Guatemala Antigua Finca Santa Clara
About Guatemala Antigua Finca Santa Clara
Santa Clara is a new crop, late harvest, genuine Antigua coffee with a taste profile uniquely its own. The coffee has made its way into the final round of the Cup of Excellence four times since the competition started twelve years ago. In 2012 Santa Clara took 6th place and the coffee sold for $10.10 at the auction; it was the top ranking Antigua coffee in the competition. This is not that auction lot, but, like the CoE lot, this is also Santa Clara's 100% shade grown Bourbon varietal. The farm also produces Caturra.
Finca Santa Clara is located in the southern slopes of the Antigua Valley, between 1,600 and 1,830 meters (5,250 and 6,000 feet), and is privileged to have one of the finest volcanic soils to produce specialty coffee. The preservation of its natural condition is a priority for the owners. The plantation is also under a very strict control of shade, allowing the coffee trees to receive the exact amount of sunshine required to produce this fine, exquisite and aromatic coffee. Shade protects the plants from direct sunlight, maintains soil health and provides habitat for birds and insects.
The farm is managed since 1988 by Ricardo Zelaya, the fourth generation producing coffee in Santa Clara. Mr. Zelaya is a founding member of APCA - Genuine Antigua Coffee Producers Association. The Zelaya family is committed to both quality and sustainability. They own other area farms and each is scrupulously managed beginning with careful selection of varietals to the close supervision of dry and wet mills. As on their farms, the family's mills are also eco-friendly. Water used in the wet processing of the cherries is drained into sedimentation tanks to prevent pollution of the local river systems and the pulp is transformed to humus by worm culture.
Hand picked fruit is processed and washed in a traditional mill with crystal clear water. This is followed by patiently sun dried for days on patios, giving each bean a distinctive blue-green color. This sun dried coffee has the highest standards of quality in Antigua. Every step in the mill is monitored constantly to maintain the quality. When the coffee is dried each sample is cupped by two expert cuppers to assure our clients the usual quality of this coffee.
Cup Characteristics: Stone fruit, peach, sugar browning, chocolate, red apple. Citric and malic acidity, notably that of green apples. Creamy mouthfeel.
Roasting Notes: Hard, dense and durable, this coffee can successfully be roasted across the gamut of darkness levels. To fully appreciate it, go no further that somewhat into second crack, preferably ending the roast sooner to preserve the apple and peach notes.
Guatemala coffee facts:
Population (2006): 12.3 Million People
Coffee Production: 3.93 Million bags (60 kg)
Country bag capacity: 150 pounds
Domestic Consumption: 1.7 Million bags per year
Coffee Export: 3.8 Million Bags
Cultivated Area: 250,000 Hectares
September to April
Arabica Introduced: Coffee introduced by the Jesuits
in the late 18th century and the coffee industry later developed
by German immigrants in the mid 19th century.
Specialty Coffee Regions:
Antigua, Coban, Atitlan, Huehuetenango, Fraijanes, San Marcos
Botanical Varietals: Arabigo, Bourbon, Typica, Catura, Catuai, Catimur, Maragogype, RobustaArabigo, Bourbon, Typica, Catura, Catuai, Catimur, Maragogype, Robusta
This relatively small country produces some of the world's top coffees and offers a variety of coffee experiences. Each region has distinct taste profiles, each of which is enhanced, as always, by the care and attention brought by the farm in growing methodology.
There are more than 60,000 small coffee farms in Guatemala with over 30% of the population engaged in the coffee industry.