Deep into the mountains of Guatemala’s famed Huehuetenango region...
about four kilometers from Mexico, sits Finca El Injerto. Long established as one of the premiere coffee farms not only in Guatemala but, I would argue, one of the best coffee farms in the world. Sure, it is beautiful, sure well-managed, but what separates El Injerto apart from many other farms is the Aguirre family’s commitment to producing not just good coffee, but great coffee. Sustainability, their tireless quality control and forward thinking when it comes to experimentation with varietals and farming techniques have set them apart from the rest.
To do well in Guatemala’s Cup of Excellence is a serious achievement considering how well-established the coffee industry is in that country, to win it, consistently, year after year, tells you something about this farm.
We actually bought three separate coffees from El Injerto this season. The first, their Nativo Blend, we started roasting last month. We looked to this coffee as a way to define our new seasonal espresso blend. As with most coffees from Huehuetenango, if you develop them a bit longer in the roaster, they lose some sweetness but take on a rich dark chocolate note and huge body, perfect to use as a base for espresso and this bean really shines through in our current blend.
Next up: Pacamara.
The Pacamara varietal has grown in popularity in the specialty coffee world over the last few years. A rarer bean, this bean is large in size, sweet and very complex. In the case of El Inerto’s Pacamara, the bean goes through extra processing steps at the farm to ensure a near-perfect coffee. For years, El Injerto has used this bean as the coffee they competed with for the Cup of Excellence. But, for the first time, they decided to hold their own auction and sell the coffee directly to roasters and we got some.
We roasted this one for the first time on Friday and roasted it lighter than the Nativo Blend — the roasted Paca is roasted just a tad past completion of the first crack– to highlight the coffee’s rich sweetness, citric notes, plum, sugar cane, and milk chocolate texture.
Third: Not Yet Roasted: Maragogype.
Perhaps even a bit larger than the Pacamara varietal. El Injerto did compete in this Year’s Cup of Excellence but because they dedicated their Pacamara to the auction, they chose to compete with the sister lot of the Maragogype varietal that we also bought during the auction– and placed third. To be honest, this was my favorite of the coffees I cupped with them at the farm and we managed to snag a minuscule amount. In fact, while there are only about 4-5 other American roasters who got some of the Pacamara, we are the only American roaster to get any of the Maragogype. We are saving this one for the holidays though but when we start roasting it, expect apricot, caramel, chocolate in the cup.
The Paca is now available on the pour-over bar and whole bean in 8oz bags. Get some while you can because this one will NOT last long. We will only be roasting it a couple times per month until we are out.
Oh–El Injerto is a Rainforest Alliance farm as well…