Farm: Finca El Olvido
Varietal: 100% Catuai
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 1700 meters above sea level
Owner: Leticia Anzueto & Lorena Anzueto
Town / City: Isnul, La Democracia
Overall: Green apple, citrus, green grapes, caramel, juicy, lively acidity
Finca El Ovido - Guatemala
Located in the world-renowned coffee-producing region of Huehuetenango, sits the 20-hectare farm, Finca El Olvido. Purchased and managed originally by Alfonso Anzueta, the farm is now under new management, continuing Alfonso's legacy of producing a tasty cup.
Huehuetenango is not only one of the highest regions under cultivation in Guatemala, but also one of the driest, making it an optimum environment for specialty coffee growing and processing. This is because the municipality of Huehuetenango sits on the Sierra de Los Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America. Here, found close to the border with Mexico in the La Democracia municipal, is where Finca El Olvido is located.
Alfonso Anzueta (pictured) has been a coffee producer his whole life. Having managed his farm, Finca El Olvido, exclusively growing coffee for around 25 years, it has now become a part of the family’s heritage. Alfonso recently passed over ownership of the property to Leticia and Lorena Anzueta, Alfonso’s daughters, with the farm now managed by Leticia’s husband, William Perez; who also manages his farm, Finca Los Pinitos.
Since taking over the farm, Don Willy has focused extensively on both the quality of the coffee and productivity of the farm: the biggest challenge being to try to reduce the cost of production without decreasing the quality of the final product. Currently, Don Willy is busy implementing new systems on the farm, improving irrigation, fertilisation as well as adding pesticide misters to decrease the spread of leaf rust. Don Willy hopes new processes such as these will improve efficiency at El Olvido, reducing time and cost of production for certain activities.
The varieties found on the farm are local varieties, Catuai and Pacamara; both of which are productive at high altitudes. Harvesting at El Olvido spans from February to May, with up to 150 workers employed for picking in the high season, compared to just 40 workers in the low season. The coffee cherry is selectively handpicked usually over 4 – 5 passes during the harvest, to ensure only the ripest cherries are picked. Workers will rotate between neighbouring farms, completing harvesting passes and picking when needed. Once picked, cherries are sorted for quality via a mechanical siphon, separating heavier quality cherries from the low-density fruit. Next, the coffee cherry is taken to the farm’s wet mill. This is common in the region due to an abundance of rivers and streams which allows for each farm to process their crop. Ideal, as due to the remoteness of many farms in the region of Huehuetenango, transporting processed coffee without the fruit or pulp attached is much more efficient.
At the wet mill, the coffee cherry is first pulped using El Olvido’s eco-pulper. Next, the coffee beans are placed into tanks for 24 hours to undergo a process of dry fermentation. The farm's altitude means a cooler climate, resulting in a slow fermentation which helps to develop the farm's cup profile. Once the fermentation process is complete, the coffee is then washed of the remaining mucilage in a mechanical washer before being placed in a mechanical dryer. Here, the coffee will remain for approximately 36 hours, until an optimum moisture level of >12% is reached.