Guatemala San Agustin
Full bodied, bright and complex. Nougat, stone-fruits, stewed plums, subtle florals and a buttery mouthfeel.
Ricardo Zelaya is a renowned and multi-award winning coffee producer in Antigua Guatemala.
We have been buying and proudly serving his coffee since 2009. Having visited his operations a number of times we have come to love and respect Ricardo’s ongoing commitment to coffee quality, sustainable farming practices, as well as his investment in the people that contribute to each aspect of his business and the local community.
San Agustin is located North East of Antigua. Its elevation runs from 1600-1880 meters above sea level making the climate cooler than the rest of the Antigua region. This climate promotes a slower maturation and increases the density of the coffee seeds thereby yielding a more flavorful density. The varieties that make up this lot are a blend of Bourboncito, Villa Sarchi, and Caturra.
Once the coffee cherry is picked it is processed at Ricardo’s Santa Clara wet mill. After careful sorting and depulping of the cherry, the coffee is soaked in water tanks and fermented for 14-22 hours. This water is reused twice during the depulping stage for the next lot to be processed. This serves to inoculate the next batch, which speeds fermentation times and helps maintain a consistent mix of yeasts and bacteria. After being used twice, the water is filtered through a complex treatment system of filters and sedimentation tanks, with all solids being recycled and composted for fertilizer. Water is recycled and all cherry pulp is composted with other organic material to produce excellent, nutrient rich fertilizer. This is used in the plant nursery and around established plants.
With coffee production being so dependant on people, Ricardo recognizes that his staff are his biggest asset. and are highly valued. His 25 permanent staff are like family, while his seasonal employees continue to return year after year due to higher picking wages.
Some of the social initiatives carried out by Ricardo include health workshops for farm workers, workshops for women to earn more income in the coffee off season, a Scholorship Fund which provides financial support for farm worker children, and establishing a coffee school with the aim of training the next generation of coffee professionals.