Guatemala La Bendicion & Ethiopia Nano Challa
As we countdown to Christmas in another 3 weeks, we have rolled out 2 new coffees to welcome the yuletide season.
Finca La Bendicion means “the blessing” in Spanish. The farm is in the the village of El Paraiso, located in the La Libertad municipal within the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. It has deep and fertile soil of calcareous origin under chalum shade trees. In the 1970s, Edelfo Hidalgo Don Roger had the opportunity to receive education and he became a school teacher. With much effort and dedication he succeeded and returned to teaching in his community, passing on knowledge to his students. But he was sure he wanted something more. He started saving and some time later, Don Roger acquired his first parcel of coffee, making him a coffee grower. Finca La Bendicion is split into several lots; El Beso de La Piedra, Los Lotes , La Bendicion, El Amatio , San Gregorio , El Cipres and El Zapote. After a few years he and his family settled down in El Paraiso. Don Roger and his wife, Dona Thelma Herrera de Hidalgo, have three children. While his children have grown up to become professionals in different branches, they preserve the love for the land of coffee. Currently the farm produces an average of 500 quintals (1 quintal = 100lbs) of high quality parchment with Caturra, Bourbon and Catuai varietals.
We first cupped this coffee at the cupping lab of Jorge Villatoro of Finca Miravalle earlier this year. His company does dry-milling for coffees from other farms in the same region, so he helps to faciliate the export of green coffee from other small farms. What made this coffee stand out was its sweetness and clean cup character.
In this coffee, we find lots of comfort. Red apple and nougaty sweetness is balanced with a hazelnut finish. Clean and perfect balance for those looking for an everyday cup.
Farm: La Bendicion
Producer: Don Roger Edelfo Hidalgo Molina
Region: El Paraiso, La Libertad, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Varietal: Caturra and Bourbon
Altitude: 1800m asl
Processing: Fully washed and dried on patios in the sun
Nano Challa is a coffee which we have tried for the past 2 years. Having tasted this coffee from a few different overseas roasters, Nano Challa has definitely left an impression that made us very keen to get hold of the green coffee. We did not manage to secure any from Nordic Approach last year, as they were sold out even before we had a chance to cup any samples. This year, we learnt our lesson and expressed our interest early on and our dear friends at Nordic Approach reserved some of this precious lot for us.
This coffee is from a Cooperative in the Agaro region in Western Ethiopia. Though being a relatively young Cooperative established in 2010, they have managed to establish a strong management who have succeeded in producing a high level of quality from year one. This area has over the last couple of years began to earn a reputation for a distinctive profile that is not seen elsewhere. With intense flavour and complexity.
This coffee is a result of a sustainable Technoserve project in the west based on transparency and increased quality production. We wrote about the good work that Technoserve does before and for those new to reading our posts, it’s a NGO supporting the farmers in setting up washing stations and new cooperative structures. Technoserve’s coffee initiative is a project measuring their success in the value and quality of the coffees produced and the increase in the farmers’ coffee income.
There are about 408 smallholder members in this Cooperative. On average, each farmer has a farm size of less than 3 hectares. Most coffees are organic by default. A farmer can typically have less than 1500 trees per hectare, and one tree typically produces cherries equal to less than 100 - 200 grams of green coffee.
When we started roasting this coffee, we started to understand why this coffee is rather sought after by other roasters. After a couple of test roasts, we were happy to see note a heightened intensity of flavours from this coffee. Sweet citrus and berries notes are prelude to distinct lavender flavours. The sweetness lingers on with the floral finish that makes this coffee so enjoyable from start to end.
Cooperative: Nano Challa
Producers: About 400 smallholders
Region: Agaro, Ethiopia
Varietal: Improved native varietal called 1274 and Ethiopian Heirloom
Altitude: 2000m asl
Processing: Cherries are hand-sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. A Penagos Eco Pulper removes the skin, pulp and mucilage. The coffee is then soaked in clean water in concrete tanks for about 8 hours. Skin-dried and sorted under shade for about 6 hours after soaking. Sun dried about 10 days on African drying beds on hessian cloths. Coffees are covered in plastic or shade nets during midday and at night.
These 2 new coffee are available now on our retail rack and webshop, just in time for Christmas!