MARIA EUGENIA ESCOBAR, Nisperales Washed
The final lot from this season’s La Senda coffees. The carefully controlled processing has resulted in a wonderfully complex and elegant lot whose tasting notes include juicy red berries, soft apricot and floral aromas.
CULTIVAR: Caturra & Pache
PREPARATION: Washed, Double-Fermented
LOCATION: Finca la Senda, Acatenango, Chimaltenango
ALTITUDE: 1,700 - 1,750 masl
FOB PRICE: $13.20/kg
Finca La Senda, now run by Arnoldo Pérez Melendez and his wife Maria Eugenia Escobar, dates back to the 1940’s, when Arnoldo’s father pioneered the plantation of coffee in the surroundings of the Aldea El Socorro in Acatenango. The Finca extends from the borders of the village up to mount Balàm, the hill of the Jaguar in the native language. Coffee is planted at an altitude between 1,550 and 1,970 masl across an area spanning around 27 hectares. Above these altitudes nature is left to take its own course, respecting the unique biosphere.
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 took advantage of his deep knowledge of agriculture, while Maria Eugenia leveraged her skills as a talented cook to learn and refine best practices in coffee fermentation and processing. 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.
This coffee was picked from the Nisperales parcel of the farm which is planted with Caturra and Pache. The high altitude of this parcel has resulted in really dense coffee seeds which have pronounced floral and berry notes with a complex acidity.
The coffee was rested as whole cherry for a prolonged period, to begin fermentation, before being de-pulped and placed in tanks to ferment for a further 60 hours. After this the sticky mucilage is manually washed away, leaving a little of the fruit intact on the parchment, before being dried slowly under shade on raised African beds over a period of approximately 25 days.