Guatemala

Update from Guatemala: Volcán de Fuego

On Sunday June 3rd, Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego erupted. Within minutes, homes, villages and coffee farms were consumed by a pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving mixture of hot gas and volcanic rock.

Activity in this volcano is common, however the force of this eruption took everyone by surprise. It shot a blast of smoke more than 6km into the sky, and rained ash and volcanic rock down for miles around. The government declared a state of emergency in Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, the provinces most badly affected, where an estimated 70 people were killed and 1.7 million affected. 

CCS has been sourcing coffee from this region for over five years, with the help and guidance of our export partners at the Bella Vista Mill. 

How to help

Many of you have asked how you can help our producers and partners in this region. Some of you have raised funds and would like to know how to get the money to those who need it. 

Below is an update from Melanie Herrera of Bella Vista Mill, including suggestions for donations to help our people on the ground. 


Antigua Guatemala, August 27th, 2018

UPDATE ON FUEGO

Hello all.

I hope this letter finds you well.

As many of you know, on June 3rd, Fuego erupted causing a lot of damage in Guatemala.

Some members of our team were affected. Some lost family members, some lost their homes and belongings, some died during the disaster. Some coffee plantations were affected by ash and lava.

We have been working on how to support our team in the best way we can. We have given some time for things to calm down and to find out how our friends have been affected. After some time of discussion we have decided to involve a third party with experience in fundraising, distribution and emergency relief.

We have agreed to partner with Funcafé, the social arm of Anacafe, created to pursue socio-economic development of coffee producers in Guatemala. We will have a specific fund with Funcafé to help our crew who have been affected by the eruption. Funcafé will work on a diagnosis to fully understand the needs of everyone affected and will work on a plan to allocate the funds that many of you raised for this cause. If you would like to make a donation please contact me so I can give you instructions.

Thank you very much for your love, friendship and support. We highly appreciate it.

Kindly,
Melanie Herrera
Bella Vista
Antigua, Guatemala

 Photo:  La Republica

 

 

Meet Dulce Barrera, Quality Control Manager for Bella Vista, Guatemala

Dulce Barrera recently triumphed over twelve other competitors to take the inaugural CCS Colombia Tasters Challenge crown at the SCA. When not killing it in competitions, Dulce is in charge of Quality Control for Zelcafe, our partners in Guatemala. 

It is not surprising that a professional cupper might win a cupping competition against coffee professionals who have to leave the cupping table now and then to run a roaster. What is remarkable is that Dulce has only been cupping for a few years, and in that time she has managed to win the Guatemala Cup Tasters Championship two years in a row. 

But it wasn’t sheer luck that won Dulce these accolades. Nor can her success be put down to natural talent. It was dogged determination and constant practice, as she explains below. 

Meet Dulce Barrera

 Dulce Barrera (right) with Melanie Herrerra, both of Bella Vista, Guatemala 

Dulce Barrera (right) with Melanie Herrerra, both of Bella Vista, Guatemala 

I began working with the Zelaya family at the Bella Vista mill on January 4, 2002. We were working with small producers and processing record quantities of cherries. About eight years  after I started, Luis Pedro (Zelaya) began working with micro-lots to meet the demand from our customers. It was my job to prepare the samples for the Quality Control manager, who came the to farm once every week or so with customers. That’s when I discovered coffee cupping, and I wanted to know more. 

Luis Pedro invited all the administrative staff to learn to cup coffee. We worked in a small space that later became the Bella Vista laboratory. Long after everyone else had left I was still there, tasting tasting tasting, learning everything I could. I shadowed the Quality Control manager each time he came to Bella Vista, and I learned how to score coffees. I learned from the customers who came to taste coffees, people like George Howell, Laura Perry, Tal Mor, Tom Owen and others. It was difficult because I don’t speak English, but I watched to see what they liked and didn’t like, and always tasted those coffees once they were done. 

The Bella Vista Quality Control manager retired around three years ago, and I became the cupper for Bella Vista. I was still learning, so if we had major doubts about a coffee we would send a sample for a second opinion, but Luis Pedro had faith in my skills. In May 2016 he entered me into the Guatemala national Cup Tasters Championships. He didn’t tell me until a week before the event! I had no idea how the competition even worked, and I finished in seventh place, just outside the finals selection. 

