Featured Bean of The Week: Guatemala – Finca Vista Hermosa – Huehuetenango

Finca Vista Hermosa

FVH Plantation manager Lorenzo (Lencho) Garcia preparing for the harvest.

Guatemala – Finca Vista Hermosa – Huehuetenango

Location: Agua Dulce, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Elevation: 1280 – 1950 meters

This is one of most popular coffee beans at the Black Drop. Family owned and operated by three generations of the Martinez Family since 1957, FVH produces a world-class, award-winning green coffee bean. Their attention to every aspect of growth and harvest, from securing the best water from water basins in the region to working to ensure ecologically sound and healthy agricultural practices, translates into a superior processed green coffee bean. Add to this the roasting talents of Alexarc Mastema at Maniac Roasting and the end result is a  consistently superior cup of coffee.

Our tasting notes reflect soft caramels, floral honeysuckle, and light smoky chocolate.

Photo by Jake Liefer.

Detailed FVH Information (From Artazza):

Annual Production:      Approximately 700 bags (varies from year to year)
Cultivars:     Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuaí
Property Size:     90 acres (36 hectares)
Elevation:     4,200-6,400 feet (1,280-1,950 meters)
Annual Precipitation:     67 inches (1,700 mm)
Climate:     average temp: 72°F (22°C), 60% humidity
Soil Type:     Clay loam
Shade Trees:     Inga, Gravilea, Native Pine, Cypress, Fruit Trees
Water Source:     Natural water sources from the farm
Harvesting:     Handpicked from January through May
Processing:     Depulped with water, naturally demucilaged in concrete tanks
Washing:     Naturally washed in concrete channels
Drying:     Naturally sundried on patios

1st generation Felipe Martinez sun-drying coffee the same way it was done 40 years ago.

Artazza also has an excellent and informative article on Finca Vista Hermosa. From the article:

Finca Vista Hermosa is a nearly self sufficient farm operating in a highly sustainable manner and providing a benefit to the local environment and economy. Above and below the farm are virgin rain forest belts that are dense jungle and filled with an abundance of plants and animals. All coffee is planted under native species shade trees which not only provide ideal growing conditions, stop erosion and provide valuable nutrients to the soil but also provide fire wood and building materials for the local families that rely on Vista Hermosa for their livelihood.

Although not certified organic, Finca Vista Hermosa pursues environmentally sustainable policies: they raise their own sheep to provide both natural fertilizer and food; they compost and recycle all of their coffee and water waste from processing and harvesting; they even raise chickens to provide pest control and a natural nitrite fertilizer – no chemical pesticides are used on the farm. The resulting effect is a much healthier ecosystem with vibrant flora and fauna.

Finca management is committed to social responsibility and supports the local community. The most important asset of Finca Vista Hermosa is the people. The Martinez family has always taken great strides to take good care of their people both in the farm and the surrounding community. FVH has had a Mayan farm manager for the last thirty years. This is remarkable in a country where the indigenous peoples are treated with disdain and sometimes hatred. The Martinez family has invested countless amounts time and money into the surrounding community. They have built schools, water systems and other community benefits over the last thirty years. In 2007 Barefoot Coffee and a few other roasters partnered to help build a medical clinic and sleeping quarters on the farm. This provided a much needed space for local doctors and dentists to provide medical checkups, services and medical care with privacy and cleanliness. FVH is an integral part of the local community at large and has led many advancements in improving the quality of life of the people of Agua Dulce. In 2008 Barefoot is contributing to a fund to help pay for medical supplies to improve medical care in the medical facility.

The FVH Website: http://www.fincavistahermosa.com/

The FCH Blog: http://fincavistahermosa.wordpress.com/

Be sure to check out their blog post on Alexarc at Maniac Roasting.

Huehuetenango, Guatemala

About Scot Casey

Owner/ Poetic Terrorist / Barista / Graphic Designer at The Black Drop Coffee House. Also, Hermit / Recluse in Residence at Laughing Bone Design Labs
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