4 Guatemalan Cup Of Excellence winning lots this season! Our buying group with Finca Vista Hermosa was the only US auction winners this year. Almost everything went overseas into the Asian markets. We feel honored to offer some of the best beans in the world! (or at least Guatemalan in this case).
El Tambor, a familiar name of our coffee list! A wonderful award winning lot from one of our favorite Guatemalan coffee families. Took 25th place this year with this Pacamara Washed. Check it out here.
88.7 points in the COE is crazy, some of the toughest grading on the block. Highest scoring lot was 91.75 and it went for over $138/Lb.
A wonderful chance to literally try, some of the best coffee in the world. 280 pounds to go around.
Pacamara beans are some of my favorite coffees, nothing like the overly sweet front-end versus bold tea or chocolate spice that is unique to the Pacamara strain. Especially in a crazy lot like this, super clean with just the right balance of fruitiness, not like a natural, refined and clean, non-ferment with proper dark tone balance.
A lovely cup! Bolder than the Gesha coffees with equally as strong floral/fruitiness upfront. The fruitiness is more citric/tropical with a lot of depth to it, not like a fruit bomb natural. Even at the lighter roasts, it has great balance with a more tea like chocolate undertone. A bit fuller bodied with a wonderful mouthfeel. Ending the roast right as first crack was subsiding, still a little sharp but turned out fantastic with a longer setup, the best roast point to accentuate the more fruity floral tones. Pushing a shade or two past first crack was a beautiful cup the next morning and brought out more rich and smooth darker undertones.
COE Judge Notes:
Aromatic, Floral, Orange, Citrus, Green apple, Lemon, Orange, Creamy, Peach, Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Grapefruit, Hibiscus rose, Honey, Tangerine, Red wine, White wine, Clean, Well balanced, Harmonious, Juicy, Complex, Plum, Licha, Almond, Strawberry, Black Tea, Green Tea, Berries, Raspberry, Mango, Cherry, Malt, Butterscotch
A light to medium roast coffee to see it shine, but tastes good dark as well. A longer setup is wise (3-5 days), a bit higher acidity with all sorts of flavor depth that can get covered up if drank too soon. Fairly even roasting, a couple late first cracks when roasting but a clean enough tasting cup where you do not have to worry about it. Error your roast lighter than darker. Beans will still look a bit splotchy at lighter roasts, this is normal.
El Tambor is located in the northern region of Palencia, near Guatemala City and is 100 ha. of the best coffee. When I started working on the land, it was an open mining area and a cattle ranch while only the other 20% was arabica coffee planted in the 1970s. I saw an opportunity and exchanged my house for the property.
The farms name means drum, that comes from a beating sound from an underground waterfall that was not heard after the 50’s, probably due to deforestation and mining soil movement later on. Our soil is naturally mixed with a loamy clay, the rainy season starts in May all through October; for a total of 1300 mm of rain with a relative humidity of 15%. Our average altitude is 6000 feet over sea level, this gives a cool weather from December to February that is the time coffee beans mature.
I love coffee, love to drink it and produce it, as 5th generation in the coffee producing business, I see a very bright future with the help of our team to continue the legacy through hardship and obstacles that will come.
Since El Tambor was one third an open mine area, I planted a large variety of coffee trees and shade like avocado trees to help the local ecosystem develop faster. Different kinds of trees to help the nitrogen in the soil, pine trees native from the area, Grevillea for temperature drop protection, all of these together give us good organic material for the soil as well.
We keep the wet mill simple, a small one that works with little fuel so our carbon foot print is minimum, our sun drying patios do the rest. As for rust treatment we use a grey-white clay that was a sub product of the mining, clay has high alkaline pH levels. Rust or any fungus needs an acid environment to grow, we have avoided such problems for years spraying the plants year-round a few times.
Since we have a high altitude, we don’t have rivers so we need to store water from the rainy season, we planted guadgua bambu in the surrounding of the deposit to maximize the intake.
Our varieties in the plantation is a combination of yellow and red caturra; red, pink and yellow bourbon; yellow, red and pink catuai; typica and pacamara. It has been a fun experience to work with so many different coffees, always exploring the best combinations for our blend,
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