I competed again in 2017 and I made it to the finals in fourth place. I won the final, the first woman to win the Guatemala Cup Tasters Championship, with seven correctly identified coffees in 5,24 minutes. I went to Budapest to compete in the international competition, and placed 21st. This year I won the Guatemala Cup Tasters Championship again, and I am ready to compete for the international prize in Dubai in November. 

At Bella Vista I work with small producers. I make sure to record all the information about each lot, where the coffee is from, the altitude, the varieties the farmers work with. I manage the Quality Control, and I give a price to the farmers based on the quality of their coffee. 

Guatemala is known for its washed coffees, more so than its honeys or naturals, but these days there is a trend to experiment and buyers want to see more flavor options. My favorite Guatemalan coffees are bourbons from Antigua for their bright and sweet cups with notes of peach, plum and cane sugar, and coffees from Huehuetenango for their tropical fruit notes with pronounced acidity. 

Best wishes and I hope you enjoyed my story.
Dulce

SCA x CCS 2017

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We will be cupping a curated selection of our coffees: available, soon to be available, along with some stunners that simply need revisiting.

Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Time: 10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: The Cupping Exchange, Room 618
 

Honduras

From the currently harvesting. Showcasing long-time friends and new acquaintances from Santa Barbara, which produces some of our most interesting Central American offerings coming from some of our longest-standing relationships.

 Moreno Family, El Cedral, Santa Barbara

Moreno Family, El Cedral, Santa Barbara

Guatemala

A selection of some of the most versatile coffees we offer. Featuring cups from Antigua & Huehuetenango.

 Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora, Bella Vista Mill

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora, Bella Vista Mill


Kenya

Charles Cardoso from Kenyacof will be on hand to discuss the flight of freshly harvested coffees (on offer), along with the ups and downs of the just completed harvest season.

 Mary Maina, Manyeki Estate

Mary Maina, Manyeki Estate


Ethiopia

From mainstays to our first international presentation of newly established relationships with cooperatives in the Agaro region.

 Asnake Nigat of Kata Muduga Union

Asnake Nigat of Kata Muduga Union


Colombia

Alejandro Renjifo of Fairfield Trading will accompany the presentation of our Acevedo lots, freshly arrived and meticulously curated during the Acevedo Cup Competition from December 2016.

 Alejandro Renjifo (R) with Acevedo Cup winner Fernando Bustos (C) & Eduardo Urquina of Fairfield Trading (L)

Alejandro Renjifo (R) with Acevedo Cup winner Fernando Bustos (C) & Eduardo Urquina of Fairfield Trading (L)


Burundi

Ben Carlson from Long Miles Coffee joins us as we cup and reflect on how stunning these Burundian coffees have been and what it took to get them there.

 Ben Carlson (L) with Jeremie Nakimuhana (C) from Long Miles with a farmer from Mikuba Hill

Ben Carlson (L) with Jeremie Nakimuhana (C) from Long Miles with a farmer from Mikuba Hill


Sal, Martell, Robert and David will be on hand to talk about the coffees, the origins, and also CCS, our model and fielding inquiries/interest on working together.

Our session is open to the public. The room is set for 30 people, with 25/30 spots already confirmed.

Get in touch with Sal to secure these last spots. He will also be happy to schedule a meeting with you should you not be able to attend the cupping.

Farmer Profile: Dario Hernandez

Farm & Production Data

Farm Name: Dario Hernandez
Owner: Dario, Angelica & Tono Hernandez. A family of three (Tono is Dario’s and Angelica’s son) – each with their own plantation making up the farm as a whole
Closest town: Antigua
Department: Sacatepéquez
Altitude (masl): 1600-1800
Farm Size (ha): 17.5
Approximate number of trees planted per hectare: 3400
Soil composition: volcanic
Harvest season: January – April
Harvest peak: Mid-February – Mid-March
Approx. annual production (per 46kg bags green coffee): 300
Varieties: Bourbon & caturra


Wet process

Washing - Cherries go into reception tank and floaters are separated out, then pumped into the depulper - After being depulped by a mechanical depulper, cherries are sorted in two ways: clean and those that still have fruit o The ones with fruit go to a separate channel to undergo a second depulping - Clean cherries are moved with recycled water over to fermentation tanks o If there happen to still be cherries with fruit, they are sent to another tank where they will most likely be processed as commercial grade - Dry fermentation for 14-15 hours - Clean water then used to rinse the parchment which is then moved to a mechanical washer and finally transported to the drying patios or beds.

