Guatemala | Santa Isabel Dulce

Regular price $27.00
Unit price

Region: Cobán
Altitude: 1,400 - 1,600 metres above sea level
Varietal: Caturra
Process: Washed
Producer: Valdés Family
Awards: Cup of Excellence 2011, 2012
Sourcing Partner: Melbourne Coffee Merchants

This coffee is a special selection from Santa Isabel farm. From each day's pickings, the very sweetest, most floral and complex lots were selected and put aside for this micro-lot.

This coffee shines with its candy-like sweetness and juicy, ripe fruit flavours, featuring notes of blackcurrant, plum and coconut nectar. An easygoing and drinkable cup that's also really fun to brew with using different methods. 

Recommended for all brew methods.

Origin Story
Santa Isabel is a fifth-generation family farm, comprising 300 hectares in the beautiful and rugged region of Alta Verapaz: a unique growing region in Guatemala that has remarkable mountains, a cool climate and plenty of rainfall. Founded in 1875, the farm is today owned by Luis Valdés Sr and managed by his son, “Wicho”.

The Valdés family care deeply about preserving their natural environment, and have dedicated nearly one-third of their farm (88 hectares) to a natural forest reserve — providing a habitat for local animal and birdlife. The remaining 200 hectares of the farm at Santa Isabel is dedicated to coffee production, comprising Caturra (80%) and Catuaí (20%) variety trees.

Santa Isabel sits at 1,400–1,600m above sea level. The farm receives a lot of rainfall —around 3,500mm, which falls regularly for 9–10 months of the year. This constant rain (much of it a gentle drizzle) means that the flowering duration of the coffee plant is very staggered, with 8-9 flowerings a year, usually between April and June. This results in a long harvest period, as the coffee cherries ripen at very different rates. To ensure that only the very ripest cherries are selected, Wicho instructs at least 12 passes for picking (with breaks of up to 14 days between passes).

Within hours of being picked, the red cherries are transported by foot or tractor to Santa Isabel’s wet mill (located on the farm) where they are sorted through a mechanical siphon and graded by weight. They are pulped immediately and then fermented for up to 14 hours, and then passed through a “washer” to remove any remaining fruit. The coffee is then passed through channels and graded by weight, and then soaked in clean water for 24 hours.

The drying phase first takes place in the sun for 7–10 days until it reaches 30% humidity and the coffee is then transferred to a greenhouse for a further 15–30 days to dry on raised beds.