Guatemala Finca El Pilar is located in the mountainous forests just outside Antigua. While it is a working coffee farm, most of the land is dedicated to conservation activities. This remarkably well-preserved natural reserve of endemic forest and wildlife is home to more than 130 species of birds. They are most well known for their hummingbirds; thriving thanks to a specially designed garden complete with feeders created especially for them.
You must cross a wooden footbridge to enter Finca El Pilar; from there you traverse the infrastructure of rock and wooden paths all the way up to the cloud forest. To say this coffee is shade grown using bird friendly native trees would be an understatement. In fact, you can still find coffee growing wild among the pine and oak trees.
Finca El Pilar is a small paradise located in the mountain forests of Guatemala. Although it is a working coffee farm, only a small area is given over to production, with the rest being dedicated to conservation activities. It has an infrastructure of trails for bird watching, which spread through the farms coffee plantations as well as the mountain and cloud forest, pine and oaks. One of the main attractions on El Pilar farm is in the zone of hummingbird’s feeders where it is possible to spot a wide variety of species that inhabit the area. The farm is part of the Antigua Guatemala Important Bird Area
The farm prizes both conservation and ecotourism. While they’re setting aside pristine mountain habitat for wildlife, they also contribute to the community including providing it with clean water.
Although El Pilar is under the management category of a farm, it is dedicated more to conservation activities than production, with the exception of a small area of organic coffee. El Pilar also provides water to the nearby communities, and you will find there Cloud and Mountain Forest, with a large diversity of birds. An additional attribute is the nine hummingbird feeders, which make it possible to see as many as seven different species feeding at the same time.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Guatemala Finca El Pilar, from Lofted Coffee Roasters in Brooklyn, New York, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: San Juan Sacatepequez, Atitlan, Guatemala
farm: Finca El Pilar
producer: Juan Carlos Chen
elevation: 1500 – 1900 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Bourbon, Typica
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of this Guatemala Finca El Pilar is truly delightful. Bright, lively, fragrant, and sweet, bursting with fruits, light sugar tones, and florals.
Very juicy right out of the gate. This light-bodied coffee coats my tongue with a thin layer of honey, then is immediately flooded by a gush of juicy peach, strawberry, nectarine, blackberry, and honeycrisp apple. Throughout the cup there are nuances of jasmine tea. As the cup cools down, the coffee’s flavor profile cools down, too (so to speak); rather than the bright, lively, juicy fruit flavors that were just flooding my taste buds, the coffee has now become a more subdued sort of sugary sweet, as flavors of honey, vanilla, and angel food cake emerge.
This isn’t my first experience with the exquisite Guatemala Finca El Pilar; it is my first experience with Brooklyn’s Lofted Coffee Roasters. And I’m so happy that Craft Coffee included them in this month’s shipment because their take on this coffee was absolutely dynamite.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.