Guatemala Arbelia

COFFEE DETAILS:


region

New Oriente

farm/Co-op

Camila Topke (and family) ~ Finca Arbelia el Carao

elevation

4265 feet

process

Honeyed, Sun dried using African raised beds

certification

Rain Forest Alliance (RFA), Mujeres En Café Guatemala

varietal

Red Catuai

tasting highlights

Strawberry Quik, Clover Honey, Brown Sugar

Coffee Story:

It gives us great pleasure to say… “Arbelia is back”! In our second year of having this coffee on our menu, we continue to build this relationship between roaster and farmer. While visiting Finca Arbelia during harvest this past January, we were impressed. The amount of care, dedication and perseverance being put forth by this family in the efforts of growing quality coffee, aside from being a great employer to work for was eye opening. Camila is the 4th generation of the Topke farmers. The history runs deep for this family, community and country. And the stories and pictures that were accumulated paint a vibrant picture of yesteryear’s farming practices verses today’s.

The integration of Best Management Practices at the farm level, continued coffee agronomy education and employee services have elevated the coffee quality being harvested, processed and exported. Finca Arbelia is 300 hectares in size, in which 200 hectares are farmed with coffee. (One hectare is equivalent to 2.47 acres.) The farm is organized into 7 different plots, all being separated by a natural barrier. These could include a plot of new coffee trees or freshly pruned section of coffee trees. The use of natural barriers is to maintain corridors for animals to move easily through the farm in promotion of biodiversity. The farm is bordered on three sides by a protected nature preserve officially registered in 1997. The Topke’s dedication of stewarding the land that sustains them, as well as a community of people that work for them was beautifully represented and easy to recognize.

Some of the farm husbandry they are focused on includes maintaining new coffee varietals that are disease resistant and do well in a changing climate, weeding, pruning existing coffee plots and continual maintenance of shade trees that are necessary for specialty coffee. Some of these shade trees also provide an extra food source such as bananas, mangos and nuts. The manufacturing of compost tea from stock manure, coffee cherry and worms has also been an added benefit for soil health at the farm. The Topke’s have provided their employees with a sort of Utopian existence. The farm is located near the town of Barberena. There are 3 different types of worker arrangements here. Full time worker with living on site, part time workers in shared housing during harvest, and the rest of the workers commute daily from the town of Barberena. There are 300 workers during peak times and 45 workers year round. 25 families live at the farm year round in permanent houses, amounting to about 120 people. For all workers, the Topke’s have provided an onsite store for every day needs, a clinic with an onsite nurse and a school with a full time educator. The school at Finca Arbelia is currently teaching 40 children. These services provided are available year round to employees and their families. The farm has clean filtered water available, trash services and some friendly competitions that include prizes. One is a soccer tournament and the other is a grafting competition of coffee shoots. Both competitions are eagerly anticipated by the participants.

Future goals of Finca Arbelia include the building of more African raised beds for drying honeyed coffee, the building of a coffee/cupping lab for the workers to become more involved with the coffee they are helping to produce, and continued research and development of coffee varietals that not only taste delicious but will survive in the world’s changing climate. We are so thrilled to grow this relationship with the Topke’s and have learned so much from them already. Cheers to another season with Finca Arbelia and family.

$15.40/12oz

Coffee Bucks:
12oz earns 5%
5lbs earns 10%
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