Guatemala - Cooperativa San Andrés
This excellent washed Guatemalan coffee is produced in the Sololá region. Brew this as a filter and expect a bright citrus acidity and flavours of lemon, baked apple and cherry. I recommend a ratio of 60g of coffee per litre of water.
Made up of 32 small farms, the San Andres Cooperative resides in the valley between Volcán Atitlan and Volcán Tolimán, two stratovolcanoes that rest next to Lake Atitlan in the Sololá regionin southwestern Guatemala.
Most members of this diverse group of Kaqchikel coffee producers live and work in the nearby town of Patulul. Traditionally acquiring their farms by inheriting the land from their parents, Members of Cooperativa San Andrés carry with them vast amounts of coffee farming knowledge gained from generations of experience. Most farms average ½ a hectare to 3 hectares in size, with coffee grown as the primary crop.
During harvest, the cherries are selectively handpicked when at their ripest. Once picked, they are then sorted according to size, colour and maturity, to remove any cherries that may be over or under-ripe, as well as sorting any foreign contaminantssuch as sticks and stones. The sorted coffee is then taken roughly 80km to the wet mill, Beneficio La Esperanza, in Antigua. Here, the coffee cherry is pulped, undergoing a process of fermentation for an average of 36 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. The coffee is then washed and laid out to dry for 10-12 days on patios. Due to the climate, if the region experiences high levels of rain, drying is usually finished in the mill's mechanical dryers.