Three types of drying methods. Dependent on quality:

  1. Green house with raised beds • Used for small lots (e.g. Hunapu). Do some honeys and naturals • Temperature, moisture, humidity levels are monitored • There are windows that can be opened to allow for more air flow when needed
  2. Mechanical dryers used for biggest/commercial lots • Stay in the dryer for 24 hours @ below 50C • Then dried for five days on the patio
  3. Patio
    • Most volume dried here
    • 12-16 days
    • Tube test in the middle of coffee lots to figure out whether coffee is dry enough to be measured for 11% moisture content. If it sticks to the tube, it still needs drying. If it doesn’t, moisture content reading is taken.
  4. Post-drying - Parchment is packed in grain pro and rests for 30 days - At the dry mill, there are three different mechanical sorters that grade by A (biggest), B and C (smallest) o This process is repeated at least seven times to ensure even grading - Finally, the coffee is deparched and packaged.
     

Other Data

Other crops grown: avocado, used for family consumption
Number of people employed at farm: 8-10 family members work on the farm; an additional 12-14 pickers hired during the peak of harvest. Most of these are friends of the family. A law was recently passed in Guatemala that requires employers to register workers as employees and this provides them with government social and healthcare benefits that they didn’t previously have access to.
Pickers’ wage: 50-70 GTQ/45kg.


About the farmer & plans for the farm

The Hernandez family comes from a long lineage of coffee farmers and it’s easy to see this, walking through Dario’s plantation, which is neatly planted, pruned and seeing the health of the coffee plants. Although disease (roya and ojo de gayo) remain the family’s biggest challenges to coffee production, the family has, together with the Zelcafé team, managed to find the right inputs, use of labour (e.g. selective pruning) and tools to quickly manage outbreaks of disease before they become unmanageable. A result of their careful management is that the family can safely say that inputs are largely organic in composition. The family’s main goal for the future is to expand the size of plantations. Land is very expensive, however, so for now, good and regular management of the farm is the focus. About Bella Vista & Zelcafé
 

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Farm Profile: La Soledad

 Lucía Zelaya with her husband, Ronny Asensio

Lucía Zelaya with her husband, Ronny Asensio

Farm & Production Data

Farm Name: La Soledad
Owner: Lucía Zelaya
Farm manager(s): Julio Pablo Damian & Ronny Asensio
Closest town: Antigua
Department: Sacatepéquez
Altitude (masl): 1600-1800
Farm Size (ha): 12.5; 10 planted with coffee
Approximate number of trees planted per hectare: 3500
Soil composition: Clay mixed with volcanic and sandy loam
Harvest season: Late-December – Early-April
Harvest peak: Mid-February – Mid-March
Approx. annual production (per 46kg bags green coffee): 400
Varieties: 30% bourbon; 70% caturra

 Manager: Julio Pablo Damian

Manager: Julio Pablo Damian

Wet process

Washing - Cherries go into reception tank and floaters are separated out, then pumped into the depulper - After being depulped by a mechanical depulper, cherries are sorted in two ways: clean and those that still have fruit o The ones with fruit go to a separate channel to undergo a second depulping - Clean cherries are moved with recycled water over to fermentation tanks o If there happen to still be cherries with fruit, they are sent to another tank where they will most likely be processed as commercial grade - Dry fermentation for 14-15 hours - Clean water then used to rinse the parchment which is then moved to a mechanical washer and finally transported to the drying patios or beds.

Three types of drying methods. Dependent on quality:

  1. Green house with raised beds •
    • Used for small lots (e.g. Hunapu). Do some honeys and naturals
    • Temperature, moisture, humidity levels are monitored
    • There are windows that can be opened to allow for more air flow when needed
  2. Mechanical dryers used for biggest/commercial lots
    • Stay in the dryer for 24 hours @ below 50C
    • Then dried for five days on the patio
  3. Patio •
    • Most volume dried here  
    • 12-16 days
    • Tube test in the middle of coffee lots to figure out whether coffee is dry enough to be measured for 11% moisture content. If it sticks to the tube, it still needs drying. If it doesn’t, moisture content reading is taken.

