January 2015 - Guadalupe Alberto Reyes: San Patricio El Limon
My friend in Guatemala has been buying from this farm for a couple of years now and was very keen for me to visit. Located around an hour's drive to the east of Guatemala City in the small town of Palencia, this farm sits at an altitude of around 1600 meters above sea level. It's owned by Guadalupe Alberto Reyes who used to be the Mayor of Palencia and has helped to build and develop the town.
Palencia is not part of the 8 regions of coffee from Anacafe, but you can see a lot of development in that zone. San Patricio el Limon is a perfect example of this. I like being in places that are working to be hot and up and coming, as well as those that are established players.
The farm produces mainly Caturra and Bourbon, and does some experimentation with Pacamara.
In fact the experimentation comes from the motivation of “Beto,” who in the last two years has really focused on the farm. He wanted to take more care in every step they take, from picking to processing to shipping, and also in the agronomy of the farm. This is very much a family affair; his wife and son also work on the farm, along with Beto's siblings. In fact his son is actually studying agronomy at the local college, for the benefit of the farm.
The dedication and care in each step is reflected in the fact that they have built up a new wet mill so they can separate different lots and have control over the quality of the coffee. Previously the mill could just process one lot; now they are able to process many lots and keep separate day's pickings and varietals in their own parcels.
This coffee is a Caturra variety that we we able to choose from a number of pickings. This is combined from a week's worth of picking, making this a larger lot.
With this wet mill came another opportunity, which was for neighbours and people within the region of Palencia to bring their coffees and process them. Another sign that this is a hot spot for Guatemalan coffee.
When I visited the farm Beto was the perfect host, welcoming me around the farm and into his home, and he prepared the most amazing meal. When you travel as much as I do, mid-trip you find yourself longing for something big and home cooked and not from a restaurant or roadside pop-up cafe. This traditional Guatemalan meal was just the ticket and I am sure it saved my life.
But more importantly you can tell this is a farm on the up. A farm on top of their game. Every question was dispatched with exactly the right answer, every suggestion was listened to and taken on board, and in the coming years, I think this will be one of the most exciting relationships we have.
Farm: San Patricio El Limon
Farmer: Guadalupe Alberto Reyes
Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Want to try the 2 coffees we have available from the farm? Of course you do!