Varietal(s): 30% Caturra, 50% Marsellesa, 20% Hybrids
Processing: Fully washed & dried in guardiolas
Flavours: Plum, dense
When Guadalupe Zaju’s current owner, Eduardo ‘Teddy’ Esteve, purchased the farm in 2004, it was a true act of faith and commitment to making the formerly great farm into a bastion of quality again.
The coffee at Guadalupe Zaju is 100% shade grown (the farm is Rainforest Alliance, Utz and Cafe Practices certified). Shade is well-managed and designed to be multi-purpose. Magnolia from Guatemala has been selected due to the fact that it is evergreen and has less leaf fall. Even more importantly, it is a sturdy tree with a relatively high canopy. The area is known for being windy (high winds in of 2008’s Tropical Storm Odile almost ripped the entire harvest away). Magnolia can withstand high winds and help protect the vulnerable coffee trees below. Shade trees are also selected for their ability to control pests.
All coffee on the farm is selectively hand harvested and sorted, again, when it is delivered to the farms mill. The coffee is pulped using a Pinhalense ecopulper, which separates ripe and under ripe/underweight cherries again, along with removing any debris. This pulper uses one cubic meter of water to process up to 20 tonnes! This is a huge water saving and contributes greatly towards limiting the farm’s environmental footprint.
After pulping, coffee is sorted by density and delivered to separate tanks to ferment between 15 to 40 hours. The coffee’s ‘readiness’ to be washed is done using the traditional method of ‘prueba de palo’ (stick test), where the coffee is stirred with a long pole to see if it is the right consistency to be washed
After fermentation, the coffee is delivered to a demucilager to remove any last traces of mucilage, again helping the farm save water and limit waste.
The region experiences insufficient sun to dry the entirety of the farm’s production on patios, so all of the export quality coffee is dried using the farm’s 10 guardiolas. Temperatures of these wood fired driers are carefully monitored, and coffee is dried at a slow and constant temperature of 40 degrees until they reach between 11-12% humidity.
The dried pergamino is then rested before being bagged and then delivered for dry milling to Tapachula or Veracruz, depending on the export market and availability.
All in all, the story of Guadalupe Zaju is the story of a coffee lover passionate about what he does. Passion has led him to forget budgets when trying to produce a great coffee, and Teddy will continue to take very step possible to ensure that coffee from his farm is the absolute best in the region.