Post-drying - Parchment is packed in grain pro and rests for 30 days - At the dry mill, there are three different mechanical sorters that grade by A (biggest), B and C (smallest) o This process is repeated at least seven times to ensure even grading - Finally, the coffee is deparched and packaged.
 

Other Data

Number of people employed at farm: 5 permanent; 15-20 pickers. A law was recently passed in Guatemala that requires employers to register workers as employees and this provides them with government social and healthcare benefits that they didn’t previously have access to.

Pickers’ wage: 50-70 GTQ/45kg.
 

About the farmer & the farm’s management

Lucía Zelaya comes from both a well-established and long-standing coffee producing family. She is both a cousin of Luis Pedro Zelaya and is herself a 4th generation producer. Her husband, Ronny, also comes from coffee producing heritage and owns another separate coffee farm, manages yet another, on top of overseeing the management of La Soledad.

It is in part due to Ronny’s farming principles that La Soledad maintains a strict and aggressive pruning regimen of removing 20-30% of the farm’s branches at the end of each year, to combat disease, make coffee picking easier for the women and ensure efficient production year after year. The pruning program is part of a broader integrated farm management program that has seen a dramatic decrease of reliance on chemical inputs on the farm. The goal is to decrease chemical inputs by 80% in the longer-term through the implementation of this program. It was introduced to Ronny by a sweet pepper producer who has successfully decreased his chemical inputs to 10% and is one of the best sweet pepper producers in Latin America (based on a balance of quality & volume measures).

Though the couple is happy and motivated to continue coffee farming, they cite profitability as the farm’s biggest challenge. Land prices in the area are quite high and climbing, so balancing their wish to continue the coffee legacy of their family with the realities of coffee market instability keeps them revisiting the question of coffee’s viability every once in a while.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

 

Farm Profile: Buena Vista

Farm & Production Data

Farm Name: Buena Vista
Owner: Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre
Farm manager(s): Carlos Patal (daily operations); Franklin Quiche (overall)
Closest town: Jocotenango
Department: Sacatepéquez
Altitude: 1772-1900 masl
Farm Size: 80 ha
Approximate number of trees planted per hectare: 3200
Soil composition: Clay mixed with volcanic and sandy loam
Harvest season: December to April
Harvest peak: February to March
Approx. annual production: 1330 bags (per 46kg bags)
Variety: 25 ha planted with bourbon; 6 ha planted with caturra; 3.5 ha planted with catuaí; 3.5 ha planted with villa sarchí; 15 ha planted with catimor.
 

Wet process

Washing

  • Cherries go into reception tank and floaters are separated out, then pumped into the depulper
  • After being depulped by a mechanical depulper, cherries are sorted in two ways: clean and those that still have fruit
    • The ones with fruit go to a separate channel to undergo a second depulping
    • Clean cherries are moved with recycled water over to fermentation tanks
      • If there happen to still be cherries with fruit, they are sent to another tank where they will most likely be processed as commercial grade
      • Dry fermentation for 14-15 hours
      • Clean water then used to rinse the parchment which is then moved to a mechanical washer and finally transported to the drying patios or beds.

Three types of drying methods. Dependent on quality:

Green house with raised beds

    • Used for small lots (e.g. Hunapu). Do some honeys and naturals
    • Temperature, moisture, humidity levels are monitored
    • There are windows that can be opened to allow for more air flow when needed

Mechanical dryers used for biggest/commercial lots

  • Stay in the dryer for 24 hours @ below 50C
  • Then dried for five days on the patio

Patio

  • Most volume dried here
  • 12-16 days
  • Tube test in the middle of coffee lots to figure out whether coffee is dry enough to be measured for 11% moisture content. If it sticks to the tube, it still needs drying. If it doesn’t, moisture content reading is taken.

Post-drying

  • Parchment is packed in grain pro and rests for 30 days
  • At the dry mill, there are three different mechanical sorters that grade by A (biggest), B and C (smallest)
    • This process is repeated at least seven times to ensure even grading
    • Finally, the coffee is deparched and packaged.
       

Other Data

Number of people employed at farm: 18 permanent; 100-150 temporary/seasonal pickers. A law was recently passed in Guatemala that requires employers to register workers as employees and this provides them with government social and healthcare benefits that they didn’t previously have access to.

Pickers’ wage: 50-70 GTQ/45kg.
 

