In this month’s subscriptions, we are featuring two coffees from our favourite producers. Danny Perez and Gonzalo Hernandez’s two stellar producers whose stories we always enjoy sharing. Both producers are constantly innovative in their approach towards processing and varietals, and keep us excited each year with their fresh harvests.
San Antonio Chaguite, Guatemala
The Perez family has been one of our direct-from-origin producers since 2014, and we are delighted to present our sixth harvest with them this year. The San Antonio Chaguite farm sits at the highest elevation amongst the Family Bonds Coffee farms, at 1950 metres above sea level.
Finca San Antonio Chaguite is one farm out of six in Family Bonds Coffee, a family-owned business that strives at harvesting, processing, and distributing unique varieties. Guatemala benefits from high altitudes and unique microclimates. There is constant rainfall and mineral-rich soil in most regions, which is suitable for producing coffee. Huehuetenango sits on the highest and driest coffee producing region, and is protected from frost as it experiences dry and hot winds, allowing coffees to be grown on high elevations. The Huehuetenango region also has almost boundless amount of rivers and streams, a very important resource in washing coffees.
The Pacamara varietal is known to have complex and intense aromas, with elegant acidity. This Pacamara varietal has always been extremely popular with the neighbouring farm, Finca Isnul, within the Family Bonds group. It was experimentally planted on Finca San Antonio Chaguite as well, and the results have been astounding.
Coffea Diversa, Costa Rica
Most coffee farms are typically mono-varietal, in other words they grow a single varietal, or a few at best. These would consist of high-yielding varietals such as Caturra, Bourbon, Catuai or Typica, to name a few.
At Coffea Diversa, this is hardly the case. Gonzalo Hernandez has created one of the largest private collections of coffee varietals in the world, at over 600 and counting. Just like in a flower garden where one would find many different types of flowers, he considers Coffea Diversa to be more of a coffee garden, instead of a coffee farm.
With a background in agronomy, Gonzalo started this garden in 2003, choosing to pursue the path of genetic diversification and retaining the history and lustre of coffees that were once grown around the world but now have been all but forgotten. Each varietal is produced in limited supply due to the small lot size and lower yield, but these make for unique taste profiles that would not be found in common coffees.
The Dilla Alghe is a wild Ethiopian varietal found close to the southwestern Ethiopian town of Dilla Alghe. This coffee is characterised by tall trees, with medium-sized oval leaves, and young leaves that are reddish in color. The plant is very susceptible to diseases and its yield is low as well.