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Finca Santa Isabel

Finca Santa Isabel
Finca Santa Isabel

GUATEMALA
Single Origin | Filter

Lime. Cherry. Brown Sugar.

Region
Varietal
Process
Altitude
:     Coban
:     Caturra & Catuai
:     Fully Washed & Dried on Patios
:     1400-1600 Metres

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$22.00
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GUATEMALA
Single Origin | Filter

Lime. Cherry. Brown Sugar.

Region
Varietal
Process
Altitude
:     Coban
:     Caturra & Catuai
:     Fully Washed & Dried on Patios
:     1400-1600 Metres


Coffee from the farm of Santa Isabel is no stranger to Dutch Colony, having bought them each time that they are made available to us. Roasting this coffee in the Singapore inaugural roasting competition in October 2019, placed our roasting team 4th position against other exotic and smaller lots coffee that was used in the same competition. 

Located near the town of San Cristóbal Verapaz, in the cool, rainy reaches of Cobán, Guatemala, Finca San Isabel is situated on 300 acres of high, but relatively level, fertile land. Finca San Isabel was first acquired by Luis Valdés II’s great-grandfather in 1875, when the land was granted to the Valdés family by Guatemala's President. However, the farm was passed out of the hands of the family when it was inherited by a nephew who sold it to a third party. It took time for the farm to return to the Valdés family, who took charge again in 1960 when Luis Valdés I purchased it, bringing it back into the family. He started the coffee plantation in 1965.

Don Luis and his son - also named Luis (nicknamed ‘Wicho’) - manage the farm as general and agricultural manager, respectively. Now Luis IV (5 years old), Wicho’s son and Luis’ grandchild, spends his school holidays at the farm, much as his father did when he was young.

When Don Luis first planted the farm out in Bourbon, Caturra and Catuai, Cobán didn’t necessarily have a reputation for high-quality coffee, due in part to the fact that coffee from the region must often be mechanically dried because of the humid climate. Don Luis and Wicho, however, knew that the region had more to offer. By placing their attention on improved cultivation techniques and perfecting their drying practices, they succeeded transforming the quality of their coffee over the course of the last decade, even succeeding in placing Guatemala’s Cup of Excellence twice!

Wicho’s background in agronomy, combined with his passion for coffee farming, has led him to implement experimental practices that are paying off, as well, in the battle against coffee leaf rust. The farm’s innovative pruning schedule, which took some 15 years of experimentation to develop, has succeeded in greatly reducing the severity of rust’s impact on the plantation. Plants are pruned according to a five row/five year cycle that is further fine-tuned according to each plant’s need for aeration and light. This helps to minimize applications of chemical fertilizers and pest control in some cases, reduced by half of what their neighbours have to apply - by reducing excess humidity and fungal diseases. Furthermore, frequent application of lombricompost (mostly the by-products of wet-processing) has enabled them to reduce their applications of chemical fertilisers by more than 15%.

Although almost 80% of the farm is planted out in Caturra, the farm is also experimenting with new varieties, such as Pache. Currently, Santa Isabel plants their nursery under shade using polyurethane bags starting in May and continuing through August. Young plants are planted 15 months later.

We are happy to again work with the father & son Luis duo and their crop this 2020; featuring it as 1/3 part of our Nutcracker Blend and now introducing them as a tasty single origin filter. Hurry as we don't see this coffee being available past quarter one of 2021!

Finca Santa Isabel
Finca Santa Isabel
Finca Santa Isabel
Finca Santa Isabel

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