Guatemala, Feb 22nd, 2023

Up at 3:30am, I flew to Guatemala City this morning from San Salvador. Josué Morales and Carolina Franco from Los Volcanes picks me up, and we drive a few hours to Sierra de Las Minas to visit Don Higinio Gomez and his wife, Doña Aura. Los Volcanes has been our sourcing partner in Guatemala since 2017, and is responsible for connecting me to the Gómez family. Don Higinio Gómez, as mentioned in previous blog posts from last year's trip, is responsible for the production of 95% of the coffees we source from Guatemala and I am proud to say this is the first year we are buying more than a full shipping container of their coffees! This is THE first time Cultivar Coffee has ever been able to buy this much coffee from a single country, let alone a single coffee coffee community. A very happy moment in my life.

(Don Higinio & Josué Morales talk with the coffee pickers)

We buy the following coffees from Don Higinio and the community of coffee producers that he organizes. Cerro de Oro, Las Moritas Yellow Pacamara, and San Antonio. We use San Antonio for our Cream & Sugar Dark Roast and 60% of our Elevation Blend. Due to the distance of Sierra de Las Minas, and the global pandemic, this is my first time visiting him since 2018.

Sierra de Las Minas is the highest non-volcanic chain of mountains in Guatemala outside of the Huehuetenango Region. A microclimate of humid forest dominated by pine trees, along with the non-volcanic soil, gives character to the coffees produced by Don Higinio.

The Gómez family were among the first visionary farmers in the region to transition into coffee over forty years ago. Today, with the help of the Gómez family, many families are now successfully growing coffee.

Don Higinio is very happy to have visitors. We pile into his truck for a tour of the farm. The harvest season is coming to an end but due to the high elevation of the farm, (1850 masl) they are still picking coffee here. He takes us to see the Yellow Pacamara of Las Moritas which was solely purchased by Cultivar Coffee last year. The yellow cherries taste delicious, and are also a beautiful sight. Alongside the yellow, grows Red Pacamara, and today we noticed that a natural hybrid has accrued between the Yellow and Red Pacamara, which means Orange Pacamara. Josué has us pick 2 lbs of the Yellow cherries that are tinted Orange. He is going to propagate the seeds in the coffee nursery his Farm, La Esperanza in Antigua. Everyone is excited for this discovery, and now I can’t wait to taste this Orange Pacamara.

(Josué picks Orange Pacamara at Las Moritas)

(Orange Pacamara at Las Moritas)

Next, Don Higinio takes us to Cerro de Oro to see the Red Bourbon and Yellow Caturra trees. The view from Cerro de Oro is amazing.

(View from Cerro de Oro)

Doña Aura has prepared a feast of grilled meat, rice, beans, and tortillas for us. There is even fresh tamarind juice and grilled plantains. Everything is delicious. The Gómez family is always so friendly, and generous. After this feast, and waking up at 3:30 am, I am about ready for a siesta. We talk for a while longer, and eventually say our goodbyes, knowing that we have a long drive to Antigua. What an amazing day. My heart is full. 

(Jonathan, left - Doña Aura, center - Don Higinio, right)

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