El Bosque sits on a hillside that runs parallel to the main road to Guatemala City. Due to its proximity to the capital, it faces threats from ever-expanding urban development. However, during the time we have been working with El Bosque, prices and returns for the farm have made it a much higher concern for the brothers, and they are very motivated.
Before I'd tried this coffee at El Bosque, it was love at first taste, I was absolutely blown away by how good it was! However, my first visit to the farm in January 2007 really cemented this, because I got to learn more about the awesome people behind the coffee.
Julian Flores founded the farm in 1932. The fourteen-hectare extension of land was planted out with Bourbon varietal coffee, which was cultivated and sold in cherry form only. Over the next few years, with the acquisition of more land, the farm continued to grow. Julian Flores passed away in 1947, and his son, José Eladio Flores, inherited the farm and continued his father’s legacy of growth. By 1970, José had bought another 23 hectares and continued to grow and sell the same Bourbon coffee varietal. After his death in 1996, a third-generation has taken the farm on under the direction of José’s widow, Martha Stalla, and their sons Julio, José, Francisco and Mario.
This third-generation, headed up by Don Roberto, has focused on innovation, and they have built a plant for processing the cherries in line with strict environmental guidelines. They have also branched into cultivating other plants for local consumption. These include plants such as avocados, roses and lemons, and they're also growing a new grass innovation.
There's a big toffee at the start of this. It's really chewy and has a sweetness that reminds me of treacle toffee. As soon as that initial toffee goes, hazelnut jumps in before it finishes with a little dark chocolate.