August 2014 - Alex Illescas: Los Jocotales
Alex's farm is located in a region well known for some of the most interesting coffees and also some of the most renowned coffees from Guatemala, Antigua.
Coffees are currently grown by Alex Illescas on his his grandfather’s farm. His grandfather has owned the farm for just over 50 years, working the land and selling the cherry along as a commodity coffee as they have no mill with which to process their own coffee. The farm is located at 1,400 meters above sea level in Ciudad Vieja.
Alex had an idea that he wants to produce amazing, interesting, and challenging coffee for the specialty market. So with the blessing of his grandfather and help from his uncle, he used the farm to experiment with varietals and processing methods to see what might improve cup quality. These coffees are the results of those experiments. It’s dangerous to do something like this, so the lots are small but large enough that this could have caused hardship if something had gone wrong financially. The lucky thing is that in the cup this gamble has really paid off.
They chose to use the honeying process as all they needed for that was a pulper and some space to dry the coffee. Alex used his uncle’s roof on his home in the town as the drying patio, and between them they took it in turns to keep it turning and moving.
When I visited Alex you could see how excited he was, and how proud he was about the coffee. All the time I was there I was praying the coffee would be as good as the story, and I’m pleased to report it’s even better.
If you'd like to sample Alex's coffees then make sure to click on the links below...
Red Honey Bourbon
Sweet, red apple, creamy, silky, red berries.
Red Honey Cuturra
Raspberry, fruity, lemon, lime, fruit sweetness, complex.
Yellow Honey Bourbon
Sweet, peach, apricot, summer fruits, exotic fruit Solero, creamy.