Our friends at Caffe Dolce Alchemia Coffee Roasters in Amsterdam made initial contact with Manolo Murales from Las Delicias. I cupped a cold cup leftover on the cupping table from earlier that afternoon, and was sold in an instant. Their Natural boasted a super clean cup with clear notes of berries, and when I tasted it I knew I wanted to know more. Ordered by Dolce Alchemia, I made contact with Manolo from Las Delicias to organise their Direct-Trade and Manolo told me about their farm. Las Delicias is a new specialty coffee start up, in production for 4 years now. The Murales family has generations of experience in growing coffee, and with this new production start-up they aspire to enter the market as a source for specialty. We’ll do our best to help them in this ambition as good as possible, and make their coffee available to roasters throughout Europe. Las Delicias is located in Palencia, at an altitude of about 2000 meters. Coffee area consists 3 hectares of Catistic. They expanded production last year with 3 hectares of Tekistic and will plant 3 hectares of Pacamara in 2016. Their drying process takes place in a conditioned greenhouse which is cooled down and ventilated for controlled drying. Article: Producer Insight, Organic Coffee Farming in Guatemala During our first visit to Manolo at organic farm Las Delicias March in 2015, we were amazed by their team, setup and dedication. The 2016 crop which consisted of 6 bags Catistic (Fully Washed) arrived in August and was distributed immediately to Las Delicias’ Direct Trade clients in the EU.
Finca El Zapote has been a steady contribution to the assortment from The Coffee Quest. Starting out as Seasonal lot and part of our first Guatemalan coffees imported in 2016, and now with a steady position in our Classic segment. Over time we have noticed the consistency in quality, which can be contributed to the high production standards, segmentation of varieties and steady weather conditions high up in the mountains. After discussing our findings with Hernán Pérez we were able to set a profile with a signature farm blend for The Coffee Quest, combining the beans from his Catuai and Bourbon plot. In collaboration with one of the steady clients from El Zapote we intend to support a small project proposed by Hernan’s wife Lucia. Through payment of a premium we will be able to contribute to the local school in Agua Dulce budget for school meals.
In 2018, Hernán won the second place in the Cup of Excellence with the first harvest from his Washed Geisha lot. The majority of his coffees are traditionally washed using fermentation pools and washing canals, only recently he has been experimenting with natural processed coffee. He only produces a limited amount of these fruity lots and only does so on request. The Catuai/Bourbon blend that is selected by The Coffee Quest has a combination of the traditional spices and caramel flavour found in Huehuetenango, but with an additional layer of vibrant acidity to complement the sweetness in the profile. Finca El Zapote has few direct sun hours, and the high altitude makes for low temperatures. On some days the coffee is turned 4-6 times, which is extremely low frequency. A good indication for a slow and controlled drying process.