About the farmer & plans for the farm

Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre is the patriarch of the Zelcafé group of companies, which includes Bella Vista Mill (see below) and several farms either owned or managed by the group. Buena Vista has been under LPZA’s management since 1998 and the farm has been planted with coffee since 1991.

The biggest challenges for Buena Vista are disease (especially roya) and drought.

Projects include replanting all the catimor with gesha (seeds coming from Finca Carmona, a farm owned by a relative of LPZA’s, Maria Zelaya) and replanting a plot of 3 ha currently planted with bourbon & caturra with a newer bourbon strain that grows shorter (easier to pick) and has a better cup profile. 1 ha of Buena Vista has been planted with the java variety and will first harvest next season.

The farm’s coffee trees are fully replanted every 30 years, with the first pruning cycle occurring after seven years. Pruning occurs every year, while stumping occurs every third year.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

 

Farm Profile: El Pilar

p5.jpg

Region: San Juan Sacatepéquez
Average altitude: 1520-1920 msnm
Coffee area size: 90 hectares
Coffee Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí
Shade: mixed
Owner: Juan Carlos Chen
Managed by: Juan Carlos Chen
Harvest season: January- March (Peak: last days of February and the beginning of March)
Flower Season: May
Annual rainfall: 950 mm
 

About El Pilar

El Pilar is located just outside of Antigua and is owned and managed by Juan Carlos Chen. The farm area is over 1900 hectares of which 90 hectares are dedicated to coffee. The varieties grown here are Bourbon, Caturra and Catuaí. The agricultural management is starting to be stricter, especially when it comes to plant nutrition and Juan is looking to produce with a sustainable focus in mind. This focus is evident in the fact that the land not being used for coffee cultivation is managed as a natural reserve. Most of the farm’s activities are focused on conservation.

When it comes to coffee, a mix of organic activities take place in order to keep conventional agriculture techniques as a last resource. All the tissue taken from the plants turns into organic manure for the plants, chemicals to control diseases and pests are the last option and implementation of soil sampling with satellite technology is the newest innovation at the farm, in order to have a strict fertilization protocol. This technology helps the use of as little chemical fertilizer as possible, which in turn helps to avoid the contamination of groundwater.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Farm Profile: La Florida

view-from-florida.jpg

Region: Patzun Chimaltenango
Average altitude: 1805 masl
Farm size: 21 hectares
Wet mill: Florida
Dry mill: Bella Vista
Coffee Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Catuaí, Pache
Shade: Native trees, Gravileas, Ingas
Owner: Rodolfo Benavente
Managed by: Víctor Hugo Juárez
Harvest season: February- April (Peak: beginning of March)
Annual rainfall: 1200 mm
 

About La Florida

La Florida is owned by Rodolfo Benavente, who has worked in the coffee world pretty much all his life. The farm is managed by a relative, Víctor Hugo Juárez, and Victor has been steadily improving the management of the farm every year by, for example, “stumping” the older trees (80 years old!) in order to renew the trees’ tissue and increase productivity. Stumping is a pruning practice wherein the tree’s stem is cut down to just 10-15 cm above the soil. As one can imagine, this practice is a huge investment, given the length of time it takes for the plant to regenerate and produce cherries again.

Although this practice has given the family a hard time, they understand the long-term benefits of it and results are starting to show: increased quality and productivity. As well, keeping the old trees which have historical significance to the family. Additionally, the family is starting to plant new varieties.

La Florida experiences a late harvest due to the altitude, so the harvest season goes from the beginning of February to the end of April. There are two to three rounds of hand-picking (with consistent people year to year) and the coffee is sorted at the wet mill located at the farm. Drying takes place on the farm’s own patios too.

Bella Vista is able to get La Florida’s coffees with the help of Byron Benavente (Rodolfo’s son), who helps outsource coffee from that area. Byron has also facilitated help/consulting for the family to improve in agricultural management and processing at the wet mill.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Farm Profile: Chuito

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Region: Antigua
Altitude (masl): 1500-1900
Farm size (ha): 44
Wet/Dry mill: Bella Vista
Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Villa Sarchí
Shade: Gravilea
Owned and Managed by: Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre
Harvest season: December- April (Peak: last days of January and the beginning of February).
Flower Season: May
Annual Rainfall (mm): 1200
 

About Chuito

Chuito is owned and managed by Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre – the owner and operator of Bella Vista Mill in Antigua. Varieties grown on the farm include Villa Sarchí, Bourbon, and Caturra and gravilea trees are used for shade: strict management of the shade is employed, as it is very important for the growing process. Renovations undertaken over Mr. Zelaya’s management of the farm has allowed for the separation of lots by variety and harvest days. Specialized agricultural activities overseen by Mr. Zelaya ensure good production yields and high quality. In addition, cherries are hand-picked by workers living near the farm, creating a good source of local employment.

