Caturra, Bourbon & Typica
On Farm Processing: Dry fermentation, Washed, Patio Drying
January - March 2023
La Unidad Cooperative; Rio Azul Cooperative
San Marcos & Huehuetenango Guatemala
About Harvest Blend
Brisk mornings and cool nights make for great coffee drinking weather. Maybe that's why we love fall so much here in the Driftless — it gives us one more reason to indulge in our quest for the perfect autumnal cup.
With all of our seasonal blends, we try to tip our hat to what's fresh and delightful, and this year's Harvest Blend is no different. A dynamic roast of two fresh crop arrivals from Guatemala: La Unidad, and Rio Azul. Both of these farmer-owned cooperatives are located in the remote highlands of Western Guatemala, only a short drive from the border of Mexico. We have been visiting and buying from both of these organizations for years and they are consistently producing some of the most elegant coffees that we've tasted from anywhere in the country.
This year’s blend offers a distinct note of apple with a maple syrup sweetness and a crisp, elegant finish. It is like putting on that well-worn sweatshirt on a cool morning. Perfection.
Coop Strong: Rio Azul and La Unidad
Our partnership with Rio Azul is one of our longest standing relationships in Guatemala. Headquartered in the town of Jacaltenango and founded in 1967, Rio Azul was one of the very first coffee-cooperatives in the region, offering smallholder farmers an opportunity to access financial and agricultural resources. Of the 210 members of the cooperative, the majority identify as Popti, an indigenous group with deep roots in Huehuetenango. It’s largely because of the Rio Azul cooperative and the outstanding work of the farmers that the world is familiar with “Huehuetenango” coffee as we know it today!
We began sourcing from Rio Azul nearly 18 years ago, and they have remained a steadfast partner for consistently balanced coffees from the Huehuetenango highlands. Unlike most Latin and South American coffees, Rio Azul utilizes a centralized wet-mill, which allows for much greater control over the final quality of raw coffee produced. We think this centralized processing adds a level of depth and clarity to Harvest!
Located in the department of San Marcos in Western Guatemala, this is our third year purchasing from La Unidad Cooperative. The cooperative is a member of the larger exporting organization, Manos Campesinas, which our importing cooperative, Co-op Coffees has been working with since 1998.
Of the cooperatives that work with Manos, the membership of La Unidad is one of the most remote groups, which in many cases means higher elevations and more traditional, heirloom coffee varieties. High elevation slows the maturation of the coffee cherries, resulting in a more dense, sweet, and high-quality coffee. Traditional coffee varieties, while more vulnerable to la roya and the elements, offer a more dynamic, complex experience, which we love in our fresh, seasonal blends like Harvest.
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