This Willoughby's Serious Select coffee
will be roasted and shipped Tuesdays 4/23 and 4/30
subject to availability
This is a very small lot from one of our favorite coffee growers, Finca El Injerto in the western Guatemala region of Huehuetenango. Guatemala El Injerto Patagonia Pacamara was purchased at private auction in last June and has been stored unopened in vacuum packaging and of course unroasted. For the second year, the plantation has opted to put their reputation on the line and auction selected lots to buyers, on a competitive basis. Bidding was brisk and we won our two picks, this and the Pandora del Carmen lot which we have offered separately. A very small amount of this wonderful coffee is now available to our customers.
Last year we selected a different lot, Pandora de Concepcion, and we were awarded 95 points from Coffee Review in early 2012 (right). This year, after roasting and cupping all of the lot samples, we favored the Pandora Del Carmen and Patagonia lots and went after them. This specially prepared lot hand picked, washed and fully sun dried.
This Patagonia Pacamara coffee is the highest grown on the El Injerto farm, 6100 feet or 1850 meters. It is very cold and lots of humidity sometimes affect the development of new plants. Because of the elevation yield is very low but flavor is concentrated due to slower growth.
El Injerto is the pre-eminent farm in western Guatemala, in Huehuetenango; in fact, it is one of, if not "the" most famed coffee farm in the country. This is rough terrain and it takes about eight hours to travel here from Guatemala City, mostly because of difficult roads and steep, winding slopes. The farm grows a number of varietals, or seed types, but is best known for its Pacamara, a cross between the Pacas from El Salvador and the Maragogype, an oversized bean native to Guatemala. This hybrid has the size and power of the large bean with the delicacy of the Pacas, itself a branch of Bourbon. While the farm has a generous amount of land, two-thirds are a natural rain forest surrounding the coffee plantation. Elevations range from 4,800 to 6,500 feet. The Patagonia parcel is located at 6,100 feet.
photo courtesy El Injerto
The farm says: "As in a Pandora box, the owners have found here the most pleasant gifts as winning in 2008, $80.20 per pound, the highest price any one had received in an internet auction by that time. It releases, with the greatest gifts, hope and faith for a better coffee future."
The farm was first owned by Jesus Aguirre Panama in 1874 and it was he who named it after a native fruit. At present the farm is managed by the third and fourth generation of the Aguirre family who have worked it since 1956. Their mission is to produce specialty coffee, maintaining agricultural practices friendly to the environment and focusing on social responsibility and sustainability; to achieve a new paradigm of coffee farm management. Harvest takes place from January through April. The process is carried out by expert pickers who select only ripe fruit, modern technology and strict quality control both before and after the harvest. El Injerto is Rainforest Alliance certified.
El Injerto is very forward thinking. As mentioned, they plant and grow a number of varietals toward developing the most flavorful for their soil and micro-climate. About 60% of the farm is planted with Catuai and Bourbon; another 30% with pure Bourbon; 8% with Pacamaras and the remaining 2% with Maragogype. Prior to the June auction we were invited to a cupping of additional varieties, some grown in such small quantities that they could not be marketed**. Represented there were tiny varietals from Yemen as well as Geishas which hail from Ethiopia. The farm is experimental and genuinely interested in developing world-class coffee. They wish to make the farm it own denomination someday, as some have done with wine growing regions.
The entire plantation is under shade of Gravillea and Macadamia trees as well as canopies. El Injerto goes to extreme measures to grow, harvest, process, dry, mill and ship their coffee.
Cup Characteristics: Aromas: Very broad and earthy, clean, sweet with notes of vanilla. Broad, smooth mouthfeel. Flavors: complex, dark fruit like prune, plum, raisin; artichoke overtone. The most Pacamara traits of any of the auctioned coffees in our opinion. A huge cup with long, lingering finish. We love this coffee!
** The top priced coffee sold for a record $500.50 a pound unroasted but there were only 8 pounds!