Finca el Panal (bourbon)
Finca el Panal (bourbon)
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|Countries of origin||Guatemala|
|Altitude||1300 - 1650m|
This lot comes from a group of 40 smallholder producers in the Huehuetenango area. These producers grow Bourbon and Caturra and harvest between the months of December and March. This coffee grows under the shade of native trees such as Inga and Gravileas.
Producers prune their trees just once a year and picking is done by hand.This naturally processed lot grown on the El Panal plot is picked, sorted and patio dried for 18-25 days. Once the parchment has reached the desired moisture content, it is then stored in polypropylene bags ready to be milled for export.
Finca La Bolsa was bought by Jorge Vides, a distinguished medical professional, in 1958. Prior to this the land wasn’t used for coffee production. Jorge won a number of awards for coffee production and for services to the region of Huehuetenango, and had the main hospital in the coffee growing community named after him.
La Bolsa competed in the 2002 Cup Of Excellence competition and placed second, scoring 94.98. La Bolsa sits between two mountains, which provide a very stable, humid microclimate. This combined with the limestone rich soils give the coffee a very unique profile, with a rich syrupy body and plenty of malic and citric acidity.
Coffee is fermented for between 18 and 24 hours, and is then cleaned of mucilage, graded in channels and soaked overnight. La Bolsa is RFA certified & follows C.A.F.E practices guidelines.
Coffee Care funded the construction of a school and nursery at the farm, with fully trained, full-time teachers. All of the temporary and permanent staff have access to schooling for their children, and they are incentivised to leave their children at school or nursery through food donations. When a child attends school or nursery for 5 consecutive days they receive a weekly supply of rice, beans and corn.
Prior to this food ration scheme it was very difficult to get people to leave their children in the care of others, and schooling wasn’t necessarily valued as there is a greater pressure on earning more money to feed the family. As a result there are no children working in the farm, and the school and nursery classes are full. Accommodation is provided for permanent and temporary workers, with separate facilities for men and women and families, bathrooms and kitchens.
Sections of the farm are reserved areas, to promote biodiversity, reduce exposure to winds and soil erosion. Inga trees are used as a shade trees, and to fix nitrogen in the soil which is essential for plant and cherry growth. Renardo has an expansive composting operation to make use of waste products, using redworms.
Why we love it
Guatemalan coffee is a firm favourite of mine, and in particular this bourbon lot from Finca el Panal. If I'm on coffee brewing duties, this will be the one I choose to brew for the production team.
Fraser's Brew Guide
Coffee from Guatemala
Guatemala boasts a variety of growing regions and conditions that produce spectacular coffees. Today, the country is revered as a producer of some of the most flavorful and nuanced cups worldwide. We are proud to work with several exceptional in-country partners to bring these coffees to market.
The Guatemalan coffee industry experienced a major setback with the 2010 appearance of Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) in Latin America. The epidemic peaked in severity in 2012, and though CLR continues to affect some farms, Guatemala continues to produce high-quality, record-breaking coffees. In 2017, new and varied processing methods pushed prices at the Guatemalan Cup of Excellence contest to record highs.
The quality of coffee being produced in Guatemala is increasing, overall, due to the diversity of the industry’s producers. There are more and more small holder farmers producing exceptional coffee at high altitudes. Cooperatives are becoming more appealing to so many smallholders because they often offer farmers financing and other support for improving their farming and processing and are frequently able to offer higher prices for cherry than middlemen. Many cooperatives have initiated quality improvement training for farmer members and are becoming more adept at helping members market their coffee as specialty.