Mountainous, heavily forested and dotted with Mayan ruins, lakes, volcanoes, orchids and exotic birds, Guatemala is one of the most beautiful countries in Central America. Coffee was introduced to Guatemala in 1750 by Jesuit priests and the brought great prosperity to the country during the 19th century. Today coffee remains an important part of the country’s economy and accounts for almost half of the earnings produced by agriculture.It is virtually all shade-grown and in a country of mountains and volcanoes, varied microclimates and regular rainfall patterns, there are inevitably some fantastic coffees to choose from.
Bought by distinguished professor, Jorge Vides in 1958, Finca La Bolsa’s received numerous awards for quality (second place at 2002 Cup of excellence competition) and services to the region of Huehuetenango, La Libertad. The farm’s ethos is deeply rooted in ensuring the surrounding area also benefit from its success, by providing training and education (with the help of ‘coffee care’) to all its staff and their children, as well as other schemes which nurture the young and maintain the livelihood of the workers.
Sections of the farm are reserved areas, to promote biodiversity and there is an expansive composting operation in use to make use of waste products. La Bolsa’s social and environmental conscience reflected in good practice adds to the appeal of their excellent coffee.
La Bolsa sits between two mountains at an altitude of 1500-1700m, which provides a very stable, humid microclimate and rich soil for high quality coffee. After harvesting the coffee’s naturally sun dried on patios and processed by being washed and soaked.
The Caturra and Bourbon coffee beans grown here are beautifully balanced with plenty of malic and citric acidity, and a dense syrupy body. With notes of milk chocolate and cherry it proves to be a very versatile coffee, perfect for both espresso and filter.