San Carlos

0.50  12.65 

Origin: Guatemala

Farm / washing station: San Carlos

Flavor Notes: raspberry jam, pomelo, dark chocolate

Best for: Espresso

Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra

Process: Washed

Altitude: 1500 - 1700 above sea level

Region: Sacatapéquez Department, Antigua Region

Acidity: Medium acidity

Cupping score: 85+

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Sweet, full-bodied espressos have long been big favourites in our range. And that’s exactly the kind of sweet and universally loved espresso we were expecting from our only Guatemalan representative coffee this year. And it did!

The coffee comes from the 16-hectare San Carlos farm owned by the same producers as Villa Estela and San Ignacio. These three farms are historic farms located among the ruins, shops and restaurants in the center of La Antigua, Guatemala. The owner does not currently operate the farms directly but has asked Josué of Los Volcanes to look after them directly. Thus fully realising the farms’ potential for the production of fine coffee. Carlos Durán was the founder of these farms in 1850 and passed them down through the generations to his family.

The main varieties found on the farm are 100 to 135-year-old Bourbon varieties. These plants have been grown, managed and pruned so that they are about the average height of a Guatemalan. Bending and growing towards the ground with many of the tops now touching the ground. This method is used so that pickers can reach all the cherries and not slow down the growth of this rare variety. The trick to keeping this variety productive for so long is to rotate the harvested plants each year.

The natural cycle of the coffee tree is that it bears every two years but humans have managed to stress the plants to produce fruit every year. On the San Carlos farm the plants remain productive and live longer because the plants are allowed to rest between years of production. Ridding the plants of all leaves and cherries at the end of the harvest season helps keep their ancient bourbons healthy and productive through constant regeneration.

In addition to Bourbon on San Carlos also produces 40-year-old varieties of Caturra and Catuaí. The main shade trees used at San Carlos are Gravilea and Inga. Special care is also given to these shade trees which are pruned every 10 years allowing them to grow taller than the trees on the traditional farms of Antigua. The taller shade trees help to protect the plants from the frost that characterises the island’s cold nights while also allowing the wind to pass through the plantations which keeps the humidity lower.

An interesting feature of this farm is the length of its harvest season which begins in December sometimes even November and lasts until April. The harvest season on this farm is remarkably longer than on neighbouring coffee farms where the harvest only runs from January to March. How they manage to achieve such a long and lucrative season remains a mystery!

Notes from our baristas:
Raspberries! At first sip we all unanimously agreed. We haven’t felt such raspberry body in a long time in coffee. Combined with the subtle bitter-acidic flavours of the pomelo and the bold finish of dark chocolate, it makes a perfectly balanced espresso. Set up was quick. The coffee is not tricky by any means and worked great at a ratio of 1:2.18 in around 30 seconds. In milk the same recipe worked perfectly for us and the combination of dark chocolate and raspberries was lovely here too. In short, a lovely coffee for everyday drinking.

Weight N/A
Package size

1000 g, 250 g, 2500 g

Typ pražení

Espresso