When Don Felipe Martinez began cultivating coffee in the remote highlands of Huehuetenango, he could not imagine his legacy. It was 1957, a time when roads in this part of San Pedro Necta were few and far between. Most folks didn’t have trucks much less electricity. After picking his cherry, Felipe would rent time on a neighboring wet mill and sleep on the drying patio to guard his harvest. Then, he’d borrow a pack mule and walk the many miles to the main road to wait for a buyer to come by and pick up his parchment.
In the sixty three years since Don Felipe founded Finca Vista Hermosa, a lot has changed. Electricity and dirt roads have come to the steep mountainsides of Huehuetenango. Most smallholder farmers have their own wet mills. But access to the specialty market is still limited, and most farmers still operate at a loss. The commodities market does not work to the benefit of most Guatemalan producers. About twenty years ago, Felipe’s grandson Edwin Martinez had a vision to directly connect smallholder farmers in Guatemala with quality-driven roasters around the world for sustainable relationships. With many failures and a bit of success, Edwin began importing the family’s coffee to the US, and began working with neighboring producers the family knew well. Over the years, this vision has shaped into Onyx Coffee. We represent over forty producing families in Guatemala and partner with roasters all over the world, many whom have transformed the lives of farming families like ours.
On a high slope surrounded by the lush valleys and ridges, Finca Vista Hermosa is indeed the vantage point of a Beautiful View. Our family farm is a prime example of Huehuetenango fertility, and there’s a good reason it’s base camp to so many roaster visits over the years. Heavily invested in ecologically sound and healthy farming practices, the farm represents the rich legacy of three generations pouring their hearts into this region.
Lots range from 1400 to over 1900 MASL, and produce purely SHB coffees. The majority of coffee plants grown are Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuaí varieties. Vista Hermosa is separated into more than eight micro-lots by altitude and variety, from our first lot, Michicoy, to the highest lots surrounding our wet mill.
In addition to a deliberate focus on our own quality and development, the family is keen to see positive change in the community and region. Each month, we host on-site agronomist visits for neighboring farmers to learn — some travel for hours with a mind to improve their own farms. After harvest each year, Don Edwin Martinez leads a small group of doctors, dentists, and veterinarians into the remote highlands of Huehuetenango, to support indigenous communities and their livelihoods
Varieties: Catuai, Caturra, Bourbon
Smooth, rich, delicate and clean, a wonderful example of a top notch Guatemalan. The aroma has great sweet notes. Hazel and hickory nuts, caramel, and milk chocolate. The body is light/medium and has a very silky texture on the malty side. The aroma comes through in the taste to create a wonderful balance of tones. Medium to low acidity, reduces the darker you roast. The finish is very smooth and clean with a lingering sweetness.
From light to dark a very tasty cup of coffee. Lighter roast will have more winy acidity but add some soft fruit to the cup, before 2nd crack roasts will be smooth and delicate, dark roasts will be strong and semi-sweet with added smoky tones.
FVH is a model farm. Edwin Jr. is renowned for his consultant work on the ground in Huehuetenango. If a new farm works with him for a couple of years, its bound to be seen on the COE winning list. Okay maybe I am talking him up a bit too much but over the 15+ years we have been working with him, we have seen it spawn so many award winning coffees and operations including another one of our favorites, Finca De Dios. All of this success is modeled after his own farm, FVH.
You can read about Finca Vista Hermosa and view more pictures here: Our Trip to Guatemala
Edwin’s farm has won the cup of excellence in previous years and also has been used by Anacafe for the perfect example of what a Huehue. can be.
The original Mayan managed farm and one of the few farms to survive the Guatemalan Revolution. Although this is a farm, if you ever went there – it is more of a village than a traditional farm like we have here. Edwin and his family have very little to do with the actual operations of the farm, its all done by the village. The Guatemalan government really does not extend out to the rural areas so it is up to Edwin and his family to help build roads, schools, doctor clinics, give housing loans and take care of any emergency that may arise – I tell you they do a fantastic job.