A complex and aromatic coffee with delicate, yet satisfying cup.
The Back Story
We drove the dry mountain switchbacks of the Chimaltenango region of Guatemala to come see these ladies and their coffee growing operation. We were overcome with their sincere welcome and contagious enthusiasm. We arrived at the end of harvest and were the first coffee roasting group to come check out their crop.
This year had been extra challenging, their seasonal rains were only a fraction of usual amounts. Virgilia Sucuc (Co-Op member) said, “the coffee trees got more water than our families did.” Virgilia’s sincere smile, proactive spirit and pride in doing whatever it takes to provide for her family, really inspired us. It costs extra to get their supplies, being far from any city and on the mountain. Everyone in the Co-op depended heavily on Dona Viana’s 75 years of coffee growing wisdom. She shared with us that she woke before 4am every morning to water the coffee trees by hand on the mountain slope, so they could absorb the precious water at the right time and the sun wouldn’t evaporate it. Even though the crop yield was significantly lower than usual, Dona Viana led the Co-op in applying strict sorting standards and set aside the best coffee cherries (beans).
The Moment of truth came- the honor was ours to taste their crop and rate their coffee. What were the results of all their hard work? Would the coffee be excellent enough to sell at a good price, in order to pay all their expenses and to send their children to school? The unanimous verdict- Yes, this is excellent coffee!
The gathering instantly became a celebration! Sharing this moment with them, we were overcome with humility and a truer appreciation for each of them, their hard work and the challenges they had overcome. It was truly an honor to meet Dona Viana and to witness first-hand, her coffee wisdom and her spirit of sacrificial determination, still going strong in her 90’s!