The Story Behind the Coffee
One thing we know for sure is that Guatemalan medium roasts are quite the hit around here. For Wintry Mix 2024 we have brought together two exemplary Guatemalan coffees from producers that are focused on collaboration and sustainability. Specialty coffee has a bright future thanks to the work of producers like La Hermosa Cooperative and La Cooperativa Samac. For a sweet and round cup with notes of chocolate, bosc pear, and almond butter grab a bag of Wintry Mix and brew yourself a hot cup!
Both of these lots come to us from Collaborative Origins Imports who focus on relationship coffees in Guatemala. This is our third year buying La Hermosa from them, and it is our first year buying Samac. It was also a monumental year for Samac, selling to a US buyer for the first time ever in their 52 years of operation.
La Hermosa Cooperative
Max and Claudia Pérez are the farm owners at Finca La Hermosa in Acatenango, Guatemala. They have built a name for themselves, forging key relationships with roasters and importers. This has given them market access and opportunities that most small producers simply don’t have. The fruitfulness of their labor is now expanding with their cooperative project. This project represents 52 local producers that deliver their cherries to Max’s wet mill. Max and Claudia have done an amazing job at not only communicating quality expectations but also helping producers produce the level of specialty-grade coffees they’re looking for by supporting them with organic fertilizers. Instead of cherry picking the best coffees, they are working alongside producers to help them improve the root of where quality begins, plant nutrition.
La Cooperativa Samac
This coffee is grown in a high-elevation rainforest that’s situated comfortably inside a lush valley. Healthy cloud forests encourage the strong and bountiful growth of plants like bananas, vanilla, numerous flowers (a region known for orchids), corn, and cardamom. The cooperative began in 1971 and has been working to restore the native environment after it suffered from deforestation at the hands of German settlers in the 1800s for cardamom farming.
La Cooperativa Samac is laser focused on sustainability and quality. Recently they’ve built an entire wet mill to process their cherries into parchment, they’ve designed and built solar dryers to reduce their need for firewood to dry coffee while being quality-conscious, and lastly, they’ve recently just re-forested over 850 hectares of land in 2020… just to name a few.
La Cooperativa Samac has a really delicate balance and appreciation for both quality of coffee and doing so in a manner that’s honoring of their environment. The types of shade trees they utilize, composting methods, honey water recirculation systems, and how their coffees are dried are all done in a manner to preserve the natural environment.
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