After cherries are picked, they are taken to Bella Vista for wet processing and dry milling. Coffee is separated by day of picking, variety, and altitude. Once separated, the coffee is either sun-dried on patios, or dried in the greenhouse, which provides a controlled drying environment leading to better cupping results.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Farm Profile: San Juan

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Region: Antigua
Average altitude: 1600-1800 msnm
Farm size: 28 hectares
Wet mill: Bella Vista
Dry mill: Bella Vista
Coffee Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Villasarchí
Shade: Gravillea
Owners: Elizabeth Hegel de Figuera & Eduardo Figueroa
Managed by: Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora
Harvest season: December- April (Peak: last days of February and the beginning of March).
Flower Season: May
Annual rainfall: 952.50 mm
 

About Finca San Juan

Elizabeth de Figueroa and Eduardo Figueroa are the owners of Finca San Juan, which has been managed by Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora since 2010. The harvested cherries are processed at Bella Vista (a wet and dry mill). As with all farms managed by Luis Pedro, renovations on parts of the farm allow for lot separation which provides the possibility of offering coffee with greater quality and transparency. Bella Vista keeps strict adherence to specific agricultural activities to ensure high production and quality. Cherries are hand-picked by people from around the area near the farm.

Once cherries are brought to Bella Vista wet mill, they go through the whole process of depulping, fermentation, washing and the drying. The coffee can also be sun-dried on patios or in the greenhouse. After some resting in the Bella Vista warehouses, parchment goes through dry milling and is then ready for export.

 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Coffee Profile: San Jacinto

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Region: San Pedro Necta, Huehuetenango
Average altitude: 1675 masl
Farm size: 2.6 hectares
Wet mill: Small producers
Dry mill: Bella Vista
Coffee Varieties: Bourbon, Tequisik, Caturra, Villasarchí
Shade: Native trees, fruit trees, Ingas
Owner: Small producers
Managed by: Small producers
Outsourced: Byron Benavente
Harvest season: February- April (Peak: beginning of March)
Annual rainfall: 1000 mm
 

About San Jacinto

San Jacinto is located in San Pedro Necta, Huehuetenango and consists of three small producers: Jacinto Pérez Sánchez, Francisco Pérez Sánchez and Rudy Pérez Sánches. All three work with their coffees in a very clean and neat way. The area encompassing San Jacinto starts at 1650 and ends at 1700 masl. Varieties in this area consist of 70% Bourbon and the remaining 30% is a mixture of Caturra and Pache. The group have a late harvest due to the altitude, so the harvest season goes from the beginning of March to the end of April. There aree two rounds of picking and the coffee is handpicked and sorted by the members of the family, which also operates their own wet mill. The coffee is dried on their own patios.

Bella Vista is able to get these coffees with the help of Byron Benavente, who helps outsource coffee from the region San Jacinto is located. Byron has facilitated consulting for the group that helps to improve their agricultural management and processing at the wet mill.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Farm Profile: Bella Carmona

Farm: Carmona
Region: Antigua
Altitude (masl): 1500-1800
Farm size (ha): 675; 112.5 dedicated to coffee
Wet/dry mill: Carmona
Coffee varieties: Red and Yellow Bourbon
Shade: Gravilea
Owner/Manager: Maria del Socorro Ester Zelaya Aguirre
Harvest season: December – April; Peak: late-February – early March
Annual Rainfall (mm): 1200


About

Carmona is has been in Maria Zelaya’s family since 1910, when it was purchased by Maria’s grandfather, Luis Pedro Aguirre. Mr. Aguirre passed the farm on to Maria’s mother and now Maria is the third generation owner and manager of Carmona. From its initial green coffee yields of 200 bags (46 kg) production has increased to a high of 2700 (46 kg) and continues to grow. In addition to coffee production, the farm specializes in Holstein cattle, which international juries have classified as the best dairy cattle in Guatemala. Carmona’s cattle production benefits its coffee production in part through the fertilization of its coffee plants with the manure the Holsteins produce. While the manure is complemented with chemical fertilization, it greatly reduces the need for chemical fertilization to a minimum.

