Plum and sweet mixed spices. Bit like a fruit cake.
Born and raised amidst coffee plantations and a parchment warehouse at home, Max Pérez always had the idea of starting a coffee business himself.
In 2010, the opportunity came up. The time to “make the coffee dreams come true” arrived with a lot of family effort and a clear idea in mind: develop a specialty coffee farm that would blend tradition and innovation to supply its customers with amazing coffees, while having a positive impact in the society. And so, the adventure started !
After evaluating the potential regions to land this project, Acatenango came across as “the one”.
Why? Well, when you have two beautiful volcanoes towering a piece of land that has perfect altitude and mineral-rich soils, doubt immediately turns into certainty.
Acatenango is definitely a blessed region, home to great farms, tasteful coffees and dedicated coffee growers who love and enjoy what they do. No wonder why it is one of the only two denominations of origin in Guatemala that have been recognised to protect outstanding coffee regions.
The farm is divided in thirteen plots in full production, featuring traditional varieties as Pache, Typica, Caturra, and Bourbon, as well as the trendy Pacamara and Geisha.
Quality doesn’t come by chance, so all their coffees are carefully hand picked and processed following the best practices for the washed, natural, and honey methods. These are Yellow Bourbon and unlike most cherries ripen Yellow and not Red. This requires specific picking skills to ensure the cherries are ripe.
The quality of their coffees has been rewarded with different national and international prizes in the past years, including the Cup of Excellence auction program, but they are not resting on past successes and keep moving towards innovation and improvement.
The farm team manages a nursery and produces its own seeds. It uses a refractrometer to determine ripeness. The pick varietals and lots separately. They neither use herbicide nor pesticide. They apply natural fertiliser created by the coffee pulp and earthworms.
The 'Golden Honey' name is given to this coffee due to the combination of the Yellow Bourbon variety processed in the Yellow Honey method.
There are 7 steps for treating these Yellow Bourbon cherries:
1. The process starts by picking the cherry at a point that is around 21 to 23 brix (a refractometer measure of the sugar content)
2. After picking they leave the cherries to ferment with the pulp for 6 to 8 hours.
3. Next step is to remove the pulp (cascara) with a minimum amount of water, leaving 50% to 60% of the mucilage (honey) adhered to the seed.
4. Immediately after step 3, the coffee is taken to African beds located in greenhouses where they rest at an average temperature of 30 to 35 degrees celsius with enough ventilation. This generates an ideal water activity inside the bean to maintain quality during this step.
5. The drying process on African beds lasts around 30 to 35 days, depending on weather conditions at the farm.
6. Once the drying process is finished, the water activity and the humidity is verified to ensure that they remain between Aw 0.60 and Aw. 0.70 and a humidity of 11% to 11.5%
7. Finally the coffee is rested in parchment for 20/25 more days in their warehouse, when it is ready to move onto the de-hulling and packing process.