Farm: Finca La Bella
Region: Sierra de las Minas, El Progreso
Varietal: Bourbon, Villa Sarchi, Caturra, Marcelleza
Altitude: 1,450 - 1,650 MASL
Cupping Notes: Nougat, Cola, Raisin
Description: La Bella Estate produces some really special coffees thanks to the the knowledge of owner and operator Teodoro Engelhardt, and it’s location, an area of tropical climate, surrounded by forests, in the heart of La Sierra de las Minas, in the department of El Progreso. Finca La Bella was founded in 1960 by the Engelhardt Family. Teodoro began to get involved around 1999 and worked alongside with his father for 13 years, until his father passed away. Later, Teodoro decided to continue the family tradition as a fourth-generation coffee producer. Plantation knowledge and coffee cultivation runs in the Engelhardt Family’s blood at this point. Teo has cemented himself in Guatemala as a leader in not only his community, but for all Guatemalan Coffee, serving on the board of directors at Anacafé, Guatemala’s National Coffee Association (Asociación Nacional del Café).
Teo processes coffee with incredible dedication to cup quality, adding steps to this washed process lot that many producers would skip for sake of time. He begins with a 2 day pre-fermentation in cherry, adding a pleasant fruity quality. Coffee is then depulped, removing cherry skin and mucilage and then fermented for another 18 hours under water. After fermentation is finished and the coffee is washed clean, it begins the drying process in greenhouses, protecting it from direct sun and allowing more controls over temperature and humidity. At this point coffee has begun drying very evenly, it is then taken to a custom built mechanical dryer where it spends 12 hours per day until it’s between 12.5% and 13% moisture content. Once within that range, the coffee has enough internal heat to finish drying to ~11% while resting in the warehouse.
Teo holds a special place in our hearts. He visited us in 2022 with Dinamica, our export partner for his coffees. During that visit we cupped his coffees, brewed some coffees from other countries for him, and then went to Knott’s Berry Farm! Early 2023 he returned the favor and then some while hosting us at his farm where we spent a couple of nights touring the farm and wet mill, drinking mezcal, telling stories, and maybe shooting targets with his .40 cal.
From Dinamica: “Capulin presents a truly special blend of varieties, resulting in an exquisite cup with a delightful range of flavors. Citric notes akin to lime take the lead, while the brew boasts a rich body and the sweet essence of sugarcane and cacao undernotes. A subtle touch of dryness adds complexity to this exceptional brew.”