- Marmalade, Cranberry & Cape Gooseberry
Over the past few years of buying from this cooperative, we have seen incredible growth and improvement in their coffee quality. This Single Origin offering is the best example of where they are currently at, and can’t wait to see how they continue to exceed our expectations. This Guatemalan has a nice juicy grapy acidity and a clean pleasing mouth feel and round body. Marmalade, cranberry and dominant flavours with a peachy apple like middle. Cape gooseberry is also present in the cup, a nice descriptor if you were lucky enough to know of this fruit from perhaps your grandmothers garden.
Processing green coffee beans requires fermentation to produce desirable flavours and allow it to be stored without spoiling. There are two main ways to ferment coffee, either with water which we called washed (or wet) processing or without water called natural (dry) processing. Once ripe cherries are picked, pulping them in a wet mill removes the skin, and fermentation processes the remaining mucilage on the bean.
Traditionally, washed coffee is picked and within 8 hours the cherries are floated in water (and unwanted components are scooped from the top), and then pulped. Then the beans will be washed in water for around 12 - 36 hours and dried in the sun on patios for around a week.
Natural processing involves none of these steps, traditionally the full cherry is dried in the sun for around a week, then the dried skin is removed.
- Location: Guatemala, Central America
GUAYA’B Asociacion Civil was formed in 1999, with the aim of providing better livelihoods for its members through higher prices and other development assistance.
The association represents 477 coffee and honey producers in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes region near Huehuetenango, in north-western Guatemala. 299 of these producers are listed as coffee growers and 178 as honey producers, although in practice some members have both honey and coffee. Most of the members are Popti' Maya, and the group's name means "mutual benefit" in their language.
Among the services Guaya'b offers to its members are a low interest loan service (farmers typically are left without sufficient cash in the months prior to harvest to pay for essentials, and may not be able to find casual work in this period either), and services for local women such as nutritional advice and work and business training (making honey-processing equipment and running a honey store in Jacaltenango).
Technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of honey and coffee production is central to Guaya'b's work. The co-operative provides an at-cost supply of certified coffee seedlings to its members.
A revolving credit fund supports members' efforts to renovate their coffee farms.
Construction of its own wet processing mill on the outskirts of Jacaltenango has created an opportunity for many coffee-producing members of Guaya'b to process their coffee from cherry stage to dried coffee parchment much more cheaply (at about 25% of the previous cost), and more quickly, than they previously could. It is also expected that by using the wet mill farmers can produce a more consistent, higher quality coffee than they can in their own backyards.