GUATEMALA, LA ESPERANZA

Nectarine, pineapple, roasted Hazelnut and caramel with smooth blood orange acidity, sweet and smooth mouthfeel.

La Esperanza is fairly small, flat, and well organised farm in Antigua that produces around 1 container of coffee per year. The farm is connected to Beneficio La Esperanza wet mill, both are owned by Los Volcanes Coffee, also known as LVC and they became our latest partner in Guatemala. Over the last 4 years this small farm have been used to conduct experiments with shade, varieties, and most importantly with fertilisers. When Josué and team first took over management of the farm they made the decision to divide the Villa Sarchi section into 4 different quadrants that would receive 4 different fertilization protocols: 1) Commercial, 2) Ana Cafe’s recommended protocol, 3) Combination of commercial and organic, 4) Fully organic fertilisers made from organic compost using production by-products from the farm. At that time the farm was in massive disrepair and Josué and the team theorised that the commercial style of agriculture that had been implemented until that moment was depleting the soil of the micro-organisms needed for the coffee plants to strive.

Over the next 2 years LVC able to prove that theory as the section designated for organic fertilisers, rich in naturally developed micro-organisms needed to assist in feeding the plant, thrived and the other 3 sections continued to struggle. So much so, that not only was the organic quadrant producing higher quality but also saw increases in yields of 5 times more than the other quadrants. Using the knowledge learned from these experiments the LVC team focused on developing a large composting facility at the farm and are designing systems to create large amounts of organic fertilisers to than be distributed to the smallholder farmer that deliver their cherries to the mill during the harvest.

Additionally, La Esperanza has become set up to be a teaching farm where the partner producers come to participate in workshops and training on how to improve their own farms and learn organic growing techniques. This coffee is processed directly at the mill, Beneficio la Esperanza, using traditional washing techniques; the coffees were taken out to patio-drying for 18 days drying with a lot of care being taken with the movement and stacking of the coffee. To quote Josué: “One final thing to note, this coffee is by far the coffee we are most proud of at LVC. It has been an everyday passion and joy to watch the changes happen at the farm and the knowledge we have gained has transformed the way we view agronomy and our supply chain.”

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