About Guatemala El Injerto Legendary Geisha
Arrived late August 2017, in vacuum packaging, following the El Injerto private auction where we won this lot. This is a very small lot from one of our favorite coffee growers, Finca El Injerto in the western Guatemala region of Huehuetenango. Guatemala El Injerto Legendary Geisha was purchased at private auction in June 2017 after we cupped almost 10 of their famed auction lots. As usual, the plantation has opted to put their reputation on the line and auction selected lots to buyers, on a competitive basis, which we were happy to be a part of for another year.
We've offered coffee from El Injerto for a number of years, many of which have been the Pacamara varietal, but we were really impressed with the Geisha this year. The Geisha seeds resulted when Arturo Aguirre, Sr from El Injerto visited Hacienda La Esmeralda. El Injerto considered it an honor to have been provided the seeds and treated them them like royalty, naming their newly grown coffee as 'Legendary Gesha'.
The plantings are still young and as experienced elsewhere, cup very well at a young age, when yields are sparse. This lot won 2nd place in the 2017 Guatemala Cup of Excellence. Processing of this coffee is unique, El Injerto calls their washed processing of this coffee "Peak Performance Process (P3)". To paraphrase: 'an exhaustive process of hand sorting, separation and selection of the coffee beans throughout wet and dry milling. This includes, full fermentation, soaking for 24hrs after washing and very slow drying. This enhances the flavors and increases the life time of the coffee'.
El Injerto is the pre-eminent farm in western Guatemala, in Huehuetenango; in fact, it is one of, if not "the" most famed coffee farm in the country. This is rough terrain and it takes about eight hours to travel here from Guatemala City, mostly because of difficult roads and steep, winding slopes. While the farm has a generous amount of land, two-thirds are a natural rain forest surrounding the coffee plantation. Elevations range from 4,800 to 6,500 feet. The Legendary Geisha plot is at a steep elevation of 5,940 feet!
The farm was first owned by Jesus Aguirre Panama in 1874 and it was he who named it after a native fruit. At present the farm is managed by the third and fourth generation of the Aguirre family who have worked it since 1956. Their mission is to produce specialty coffee, maintaining agricultural practices friendly to the environment and focusing on social responsibility and sustainability; to achieve a new paradigm of coffee farm management. Harvest takes place from January through April. The process is carried out by expert pickers who select only ripe fruit, modern technology and strict quality control both before and after the harvest. El Injerto is Rainforest Alliance certified.
El Injerto is very forward thinking. As mentioned, they plant and grow a number of varietals toward developing the most flavorful for their soil and micro-climate. They are also Rainforest Alliance certified. The entire plantation is under shade of Gravillea and Macadamia trees as well as canopies. El Injerto goes to extreme measures to grow, harvest, process, dry, mill and ship their coffee.
September 2017 Coffee Review awarded our sister company, Willoughby's, 93 points and said "Blind Assessment: Subtle; balanced; classic. Roasted cashew, sweet apple, clover flowers, brown sugar, fresh-cut cedar in aroma and cup. Softly and sweetly tart in structure; plush and velvety in mouthfeel. Apple, brown sugar, cashew and clover all carry into a quietly complete finish."
Cup Characteristics: Fragrance of guava, lavender and bergamot surprise your olfactory sense. Oak aged hints that some also describe as eucalyptus add to its complexity. Tangerine acidity is well combined with plums and peaches in the aftertaste.
Roasting Notes: As with all Geishas, the best roast is light to medium to showcase the delicate floral characteristics and nuanced acidity. Roast past first crack but not much further to retain those flavors.
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.