Arrived mid July, 2012, new crop and later than usual due to weather issues that produced a particularly small crop, though quality does not appear to have been affected. Finca La Tacita, a genuine Guatemala Antigua, is a
coffee we have offered in some prior years as it rarely disappoints. Now in its fourth
generation, the Falla family, growers of La Tacita, has been one of the premier coffee
growing families of Guatemala Antigua. Finca (plantation) La Tacita is one of the best
cultivated examples of Bourbon trees grown at elevations that exceed 6000 feet above
sea level on the mountainside of Volcan Acatenango. The cherries are a deep shade of
red approaching purple.
Bourbon is no longer the most common varietal these days throughout Antigua but this
heirloon cultivar offers sweet, concentrated flavors due to its relatively low yield,
somewhat small size and the high elevation where it is grown. This is further enhanced
by Finca La Tacita's approach to sustainability. They use two tiers of shade tree with
naturally occurring oak forming the top tier and planted Grevilla and Macadamia forming
the lower tier. These shade trees provide a canopy which allows coffee to grow more
slowly and its sweetness is heightened. This type of canopy also provide habitat for
wildlife, erosion protection and fosters organic compost. La Tacita also plants rows of
nitrogen fixing black beans between rows of coffee.
Antigua, Guatemala's former 16th century capital, was abandoned by the 18th century
because of the frequency of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. The Falla family bought
property in Antigua in 1890 and has been farming since. Over the years, their sizeable
overall holdings were divided among heirs with much of the land being used for coffee
and other farming. La Tacita itself was land used for cattle grazing until about 30
years ago and was then found to be ideal for growing coffee. The Falla family also owns
Finca San Sebastian, a wonderful coffee hardly seen in the US today, all of it going to
Europe and Asia. La Tacita, which means 'little cup' is so named for the punchbowl
shape of the property, is the adjacent farm. It is one of roughly fifty genuine Antigua
farms and consistently produces one of the finest coffees available there.
Coffee cherry is processed at the family's beneficio and then 100% sun dried. Year
after year this coffee has consistently scored at or near the top of various cupping
events and several years ago voted 'the best' coffee of Antigua. Further, it has
received glowing commentary from the Coffee Review. This coffee enjoys seasonal rain,
abundant sun, rich volcanic soil and, spring fed waters. The harvests of each parcel
spread over a three month season and requires hand picking each plant up to four times
to insure a uniformly ripe cherry. The La Tacita farm is one of a handful of coffees
certified as genuine Antigua coffee since that certification became available for
coffees from this renowned region.
This coffee growing family promotes responsible cultivation, protection of the their
micro environment and fair wages to their employees through premium coffee production
and pricing. The family's other holdings include the famed Finca San Sebastian.
Cup characteristics: Clean, bright and complex. It possesses considerable
body, mouthfeel and a good Antigua's lightly smoky and zesty character.