Campbell and Syme - Guatemala
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The Ventura family's Finca El Durazno farm in the Nuevo Oriente region of Guatemala
1500 - 1700 masl
Notes of Tutti Frutti & Green Tea
The Ventura family have been growing coffee for over five generations. The coffee farming tradition began when their grandfather started growing coffee in 1894, at a farm called Finca Rabanales.
Over a hundred years later, the family purchased Finca El Durazno in 2012. Rafael & Maria Elena are two of the five proprietors of the farm and are active in its management. In 2012, Finca El Durazno did not have a single coffee plant - in fact the land was mainly used for forestry. Although the Ventura family have been coffee farming for over 120 years, the farm is very young as coffee was planted during the 2013-2014 harvest.
2018 was the farm’s first normal production harvest. The changing climate proved challenging, with the stress of the plants resulting in a lower yield. It rained a lot, which also led to more fungus and leaf rust. The main challenge for the season was to pick coffee at it’s optimal Brix level. When we asked Rafael what differences he noticed at Finca El Durazno compared to the other family farms, he replied that he had to forget everything he knew about coffee and start fresh. What he loves about coffee is that there is always something to learn.
During the harvest, after coffee picking is finished (around 4 pm), the freshly picked and sorted coffee is loaded into a truck. The truck travels to Finca Rabanales for processing. The truck arrives around 1-2 am, and the cherries rest overnight. At 7 am, the coffee is immediately pulped, and passes through a demucilager to remove the excess mucilage. The freshly washed coffee parchment then moves to the patio via a channel.
Then the coffee is dried in the sun for an average of 8 to 13 days. The coffee is checked using a moisture reader. Once it reaches its ideal moisture level, it is packed and stored in their warehouse. When the weather is drizzly, there is a dryer on site. If the dryer is utilised, the coffee is dried at 24-35 degrees Celsius. The process is a mix of using the dryers, and resting for a few hours, and then heating up again.
However, in 2020 all coffee was sun dried on patios (In partnership with Coffee Bird).