Taste Notes: Caramel, Grapefruit, Strawberry
Roast Level: Medium
Farmer: Evangelina Sagastume
Elevation: 2000 m.a.s.l.
This coffee launches with a sweetly resinous fragrance of chocolate and roasted almonds. These carry into flavor notes, joined by buttered toast and honey. Sweet, rounded acidity and a smooth, silky mouthfeel lend a rounded and juicy profile to this shade grown coffee.
Meet the farmer
In the heart of the highlands of Nim Jul (Big Jewel) lies Finca Playa Grande, founded in 1971. Here Rademes Sagastume and his mother Evangelina are committed to growing exceptional coffee. Among their workers are local employees that have been on the farm since its inception. Together they work to preserve the richly diverse biosphere, employing environmentally-friendly practices including use of organic material to enrich the soils and absence of pesticides.
Finca Playa Grande processes its coffee on site, having its own wet mill and drying patios. Warm and welcoming, the Sagastume family is a fine example of sweet and gracious Guatemalan hospitality and pursuit of excellence in coffee.
Where it's grown
In many places in the world, coffee grows in volcanic soil. Here in the Huehuetenango region in the western highlands of Guatemala, that is not the case. Located near Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America, currents of hot air sweep up from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, intercepting the colder air flowing down the mountain and protecting the region from frost. This phenomenon, along with natural shade from the highland jungles, provides the perfect growing environment, allowing coffee cultivation as high as 2,000 meters.
The Guatemalan coffee grading system “defines the Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) grade to include coffee beans grown at elevations higher than 4,500 feet [1350 meters] above sea level, while the Hard Bean (HB) grade includes coffee beans grown between 4,000 feet and 5,000 feet [1300-1500 meters] above sea level.”
The higher the elevation, the slower the growth and ripening, thus the denser the bean, rendering it of higher quality.