Guatemala Finca La Soledad Cold Fermentation Washed Catuai

Raul Perez has grown up around coffee, he comes from a fifth generation coffee farming family on his father's side, and a third generation family on his mother's side. Coffee has always been part of his life.

Finca Le Soledad has been a Pérez family coffee farm since 1895. The farm is located in Acatenango, near to the Acatenango volcano. It has a great microclimate at an altitude of 1,650 metres above sea level 🌋

The Pérez family have invested heavily in their mill, rebuilding it with the environment in mind. They have a clever system through which they are able to recycle the water they use for processing many times ♻️ Raul and his dad Henio work together on the farm to raise quality standards every day, they have built a cupping and roasting lab on the farm and Raul has been roasting and cupping samples of days' pickings so they can learn at farm level what they can do to improve the cup.

All our lots from La Soledad this year are dry fermentation Washed coffees - this means that after the cherries have been picked and depulped they are stored in tanks where natural fermentation breaks down the fruit mucilage. Fermentation is complete once the mucilaginous mesocarp tissue of the fruit (say that 5 times fast! 🤓) has all degraded enough to detach from the seeds inside - these are then washed in water to separate and remove the fruit from the seeds. This fermentation process plays a key part in developing the flavours that make a great coffee something special. It’s a super interesting (and complex!) part of the beans journey from the plant to us and and one which the Perez family are exploring and experimenting with in ways we haven’t seen anywhere else in coffee.

At La Soledad this dry fermentation typically has a a variable temperature from 20°C to 26°C, with some parts of the coffee mass reaching as high as 28°C, and takes an average time of 36 to 40 hours before moving on to be washed. This was the process followed for the more standard Caturra & Catuai lot we have available here, but this lot is excitingly different!

The picked cherries were placed into custom built tanks containing coils of copper piping that circulate cold water past the cherries in order to maintain a steady and even fermentation temperature of 18°C to 19°C. This means that the fermentation process is slowed down and they can stretch the processing time from 75 to 100 hours without having ferment defects present in the cup 🙌

This is in some ways analogous to beer brewing where a cooler and longer ferment can lead to increased acid complexity in the finished beverage. A great comparative example being Lager versus Saison - Saisons have a warm ferment around 30°C leading to fruity and funky flavours in the cup, whereas Lagers are brewed using a cold ferment no higher than 10°C resulting in a crisper and cleaner end product.

In the cup this coffee is like the other La Soledad, but brighter sharper and crisper. Expect single cream with a light syrup sweetness but a finish of peach, orange and green apple.

  • Country: Guatemala
  • Region: Acatenango
  • Producers: Raul Pérez & Family
  • Farm: Finca La Soledad
  • Altitude: 1,650 m.a.s.l.
  • Varietals grown: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon, Typica & Pache
  • Processing method: Cold fermented then washed


Single cream, light syrup, peach, orange, green apple.

Clean cup (1–8): 7
Sweetness (1–8): 7
Acidity (1–8): 7
Mouthfeel (1–8): 6
Flavour (1–8): 6.5
Aftertaste (1–8): 6
Balance (1–8): 6.5
Overall (1–8): 7
Correction (+36): +36

Total: (max. 100): 89

Roasting Information
Medium to medium dark - just through the gab in between cracks and up to the very first pops of second crack, but no further please and thank you.

"Quick Look" Guide
Single cream, light syrup, peach, orange, green apple.

What makes this coffee of the month? Well I think it's tasting amazing right now and I just want to share it with people to be totally honest! And to help encourage that I'm offering a 20% discount code! Just type "COTM" into the discount code box + click apply.

Click on the following link to place your order...

As a special treat and in the name of interesting-ness I'm also willing to offer you the same discount off the regularly processed lot from La Soledad too, add a bag to your cart at the same time as the cold fermented lot and enter the COTM discount code to receive 20% off both of them. I hope you enjoy tasting the difference that the fermentation temperature caused : )

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