Q’Anil CO2 Decaf
All 288 members live within 1.5 hours of the coop’s wet mill in Jacaltenango town, as well as the Kanil or ‘Q’anil’ ceremonial site, for which this lot is named after. Translating loosely to mean ‘under a stone’, Q’Anil is a famed hill in the region, seen as the protector of the municipality. Legend has it, that when there is a storm or heavy rain, strong thunder can be heard as the hill talks to the storm in an attempt to drive it away.
For processing, the coffee cherry is firstly selectively handpicked during the harvest months spanning from December to April. Once picked, cherries are then sorted according to maturity, removing by hand any cherries that are over or under-ripe, as well as any foreign bodies such as sticks and stones. Each afternoon, the ten sorted coffee is collected and transported to the central wet mill in Jacaltenango. Once there, the cherries are pulped, before being placed into vats to begin the fermentation process; usually for an average of 36 hours depending on the ambient temperature. Once complete, the coffee is then washed and laid out to dry for 10-12 days on patios, until optimum humidity is reached. Once dried, coffee is stored in its parchment in the warehouse. When the coffee is seen to be sufficiently rested, the bags are transported to Guatemala City to be drying milled, ready for export.
Coffee has helped fuel Guatemala’s economy for over a hundred years. Today, an estimated 125,000 coffee producers drive Guatemala’s coffee industry and coffee remains one of Guatemala’s principal export products, accounting for 40% of all agricultural export revenue.
It is most likely that Jesuit missionaries introduced coffee to Guatemala, and there are accounts of coffee being grown in the country as early as mid-18th century. Nonetheless, as in neighbouring El Salvador, coffee only became an important export crop for the country at the advent of synthetic dyes and industrialisation of textiles – in the mid-19th century. Throughout the latter half of the 1800s, various government programs sought to promote coffee as a means to stimulate the economy, including a massive land privatisation program initiated by President Justo Rufino Barrias in 1871, which resulted in the creation of large coffee estates, many of which still produce some of Guatemala’s best coffees today.