FARM: Finca Quejina, Nicolas Ramirez Ramirez
ALTITUDE : 2025 MASL
VARIETAL : Caturra, Pache Rojo, Bourbon
PROCESS : Washed and patio dried
FLAVOUR NOTES : Cucumber, orange drizzle cake, apricot
Huehuetenango is often referered to as Huehue. Pronunciation guide: The “Hue” is pronounced like the “whe” in where. Whe-whe. With altitudes over 2,000 metres, Huehue is the highest and driest region of Guatemala. It is only one of three regions without volcanic soil, with the hot winds from the Mexican mountains historically protecting the region from frost. Huehue is one of the more remote parts of the country and accessibility by roads has been difficult. In the past many farmers used Ox or personally moved coffee on foot. Huehuetenango enjoys easy access to many water sources enabling many producers to process their own coffee.
Underneath the forest canopy spreading over 2.25 acres live the coffee trees that make up Finca Quejiná near Concepción Huista. This farm has been managed by Nicolás for over 10 years. The land originally was kept as a forest, but recently started growing coffee and whilst coffee farming is the primary form of income for Nicolás, his commitment to the natural forest environment remains a priority. Alongside coffee, Nicolás grows cabbage, corn and beans. Ideally Nicolás would like to plant the entire land with different varietals of coffees – and he has his eye on expanding the farm by purchasing more land to continue to grow high quality coffee and increase production of specialty. His average production is 90 quintales of parchment.
The coffee is picked ripe, then it is sorted by hand. After being sorted, it is taken to the wet mill where it is first pulped. After passing through the pulper, the coffee moves to the concrete fermentation tanks and here it ferments between 16-24 hours. When the coffee reaches optimal fermentation it is washed with fresh clean water removing all the mucilage. Then it is moved to the channels separating the dense and less dense beans. At this point the coffee is then moved to the patios.
Whilst on the patios it sun dries for an average to 3.5 to 4.5 days. Once reaching ideal moisture level, the coffee is stored in parchment in the warehouse.