September 16, 2013 by beanerbar
CONCEPCIÓN HUISTA –
One of the most highly anticipated Central American coffees we offer, Concepción Huista delivers yet again. This is our third year of working with the cooperative, and, this year, we focused on buying smaller lots – trying to capture higher quality from particular areas within the cooperative. As always, bright fruit tones are the hallmark of this coffee, accentuated by a nice, lingering sweetness with notes of pomegranate, brown sugar, and apple.
In 2010 an importer shared with us a coffee from a cooperative of small organic farmers in Huehuetenango. We’ve a long history of working in Huehuetenango with Finca Nueva Armenia, but had never worked with a small-farmer cooperative in the region before. Intrigued, Kim and Jeff planned a side trip after a visit to Nueva Armenia to get a head start on establishing a relationship with CODECH, the name of the cooperative. We wound up introducing the coffee as a special selection in 2011, which is unusual for our first year working with a cooperative. Since then we have focused on smaller selections from this group to help guide us to a closer buying relationship, and have confidence this coffee is going to get better and better.
The Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Desarrollo de Concepción Huista (CODECH) was founded in 1995 as a cooperative for coffee and other products and services, as well. It has grown to include more than 750 members and focuses on coffee, with large markets in Europe and the United States for certified organic, Fair Trade Certified coffee. Coffee is relatively new to this area, at least to small-scale growers, and the majority of coffee that CODECH’s members produce come from trees planted in the past 20 years.
Huehuetenango is a special place. In Guatemala’s relatively arid, mountainous west, the dramatic mountains and canyons create a perfect environment for great coffee. Huehuetenango means “place of the ancients” in Nahuatl, and indeed this was considered a special agricultural area for the ancient Mayans. The coffee is special, too, and Huehuetenango Highland Coffee is the only coffee to be inducted to the Slow Food Ark of Taste, dedicated to recognizing and preserving food traditions worldwide. Concepcion Huista itself is a municipality in the department of Huehuetenango, and the co-op’s members manage farms in the mountains surrounding the town.
Varieties: Caturra, Bourbon and mixed varieties
Elevation: 1,000 – 1,900
Depulped by small farmers on individual farms, fermented overnight, and washed clean, this is classic small-farmer crafted coffee.
Harvest Time: November 2012 – February 2013