Raisin, apple, milk chocolate
Growing coffee is never easy. Growing coffee on the steep slopes of Hueheutenango is no exception. This region of Huehuetenango is one of the most productive regions of all of Guatemala. Why? The conditions are text book perfect for coffee growing. About 1600 - 1800mm rainfall per year concentrated between April and October. The soil is both rich and deep and coffee trees are protected from the wind by the managed shade and the towering mountains that surround the farms.
Tajumuco producers start the wet milling process by depulping in the afternoon, leaving it for 24hrs of dry fermentation. They separate the floaters and some of the unripes in the first washing which are skimmed off the top. Then the coffees are washed in tiny washing channels. Flat space is minimal so the coffees are fully sun dried on concrete patios, roofs or black tarps wherever space can be found.
Tajumuco is part of Olam Specialty Huehue supply chain where they built their first Farmer Centre with an aim to get closer to some of the higher altitude farms and take one step closer to the coffees in San Pedro Necta and Todos Santos. This is a one-stop shop for coffee farmers of all sizes with a variety garden behind the warehouse, cupping on site with feedback and immediate premiums paid to farmers.
The Tajumuco Farmer centre is a vital hub for remote farmers in the mountains of Huehuetenango, providing a thriving marketplace and crucial resource to local smallholders for miles around. When our import partner OLAM discovered that the local school had no clean running water, they saw an opportunity to use coffee premiums to give back to the community.
Through this mechanism a new water system was funded and build which consists of a 2500 litre tank to store water during drier weather and an industrial filter to ensure it is safe to drink, providing a clean water source for all 165 children, their dedicated teachers, and future students for many years to come.