Juicy peach & lavender, syrupy body with a lingering aftertaste.
Wicho Valdez is hands down one of our favourite producers in Guatemala. We long have been a fan of his work and his farm Santa Isabel. This year, however, we could not pass up his family’s other farm, San Lorenzo. With the help of TG Labs, Wicho is trying to separate lots into 4 different profiles; this lot being a more floral profile. You can expect caramelised peach and toasted coconut tones balanced with a silky lingering body.
There are some producers which simply demand respect. Not in a forceful way or anything, but simply out a sheer admiration of how they are farming and what is found in the cup. The Valdez family and Wicho, in particular, are such producers.
We have long been a fan of their Santa Isabel farm, first visiting Wicho some 3 or 4 years ago.
It was obvious that their geography presented a number of challenges, however after years of experience the Valdez family seemed to not only cope but sort of embrace in a way that directly contributed to their coffee quality.
Traditionally, the region of Coban does not have a high reputation for coffee production; it literally is a rain forest and therefore wet and humid most of the year. Not only does this create abnormal flowering (8 to 9 per year) and harvest patterns, but it also creates challenges processing the coffee and especially drying.
What I found quite unique was the way they utilized water to stall the processing and system for boxing the coffee overnight.
Regarding water, if the coffee was at the stage where it pulped and needing to hit the patio to dry but it was raining, they often would submerge it in clean water to, as almost a holding pattern, to protect the coffee from a) uncontrollable moisture, and b) sitting in a pile over-fermenting.
The second thing that stills stands out, are these boxes on wheels that Wicho created to hold the coffee overnight. Boxes probably give you the wrong picture so perhaps its better stated like a two-story kids doll house. What’s interesting about this is that it brings the coffee back together after a day separated on the patio, homogenising much of moisture percentage while also protecting the whole lot from rain.
Basket: 20g VST