Maria’s farm has been growing coffee in conventional and old-fashioned ways with one devastating result that in 2012, it was strongly attacked by Roya (or “coffee rust” disease). It was then that Maria realized she needed to change Carmona’s agricultural management in order overcome the disease. With the help Luis Pedro and Ricardo Zelaya, Maria started working on tissue management, plant nutrition and pest/disease control. So far these efforts have resulted in bigger yields, healthier and renewed plants, and a return to the same excellent quality coffee she has been delivering to her clients year after year.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Coffee Profile: Hunapu

Farm: Small Producers
Trademark(s): Genuine Antigua Hunapu
Region: Antigua
Altitude (masl): 1500-1800
Farm size (ha): N/A
Wet/dry mill: Bella Vista
Average Prod (46kg) green: 615.38
Coffee varieties: Caturra, Bourbon
Shade: Gravilea
Owner: Various
Farm Managed by: Various
Harvest season: November - April
Annual Rainfall (mm): 952.50
 

About

Hunapu means "mountain flower" in the K’iche language (the most widespread of the indigenous languages in Guatemala) and it is also the indigenous name for Vulcan de Agua, a volcano located near the city of Antigua. At the foot of the volcano, the processing mill Bella Vista is located. Bella Vista is a farm and a wet and dry mill. The Spanish term for this type of facility is "beneficio".

Hunapu is a blend of coffee created at Bella Vista and it is made up of different small producers who own small 1-4 hectare farms around Antigua between 1500 and 1800 meters. Hunapu coffee is sorted into day lots/picking dates.

Specially selected coffee farmers deliver their harvest projections in the afternoon and this amounts to about 1-10 bags of cherry from each producer.

After delivery to Bella Vista, the coffee is wet processed and fermented for 24 hours before it is dried on the patio.

The majority of this coffee is of the Bourbon variety.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

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Farm Profile: Potrero

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Farm: Potrero
Trademark(s): Potrero
Region: Antigua
Altitude (msnm): 1500
Farm size (ha): 33.75
Wet mill: Bella Vista
Dry mill: Bella Vista
Average Prod (46kg) green: 462
Coffee varieties: Caturra, Bourbon, Catuaí
Shade: Gravilea
Owner: Carlos Olivero/Sarina Olivero
Farm Managed by: Luis Pedro Zelaya
Harvest season: November - April
Annual Rainfall: 952.50mm


About Finca Potrero

Potrero is a farm with a lot of history. It has undergone many ownership changes throughout its past.  The original owner of the farm was Sara Arroyo Herrera de Olivero and she divided the farm equally amongst each of her four children. In 2011, Luis Pedro Zelaya took over agricultural management of two areas—Potrero 1 & 2. Coffee produced from these lots are now processed and milled at Bella Vista, Luis Pedro’s processing facility. The change in management of Potrero has significantly helped to improve the quality of the coffee produced at this farm.


About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Coffee Profile: Los Santos

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Region: San José Poaquil, Chimaltenango
Altitude (masl): 1500-1900
Wet/dry mill: Bella Vista
Coffee Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica, Catuaí
Shade: Mixed Owner: Small producers
Managed by: Small producers
Harvest season: December – April
Flower Season: May
 

About Los Santos

This year’s biggest surprise while making lots selections in Antigua came from a slightly different area and has a different story than most of the coffees coming from here. San José Poaquil is located to the northwest of Antigua and Guatemala City.  It is mainly an indigenous population, where the inhabitants speak the Kaqchikel dialect, and is thus composed mainly of small coffee producers.

Los Santos is the name of a blend of coffees coming from farms in Chimaltenango, where the cherries are processed. This coffee is sold to Bella Vista from two “middlemen” who buy cherries/pulped cherries from the smallholders of San José Poaquil. These individuals have been working with Bella Vista for some time and thus understand the quality expectations of the mill. Bella Vista handles the sorting and packaging of Los Santos coffee.

