all of our coffee production has been purchased by customers around the world in micro and medium size lots, our customer are in South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Grecia, Denmark, Islandia, Reino Unido and United States.
“We do have a wet mill which capacity is 150,000 pounds of parchment coffee. We want to go further now. We know we can deliver higher quality”. After all, we know living and succeeding is just about that: always make an extra effort.
It will be now up to us, the buyer, to say if the effort was worthwhile making.
Sustainability our main challenge
Farming is for us “University´s life for everyday “, walking, observing, planning, etc. Coffee plant beautiful culture that might need our entire life and not ended to know.
Sustainability is the integration of many factors that participate in our operations, in which we can’t separate environment, society, good agricultural practices, passion and the final taste for somebody, somewhere in a pleasant site reserve for coffee lovers that recognize our efforts resumed just in that moment.
Coffee production in El Guatalón and annexes is done in a friendly manner with the nature and society.
Forestry, water births and water corps are well protected in our farms, buffer zones are traced in all creeks, not only to protect water courses, but as connected path for wild life, endangered wild species have been identified in our reserves and is our responsibility to preserve their environment.
Good Agronomic Practices are apply in our coffee growing operations, soil conservation is our main challenge, contour lines are traced before planting, one year after planting terraces are built to provide better growing conditions to our coffee bushes, other forestry species like gravilea, cuje or cushin are planted in parcels that needs improvements in shade.
We have identified as the key of management to prevent pest and diseases attack to our fields the integration of good agronomical practices, but mainly the right fertilization program.
Our fertilization program includes, soil sampling, foliage sampling to make a correlation, selection of the best source per element, amount of element per hectare, time of application, site of application, liming if needed.
Harvesting and Processing
The last crops have been for us the most critical to adjust our knowledge on harvesting time and best practices in the wet mill facilities.
We are aware that after our cherries are picked from the bushes noting can be added about quality but we can lose it in the next steps, for that reason we are closer in all stations from harvesting till the drying in the patio and warehousing properly to assure our customers that our product is clean from inside.
|Farmer/Rep.||Juarez Solares, Guillermo Antonio|
|Altitude||4600 – 6200|
|Region||Santa Rosa de Lima|
|Aroma/Flavor||Brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, grapefruit, orange, peach, melon, green apple|
|Acidity||Bright, citric, grapes, malic|
|Other||Juicy, well balanced, sweet, honey, transparent, clean|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||1,020.20|