San Antonio Chaguite, Guatemala
The Perez family has been one of our direct-from-origin producers since 2014, and we are delighted to present our sixth harvest with them this year. The San Antonio Chaguite farm sits at the highest elevation amongst the Family Bonds Coffee farms, at 1950 metres above sea level.
Finca San Antonio Chaguite is one farm out of six in Family Bonds Coffee, a family-owned business that strives at harvesting, processing, and distributing unique varieties. Guatemala benefits from high altitudes and unique microclimates. There is constant rainfall and mineral-rich soil in most regions, which is suitable for producing coffee. Huehuetenango sits on the highest and driest coffee producing region, and is protected from frost as it experiences dry and hot winds, allowing coffees to be grown on high elevations. The Huehuetenango region also has an almost boundless amount of rivers and streams, a very important resource in washing coffees.
The Caturra varietal is a mutation of the Bourbon varietal. This natural mutation causes the coffee plant to be smaller than the other coffee plants. Though small in size, it is still a favourite amongst coffee producers. Its size allows more crops to be grown closer together, resulting in higher yield during harvesting.
This lot is a washed-processed coffee, where cherries are pulped to remove the skin, and then rinsed in water tanks to remove the mucilage. The coffee is then dried on raised beds. San Antonio Chaguite prides itself on this processing method, and the quality is always clean and consistent, and this keeps us buying from them every year.
Guji Uraga Tome, Ethiopia
A native of the Guji region in Ethiopia, Tadesse Edema is no stranger to the specialty coffee industry. He set up his first washing station in Uraga over 12 years ago, paving the way for the well-known Layo Teraga Cooperative. Later, the Tome washing station was set up on the other side of the ridge, across the river that separates Hambela from Uraga. Tadesse is a renowned figure in not just the coffee industry but the community as well, contributing to the building of infrastructure such as schools and roads in the region.
Previously in the 2000s, due to restrictions set by the Ethiopia Government on the coffee industry, coffees had to be traded on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). It was conceived to reduce price volatility through a centralized commodity-based trading system. However, this meant that the supply chain between international buyers and private washing stations were broken. Many farmers like Tadesse were unable to get the recognition they deserve, and the higher prices they drew. With new regulations introduced in 2017, cooperative and some larger farmers were able to sell directly to international buyers, and Tadesse was finally able to deliver his world-class coffees without obscuring traceability.
This is the second time we have bought from Uraga Tome, with a natural processed coffee the previous year. This year's crop has consistently produced some of the highest-scoring Ethiopian lots we have tasted. As a Grade 1 classification, cherries undergo an additional hand-sorting stage to remove defects, ensuring quality.