Friday, June 28, 2013

Guatemala 2013 pt 2 - Finca Vista Hermosa

Today we're launching the fresh crop Guatemalan coffees from Finca Vista Hermosa and El Diamante. Both will be available in our webshop and our coffee shops. In March our director Peter Dupont and bar manager and 2013 Danish Barista Champion Rasmus Gamrath visited the farms in the region of Huehuetanango. Here are their reports from the trip in two parts. Click here for part one.

In March, I (Rasmus Gamrath) was lucky to get to go to Origin for the first time. Its something I've been dreaming about doing for a long time. I have been excited to get to smell, touch and see everything that goes on at the farm. Getting to go to Huehuetenango was just an extra bonus since we are buying from two different farms in the area. Peter has written about our visit to El Diamante, so I will focus on our visit to Finca Vista Hermosa.

The first thing that stroke me on the drive up to Finca Vista Hermosa was all the people in the area, that are involved in producing coffee. It really confirmed the amount of labour going into producing coffee. It’s something we are all aware of in our daily work in the bar, but it somehow still managed to surprise me. And it really showed me how much respect we should have for the effort people working at the farms put into producing quality coffee.

Drying coffee at FVH
Guatemala 2013

We were staying at the farm for two days, so we got to experience first hand what goes on at farm. Peter had arranged for us to come with Diego one of the farm workers and try to pick berries for a few hours. It was interesting to see how difficult it actually is to only pick the fully ripe cherries, and how long time it takes. Due to the slow progress we didn’t get to pick a lot, but at least the other pickers got some good laughs looking at our rookie picking style.

Later in the day we cupped 9 different lots from this years harvest at Finca Vista Hermosa. It was a good experience to get to cup together with Edwin and Eliseo (the farm manager at Finca Vista Hermosa) and hear their descriptions of their coffee.   

Cupping at FVH, from left Eliseo, Edwin, Martin and Rasmus

The next day Edwin showed us around on Finca Vista Hermosa. We talked about the Roya (leaf rust) that is so challenging for a lot of farmers at the moment. Luckily it’s not something they have had problems with at Finca Vista Hermosa. We also had a look at the nursery were they grow plants to plant on new lots. They normally grow all new plants themselves, unless they need new varieties. The way they reproduce plants is by taking a coffee bean still in its mucilage and leaving it in a sand-like soil. At a point the bean will sprout and is then put in a plastic back with earth and is watered intensely. After about two years the plant is ready to be planted outside the nursery.

Nursery at FVH
Nursery at FVH

When walking around on the farm Edwin told us about different projects they are doing. They are looking at different drying methods, at the moment they are drying on patios but for this year they have done some tests on raised beds. They are also doing tests on different pruning methods. It was all very interesting to see.   

-Rasmus Gamrath


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