Because this lot is not considered a microlot in the ordinary sense of the term, it is sold at a lower price than when we buy from individual farmers. However, this coffee scored between 86-87.5 points and we cupped over 25 day lots to choose the one we brought in.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Farm Profile: Santa Cruz

Farm: Santa Cruz
Trademark(s): Santa Cruz
Region: Antigua
Altitude (masl): 1500-1650
Farm size (ha): 13.97
Wet & dry mill: Bella Vista
Average Production (46kg bags) green: 153.85
Varieties: Typica, Caturra, Villa Sarchí, Bourbon Shade: Gravilea
Owner: Maria Regina Ponce de Leal
Farm Managed by: Luis Pedro Zelaya
Harvest season: November - April
Annual Rainfall (mm): 952.50
 

About Finca Santa Cruz

María Regina Ponce de Leal is the owner of Santa Cruz and we believe hers is one of the best and most beautiful coffee farms in Antigua. It is located right on the border of Antigua and boasts a spectacular view of the city. Also unique to Santa Cruz is the preservation of an old church, which provides the farm with a very “Antigua-esque” ambiance, matching the city’s ruins and other old buildings. Ms. Ponce de Leal is concerned with keeping the church on-site; in preservation of Antigua’s history and aesthetic.

Luis Pedro Zelaya has managed this farm since 2004 and his wet and dry mill – Bella Vista – is responsible for the processing of Santa Cruz’s cherries, which are handpicked from December to April. The weather and altitude in Antigua are invaluable inputs to obtaining the high quality coffee we now expect from this farm, and the agricultural activities performed here contribute heavily to the quality of the coffee produced. Since Luis Pedro took over the management of the farm, it has gone through major renovations, including the planting of new coffee shrubs and an extensive shade cover system. The farm produces the Typica, Caturra, Villa Sarchi and Bourbon varieties. Most of the production is Caturra and Bourbon and all the coffee we have chosen this year is of the Bourbon variety. Fun fact: on the farm is a tree that is over 100 years old and still producing fruit.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Farm Profile: La Folie

Farm: La Folie
Trademark(s): 
La Folie
Region: 
Antigua  
Min Altitude (msnm): 
1500
Max Altitude  (msnm): 
1600
Farm size (ha): 
33.54    
Wet mill: 
Bella Vista
Dry mill: 
Bella Vista
Average Prod (46kg) green: 
615.38
Coffee varieties: 
Bourbon, Bourbon 300, Caturra, Tequisik
Shade: 
Gravilea
Owner: 
Mary Ann de Urrela
Farm Managed by: 
Luis Pedro Zelaya      
Harvest season: 
November - April
Annual Rainfall: 
952.50mm


About La Folie

Folie is one of the most beautiful and organized farms we work with in the Antigua region and also produces great quality coffee. We have established a good relationship with this farm and expect this partnership to continue growing in the long term. Folie is owned by Mary Ann de Urruela and has been managed by Luis Pedro Zelaya since 2003. Coffee has been planted for more than 50 years and good management has led to increased yields: ten years ago the average was about 1500 (46 kg) bags of cherries but since 2005, the yield has increased to 7000 (46 kg) bags. In addition to coffee production, La Folie is also a storehouse for the breeding lines of certified seeds Bella Vista sell.
 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don't want to sell but don't know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

CCS at London Coffee Week

Collaborative Coffee Source 2014 NEW HARVEST presentation

After extensive sourcing travels to origins throughout the winter we have been making recent presentations of our findings to discerning coffee roasting communities in Russia, France, Germany, USA/NYC, Norway and Sweden.

Now CCS is pleased and proud to be back in London to present a representation of new coffees from our relationships - new & old - in Kenya, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil to our English roasters & friends, during London Coffee Week on Thursday, April 3.

Venues and times TBD. Please email Melanie for details and to RSVP

These cupping events are open to: Green Coffee buyers, Roasters, Cuppers, Baristas, specialty coffee community & friends

Cupping & Cropster Presentation at the Barn, May 28

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The Collaborative Coffee Source  and the Barn would like to invite you out to a cupping and Cropster presentation Tuesday, May 28 from 17:00.
The focus countries are Honduras and Guatemala. We will be presenting just  harvested crops coming from our partners in Santa Barbara, Honduras and Antigua, Guatemala! Both regions are, each year, becoming more and more recognized for producing some of the best quality coffee on offer from their respective countries. We are excited to present some of the "cream of the crop" from our partners in these two regions.
Following these cuppings will be a presentation from Cropster, the cool guys responsible for some of the most innovative and user-friendly roast logging tools on the market.
Don't miss out!