Guatemala - Finca San Rafael Natural
Sold In 12 Oz. or 2 Lb. Bag
TASTING NOTES: Bright, Juicy, Citrus, Tropical Fruits, Coconut
REGION: Hoja Blanca, Huehuetenango
FARM: Finca San Rafael
ALTITUDE: 1600-1700 MASL
This remarkable coffee comes from Finca San Rafael, cultivated by Don Gerson Adoni Martinez Villatoro. It stands out as one of the most vibrant and flavorful offerings we've presented this year. This is the type of coffee experience that lingers in your memory well after the last sip. Don't let this limited-run pass you by.
More about Don Gerson & Finca San Rafael:
Don Gerson’s Grandfather, Eleodoro Villatoro, was the 1st coffee producer to cultivate coffee in Hoja Blanca back in 1950. Originally, he tried growing corn in the main city of Huehuetenango but found the terrain too flat which was prone to flooding when the winter rains came. So he eventually moved to the area of Hoja Blanca and began growing both corn and coffee. Hoja Blanca is located about 5 hours north of Huehuetenango and is super close to the Guatemala/Mexico border near Cuilco. There, you’ll find dozens of volcano-shaped mountains, deep valleys, switchback red dirt roads, and beautiful lush Avatar-like forests. We tried taking drone footage and go-pro shots of the area of Hoja Blanca and we still feel like they did a terrible job at capturing the beauty of this region. We’ve been working with coffee for 8 years now and we’re both convinced that Hoja Blanca is perhaps the most beautiful part of Guatemala that we’ve seen so far.
Hoja Blanca first got its name in the late 1700s. Back in that timeframe, the valleys were filled with plants that have since gone extinct. The bottom side of its leaves where actually white. The settlers thus named this region Hoja Blanca or “White Leaf” in English.
Deep within these forests and up along the sides of the mountains is where you’ll find Don Gerson’s lands filled with a variety of Bourbon, Maresllesa, Pacamara, and Geisha plants that he’s particularly proud of. (His wife and close friends even joke about his Geisha plants being Don Gerson’s second love after his wife.) Don Gerson began working in coffee shortly after graduating from a car mechanic school in 1990 and then took over Finca San Rafael after his Mother and Father passed in the early 2000s. It wasn’t until 2019 however that Don Gerson developed a passion for Specialty Coffee. In 2019, Don Gerson decided to enter a lot into the Cup of Excellence and won 19th place that year with a Washed Anaerobic Gesha. At that time, Don Gerson didn’t actually have an export license but due to the excellence of that lot, Anacafe expedited the process and awarded Don Gerson with his own export license.
Now empowered with the ability to market and export his own coffee, Don Gerson has gotten excited about the opportunity to enter in more lots into the cup of excellence and begin building relationships with interested buyers as a way to better sustain the farm, his family, and the surrounding community in Hoja Blanca.