Guatemala - Filadelfia - Washed
GUATEMALA - FILADELFIA - WASHED
Coffee, sugar and bananas compete annually for Guatemala's number one export. Today, the Guatemalan coffee sector generates around 40% of all agricultural export revenue and almost quarter of the population is involved in producing the 3.6 million bags of coffee Guatemala exports each year. Guatemala’s stellar coffee reputation is a combination of the right environmental conditions and a strong focus on cultivation and processing methods. Coffee is widely cultivated and grows in 20 of the 22 departments in Guatemala. High altitudes, consistent rainfall and mineral-rich soils make coffee an excellent crop across much of Guatemala. The nearly 300 unique microclimates means that Guatemalan coffees boast a diverse range of favours.
Some accounts have coffee cultivation in Guatemala starting as early as the mid-18th century, when Jesuits brought coffee plants to decorate their monasteries in the city of Antigua. There are accounts dating back to the early 1800s of Guatemalans drinking coffee. Most arable coffee lands were owned by large landowners of European descent. These landowners employed indigenous people from the highlands, few of whom officially owned their own land, to tend and harvest coffee on large farms. This model, while contributing greatly to existing inequality, also put Guatemala on the global map of coffee production.
The history of Guatemala over the past 150 years has been closely tied to coffee, since coffee influenced mass relocation of local people, prompting the CIA coup and resulting in civil war of the mid 20th century. This Guatemalan civil war did not end until 1996, and the violence of the war had hindered the Guatemalan coffee industry significantly. Peacetime stability slowly worked to spread coffee production beyond historic coffee growing regions, land where popular crops like macadamia and avocado were once grown came to be replaced with coffee.
Finca Filadelfa is the name of the original Dalton family farm - the first coffee farm in Antigua. It was split into four unique farms upon the passing of the third generation of the Dalton family. The Dalton family still honours its coffee growing heritage and the farm is currently being operated by the 5th and 6th generations. Coffee represents 214.64 hectares of the entire farm.
The Antigua region is very important to our importing partner, Coffee Bird, as it is where Manuel Matheu - Marta and Alex’s great great great grandfather pioneered Guatemalan coffee with his nephew in 1864. Manuel initially borrowed the land at Filadelfa, where he planted some coffee. After his first harvest, he went to London to sell his first crop. After returning from London where he achieved great success, he was commissioned by the President of Guatemala to show small farmers how to grow coffee- and from there the Antigua growing region was born. Eventually, Manuels son purchased what is now Finca Filadelfa. Marta’s great grandmother ran the farm until she was 95 years old, and won the first two Cup of Excellence in 2001 and 2002.
The region is spread across a valley surrounded by three volcanoes - Agua, Acatenango and Fuego. The coffee grown here is enriched by the volcanic soil and tends to hold moisture well. The main shade tree used in Antigua is the grevillea, which helps protect the coffee from frost.
Raisin, Milk Chocolate, Demerara Sugar