Guatemala Maryville Single Origin Espresso
- November 2019
- Written by : Sam Sabori
National Coffee Roasting Manager / Green Coffee Buyer
La Maravilla is one of our longest-standing relationships, and has been one of the anchors of Northern Season single-origin menu since 2003. This year, we are presenting Mauricio’s coffee as a single-origin espresso.
Mauricio Rosales, the landowner of Finca La Maravilla, is always tinkering and has several projects that are constantly in motion. The three biggest projects he was working on this harvest were labor, improved picking, and reducing bottlenecks through the drying process.
Three birds, one stone?
Overall, this harvest had good growing conditions and good yields. This meant there was more cherry on the farm just waiting to be picked. But struggle to keep skilled labor on a coffee farm is common in Huehuetenango. The recurring theme that comes up in conversations with the locals is that if you are young and have enough saved to live in a city, the expectation is that you are going to opt for the urban lifestyle.
So this year Mauricio had an abundance of coffee, but a smaller labor force. He decided to be strategic and wait until coffee cherries were a deeper red, with a higher brix level than we have previously seen. Waiting this long before sending in workers to pick the cherry meant the darker red coffee was easier to spot and select, even for new farmworkers. Since coffee took longer to get to the desired level of ripeness and did so at different rates, this also meant there was less coffee delivered each day. This helped Mauricio get his coffee harvested with a smaller workforce, improved quality of picking, and simultaneously reduced the space needed to dry coffee on any given day.
Unlike most years, in which Mauricio has to cope with bottlenecks on his drying, this season he had too much drying space. This was partly because of the measures described above, and partly because Mauricio had built several new large raised beds in anticipation of a bottleneck based on what we observed together last season. Every year Mauricio and I discuss how to maximize quality through picking, and we agreed on expanding the number of drying beds as part of our commitment not to allow limited drying capacity to dictate quality this year. As a result of careful planning and luck, this was the first year Mauricio was able to do this successfully.
This year’s harvest was good, but not without challenges. There are big things coming from Mauricio and he is continuing to keep his head down to ensure his farm is successful. His coffee is clean, dense. And because that translates to a coffee that is structured around the kind of sweetness we are always so eager to enjoy, Mauricio’s coffee is something our roasters and baristas enjoy working with.
18g in / 41g out / 29 seconds