Hackney Rascal - Guatemala
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The Dalton Family's Finca Filadelfia farm in the Antigua region of Guatemala
1500 - 1700 masl
Notes of Fig, Orange and Dark Chocolate
SCA Score - 86.5
Finca Filadelfia is the name of the original Dalton family farm - the first coffee farm in Antigua. It was split into 4 unique farms upon the passing of the third generation of the Dalton family.
The coffee region of Antigua is spread across a valley surrounded by three volcanoes, Agua (Water), Acatenango, and Fuego (Fire). The coffee grown in Antigua is enriched by the volcanic soil and tends to hold moisture well. The main shade tree used in Antigua is the gravilea, which helps protect the coffee from frost. The main town in the region is also called Antigua. It is a cultural center for tourism, as it is the ancient capital of both the Mayans and the country of Guatemala. The increase in tourism has attracted a lot of locals and foreigners to live in the town. The demographic pressures create a demand for property in the region, and as such, farmers are enticed with lucrative property offers to sell their land. The key to keeping coffee in the region is to ensure farmers are being rewarded for the quality they are producing.
Like most farms in Guatemala, Finca Filadelfia originally harvested cochineal. In 1864 the farm transitioned to coffee amidst a country wide recession. Cochineal was used to produce a natural fabric dye called “Carmine”. During the industrial revolution, Germany developed synthetic dyes, removing the need for the natural carmine colour. As a result, farms across Guatemala faced a devastating recession.
Manuel Matheu (Marta’s great great great grandfather) initially borrowed the land at Filadelfia, where he planted some coffee in 1864. After his first harvest, he went to London to sell his first crop. After returning from London where he achieved great success, he was commissioned by the President of Guatemala to show small farmers how to grow coffee. Thus the Antigua coffee growing region was born. Eventually, Manuel’s son purchased what is now Finca Filadelfia. The passion for coffee has been passed down for 6 generations. Marta’s great grandmother Elisa ran the farm until she was 95 years old and won the first two Cup of Excellence in 2001 and 2002.
Before being picked, the degrees Brix indicates which cherries to pick due to their deep red colour. After picking, the coffee is sorted. Once the sorting is approved, the coffee is weighed, and transported to the wet mill.
Upon arriving at the wet mill the coffee is weighed again, and moved to the flotation tanks. After the floaters are removed, the coffee is pulped and then moved to the concrete fermentation tanks. The coffee ferments between 24-36 hours depending on the weather.
When the coffee is ready, it passes through the demuciliager. The coffee then is moved back to the fermentation tanks to rest in water for another 24 hours. From there the coffee goes to the washing channels where any less dense beans are separated from the more dense beans. The beans move to the end of the channel where they await transfer to the patios.
The coffee is first dried on the patios for 3 days, and then finished in the machine dryer, where it is dried slowly at a low temperature for another 3 days. The coffee parchment is removed when it has reached its ideal moisture degree for storage.