Guatemala La Bolsa
Name: La Bolsa
Producer: Omar Cardenas Benavides
Origin: La Libertad, Huehuetenago
Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra
Altitude: 1500-1700 metres above sea level
Flavours: Milk chocolate, red grape, green apple, cherry.
SCAA Score: 86.5
Where is it from?
This coffee comes from the Huehuetengo region in the western highlands of Guatemala. La Bolsa was bought by Jorge Vides, a distinguished medical professional, in 1958. The land before the purchase was not used for coffee production but Jorge replenished the land to make it suitable to grow coffee trees. As a result Jorge has won a number of awards for his coffee production and for services to the region of Huehuetenango, even having the main hospital in the coffee growing community named after him.
La Bolsa sits between two mountains, which provide a very stable but humid microclimate. This combined with the limestone rich soils give the coffee a very unique profile, with a rich syrupy body and plenty of malic and citric acidity. Coffee is fermented for between 18 and 24 hours, and is then cleaned of mucilage, graded in channels and soaked overnight.
La Bolsa is RFA certified and follows C.A.F.E practises guidelines. Coffee Care has funded the construction of a school and nursery at the farm, with fully trained, full time teachers. All of the temporary and permanent staff have access to schooling for their children, and they are incentivised to leave their children at school or nursery through food donations. When a child attends school or nursery for 5 consecutive days they receive a weekly supply of rice, beans and corn. Prior to this food ration scheme it was very difficult to get people to leave their children in the care of others, and schooling wasn’t necessarily valued as there is a greater pressure on earning more money to feed the family. As a result there are no children working in the farm, and the school and nursery classes are full. Accommodation is provided for permanent and temporary workers, with separate facilities for men and women and families, bathrooms and kitchens.
Sections of the farm are reserved areas, to promote biodiversity, reduce exposure to winds and soil erosion. Inga trees are used as a shade trees, and to fix nitrogen in the soil which is essential for plant and cherry growth. An expansive composting operation has been established to make use of waste products, using redworms.
La Bolsa competed in the 2002 Cup Of Excellence competition and placed second, scoring and extrodinary 94.98.
This coffee scored a very high 86.5 in SCAA cupping. It produces a dense, syrupy body with flavour notes of milk chocolate, red grape, green apple and cherry. Perfect for both espresso and filter.
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