ARNOLDO PÉREZ - CARBONIC MACERATION

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Super fruity and clean, this carbonic macerated lot smacks of peach, summer fruits and black tea.

FARM

Finca La Senda

PREPARATION

Carbonic Maceration

CULTIVAR

Red Bourbon & Yellow Caturra

ALTITUDE

1,550 - 1,970 masl

LOCATION

Aldea el Socorro, Acatenango, Chimaltenango

HARVEST PERIOD

January - April

 

This special lot was rested as whole cherries for 4 days before being pulped and then sealed in a tank with a one-way valve for the anaerobic process known as carbonic maceration. A small bottle is attached to the tank which contains yeast, water and sugar, creating alcohol and importantly, CO2 as a bi-product. The CO2 travels through the sealed tank, pushing any oxygen out of the one-way valve. This drastically slows down any microbial activity which uses oxygen and allows for much slower fermentation. In this case, the coffee fermented for two weeks before being washed and dried. The interesting thing about this process is that it has the potential to produce coffees which are very fruit forward, but at the same time, are exceptionally clean.

Finca la Senda, now run by Arnoldo Pérez Melendez and his wife Maria Eugenia Escobar, dates back to the forties, when Arnoldo’s father pioneered the plantation of coffee in the surroundings of the Aldea el Socorro in Acatenango. Arnoldo has spent his entire life with coffee, a beloved product that has supported his and many other families in Aldea el Socorro. All of his employees (14 throughout the year, and up to around 70 during harvest) are villagers.

The Finca extends from the borders of the village up to mount Balàm, the hill of the Jaguar in native language and coffee is planted on the mountain side across roughly 27 acres, between 1,550 and 1,970 meters, allowing nature to take its own course at higher altitudes, respecting the unique biosphere. Good nutrition, volcanic soil (the “Volcan de Fuego” sits about 15 km from the farm) and a supportive climate provide for an ideal terroir, as confirmed by the consistent results of local farms at Cup of Excellence.

Until 2017, Arnoldo had been delivering coffee to the local cooperative but after meeting a specialty coffee consultant has realised the potential of the finca’s cherries and has shifted his focus to producing specialty micro-lots. Work on building processing facilities (beneficio) began in April 2017 and were completed over the course of six months, just in time for the 2018 harvest.

Arnoldo and his family combined their deep knowledge of agriculture with best practices in processing, learned and developed with the strong support of his friends and partners. In its first year of processing, Finca la Senda focused its efforts on consistent cherry selection, long and controlled fermentations as well as slow shade-drying.