MORALES FAMILY, Los Aguacatones
Our first coffee from Huehuetenango blew us away when it appeared on our cupping table. It’s bright, juicy and incredibly moreish. We taste blackberry, apple and demerara sugar.
CULTIVAR: Bourbon, Villa Sarchi, Typica
LOCATION: Los Aguacatones, Huehuetenango
ALTITUDE: 2,000 masl
The Morales family purchased Los Aguacatones in 2009 to use for picnicking and growing avocados. Due to the high altitude they also began experimenting with growing coffee at 2,000 masl. The experiment was really successful so the family concentrated on improving soil health and reforesting the area with suitable shade trees for the coffee plants.
After placing in the top 10 of the Cup of Excellence, the family decided to plant more coffee, using seeds from their original farm. Water availability proved to be a significant challenge, so they installed rain water catchment tanks and implemented an irrigation system throughout the entire farm. Each plant is hydrated one drop of water at a time!
After harvesting, the coffee is floated to remove over and under-ripe cherries. The seeds are then de-pulped and at this point they decide whether to process as either honey or washed. If the coffee is to be washed then it is fermented for 24-30 hours and then washed in the fermentation tank rather than using traditional washing channels. After washing the coffee is dried on raised beds in their greenhouse.
Huehuetenango is the highest and driest region of Guatemala with altitudes over 2,000 meters. It is one of only three regions without volcanic soil. Historically, it has been one of the more remote areas of the country and accessibility has been challenging. In the past, many farmers used oxen or carried their coffees on their back. Huehuetenango typically enjoys easy access to water sources, enabling many producers to process their own coffee.