ICON 14 - El Guatalon Cup of Excellence Lot
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The second Cup of Excellence lot to appear in the ICON series and the first Pacamara! This distinctive, extra-large variety, is highly prized for its complexity and frequently dominates CoE competitions in El Salvador, where it was developed. The cup profile is jammy with stone fruits like plums and peach, notes of grape juice and citrus with a touch of malt.
PRODUCER: Guillermo Antonio Juarez Solares
LOCATION: El Guatalon, Belen, Santa Rosa
ALTITUDE: 1,600 - 1,750 masl
BAG SIZE: 150g
Located just 35 kilometres from the capital of Guatemala City, El Guatalon is situated in the Belen Village of Santa Rosa de Lima, where coffee grows surrounded by lush reserves of pine, cypress, and other native tree species. Over the past 60 years, El Guatalon has been run and managed by four generations of coffee producers, maintaining a domineering legacy as model high quality coffee producers within the area.
The farm was named after the ancient term “guatal,” a term used throughout Central America that refers to an area of land where cattle graze once the maize harvest is complete. With its 35 hectares of natural forest, El Guatalon prides itself on conservation and biodiversity preservation. Hiking through this natural wilderness, speckled with coffee, is truly a majestic experience – filled with native birds and clean air.
Divided into five micro-regions categorised by soil and altitude, El Guatalon teems with life amongst its various climates and ecosystems. The owner and manager Guillermo Antonio Juarez Solares studied as an agronomist before returning to the family farm to transfer his knowledge to the coffee trees. Guillermo was able to successfully fend off La Roya, or Coffee Leaf Rust, the detrimental coffee disease, using his agricultural methods to reduce the spread.
The wet mill used to process the coffee utilises water from natural wells. In order to preserve resources and maintain surrounding ecosystems, the El Guatalon wet mill practices water conservation through recirculation. After processing, the water is treated in sediment piles whilst the pulp is used for natural fertiliser.
After being washed, the coffee is spread on concrete patios to dry in the open sun for 10-12 days.
2021 was a momentous year for El Guatalon, as they were able to secure 20th place in the Cup of Excellence. Their dedication to environmental protection and coffee quality has allowed El Guatalon to win numerous competitions, making this coffee a true gem amongst coffees throughout Guatemala.
The Cup of Excellence lot is entirely comprised of Pacamara, a hybrid created at the end of the 1950s in El Salvador by the Institute for Coffee Research (ISIC). Created by crossing the Pacas variety (an El Salvadoran mutation of Bourbon) with Maragogype, it shares traits from both parents. Its relatively short stature and high productivity is inherited from the Pacas variety, and, like the Maragogype, Pacamara is known for its large cherries. This variety has excellent potential and frequently dominates Cup of Excellence competitions in El Salvador due to its complexity and high cup quality.
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