Guatemala, Feb 22nd, 2022
A beautiful, sunny morning in Antigua. Started the day at El Gran Cafe, a coffee shop opened by Josue Morales about a year ago. All of the coffee served at El Gran is grown by Guatemalan coffee producers that Los Volcanes partners with, including the coffee we buy from Don Higinio.
Next we are at La Esperanza, Josue’s farm. The cupping lab and wet mill are also located at Esperanza. La Esperanza is located at the base of Volcán de Fuego. La Esperanza translates to The Hope. Which seems apt for everything that Josue Morales has contributed to Guatemalan coffee throughout the years. He did not name the farm.
(Finca La Esperanza)
When we walk the farm, I’m always struck by the grandeur of it all. Josue is clearly in his element, you can hear the passion in his voice as he tells me about his latest experiments, and plans for the farm. It’s all organic, with many experimental lots. Lots of differing shade, soil composition, varietals, etc. Every year he invites all of the coffee producers he works with to visit Esperanza to workshop new techniques. It’s a very magical place.
After lunch, we head back to Esperanza for 3 rounds of cupping. We taste on 18 different lots of coffee that represent the regions of Santiago, Pasajquim, Toliman, Coban, Alotenango, Antigua, Santa Rosa, and Huehuetenango. All of the coffees are very fresh, having just been picked, processed and roasted within weeks of this tasting. By the end of it my mind is buzzing. They all taste delicious.