Canton Pames, Carretera a Finca Tzantziapa, San Pedro La Laguna, Solola, on the shores of Atitlan Lake, Guatemala
Roasted last night some organic green beans at Balam ya that we picked up on a Finca tour of FEDEPMA (aka the title of this post). Not the best of size sorting, but curious how that would affect the roast. Not a single estate coffee, but a gathering from 26 different small farms.This morning after breakfast we had an espresso; beautiful tastes of quinine, bitter grapefruit, chocolate and ash. And then a cortado. Excellent mouthfeel. Very impressed to be able to make such a fresh and new kind of taste-flavour profile in coffee! The second day, after the roast, the quinine taste dropped significantly, just a faint hint which we agreed was a smoother coffee. Impressed by the quality, even though the beans were not well sorted nor so even looking. However, the range of flavours is narrow and recommend pretty good for blending with other coffees. Would be interesting to try out this coffee from different harvest periods.
The tour was excellent and in depth. We found out that this 32 hectare Finca and processing/roasting operation is full of innovative ways to recycle water, recycle the pulp through worm composting, and how a group of many-many farms, 26 we were told can organize together as a federation and how this is can be very good for the environment and profit sharing for all involved. FEDEPMA is supported by an NGO and numerous international funding initiatives (including the Canadian Government). About 25-30% of the raw coffee they receive is organic, and tightly regulated. I am assuming that some of the smallish acre organic farms would not be able to sell their green beans, get a fair price or even have the knowledge to this if it wasn't for the federation (homage to Star Wars :).