Guatemala Arbelia

COFFEE DETAILS:


region

New Oriente

farm/Co-op

Arbelia El Carao, Camila Topke (and family)

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

Spiced Plum, Walnut, Chocolate Cake

Coffee Story:

It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you our newest “Farm Direct” relationship coffee from Guatemala. “Farm Direct” relationships encompass a holistic approach to sourcing coffee. The main principle in this model is sustainability. With the idea being ~ the farmer is making a sustainable living from growing quality coffee, and can invest back into his/her farm, while also being secure and stable in the lean months. Montana Coffee Traders had the pleasure of meeting Camila Topke (Owner/Producer of Finca Arbelia El Carao) back in May of 2015 while in Guatemala for the Cup of Excellence Competition. Over emails during last year’s winter months and a brief meeting in Atlanta this past April, this new relationship between farmer and roaster was beginning to blossom.

About Finca Arbelia El Carao… This finca (farm) has a long reputable history with a lot of positive momentum and is solely run and managed by women. The coffee grown here is shade grown by way of banana, cuje, cedro, and Encino trees. This promotes a very well balanced ecosystem and provides beneficial habitat. Many types of insects, birds and mammals take residence here. Other crops that are grown on the farm include plantain, yucca, bamboo, cacao, and wood. Pelibuey Sheep are also instrumental at the farm for weed mowing, grazing and a source of meat for consumption. These products are both consumed on the farm and sold in the local marketplace. The soil at the farm consists of heavy clay loam. The use of a worm farm for production of “lombricompost” (worm compost) which is used later for fertilizer has been a beneficial input for soil health. The husk and shell of wild peanut are used for control of soil erosion and compost. Additionally, plant barriers are used to aid in inhibiting soil erosion and irrigation ditches are dug and maintained to serve as rain water collection for the use and conservation of water for the farm crops. The farms waste water is channeled to settling lagoons where 90% of it is evaporated and the other 10% is used for irrigation of pastures.

About Certification Benefits and Positive Farm Worker Initiatives…. There are 65 full time farm workers that are employed year-round and live on site at the farm. During the harvest season, there are an additional 250 farm workers (nearly 30 families) that are essential for quality harvesting and hired daily. Finca Arbelia El Carao holds two certifications; one being Rain Forest Alliance (RFA), the other being “Mujeres En Café Guatemala”. Benefits that have come from complying for maintaining these certifications have been many and focused around the environment, social needs and education. Some of these amenities include having a clean water source in every house/living quarter on the farm, good housing equipment including clean burning stoves, solar lights for house hold use, water filters and literacy programs. There is also health care available and a nurse staffed 24/7, aside a primary school for the children of the farm workers. Every year there is a grafting competition, for women only, that is incentivized by the “Mujeres En Café Guatemala” certification. The skill of grafting plants is very important at the plant nursery level of work. First place wins $650; second place wins $525 and third place wins $390. The rest of the participants receive a diploma for their grafting expertise. This competition has gained high importance in this community and makes these women farm workers feel good about the work that they do. Also, monthly there are lectures for women producers and farm tours available so they can experience what other coffee farmers are doing and continue the technical training and aspects of specialty coffee farming. And finally, there is an annual soccer competition within the farm that is highly encouraged and anxiously anticipated.

About this Coffee… This coffee was selectively harvested when the cherries are at peak ripeness, and precisely processed at the wet mill that is on site at the farm. Sun dried on African raised beds is the method that is used here with all the coffees that are honey processed. The Honey process, also known as pulp natural, is a coffee processing method in which the outer skin of the cherry is removed and the coffee is dried with mucilage still attached. Differing percentages of intact mucilage around the bean, gives way to a variety of flavors and mouthfeels that can be experienced. The method’s name is due to the golden, honey-like hue the coffee develops after drying in the sun for several days. We have medium roasted this coffee to showcase the body and flavors that are so unique to this cup.

$13.80/12oz

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