Finca El Socorro has been in Juan Diego de la Cerda’s family for generations. Under Juan Diego’s tenure, Finca El Socorro has become synonymous with Specialty Coffee in Guatemala.
Having first won the Cup of Excellence in 2007, Juan Diego managed to do so a second time in 2011, and again in 2020 with his Geisha variety. During this time, Finca El Socorro has had consistently strong showings in the competition, often placing in the top five. You can be certain if you’re drinking a cup from Finca El Socorro, you’re experiencing some of the finest coffee Guatemala has to offer.
The farm itself is located near the town of Palencia in the Guatemala Department of the country. In total the farm is 700 hectares large, but only 85 hectares are reserved for coffee production. A similar amount is used for dairy production, with the remainder dedicated as a nature reserve for migratory birds and regional species. The altitude ranges between 1540 - 1860 meters above sea level, making it ideal for growing dense, hard-bean specialty coffee.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Juan Diego is always exploring new ways to improve and expand the offerings from Finca El Socorro. Best known for their Bourbon, Java, Maracaturra, Pacamara, and Geisha varieties, Juan Diego also sets aside plots of land for exploring how less established varieties perform at different altitudes on the farm. A prime example of this is his Purpurasea plot. This phenotype expression discovered on the farm causes the leaves of the coffee plant to take on a purple and dark green coloring, with the coffee cherries showing a dark burgundy color rather than their usual bright red.
All processing is done on-site at the farm. Processing at high altitudes can be challenging, as hot days and damp nights can cause swings in temperature and humidity. To overcome this, Juan Diego utilizes multiple drying techniques, with some lots being patio dried, others shade dried, and with periodic use of mechanical dryers. Most recently he has built African-style raised beds on a site separate from the mill. This area is flat with ample exposure to wind and sunlight. Using tarps, Juan Diego can control how much exposure the drying coffee receives from the elements, allowing him to extend or shorten drying times.
Keep an eye out as we regularly feature varieties such as Java, the beloved Maracaturra, and Red Bourbon each year.