TG-LAB is a Guatemalan owned and operated coffee laboratory that is solely dedicated to the creation of specialty coffee. TG-LAB’s work is rooted in the principle of traceability, which they define as knowing where coffee comes from and who produced it. Based on this principle, TG-LAB has created unique programs to engage with farms in order to add value to their work and produce better coffee. Farms that have been working with TG-LAB for many years has a detailed blueprint of their coffee production and has identified where their most exceptional coffees are growing. Additionally, TG-LAB has developed an innovative financial model that allows farmers more control over the pricing and destinations of their coffees.
This lot, along with the Todos Santos, comes from a tiny producers’ association called El Esfuerzo (“The Effort”). This association has just 29 members and is based in Todos Santos Cuchumatán, HueHueTenango. El Esfuerzo cultivates coffee over an extension of 65 hectares, producing up to 1,600 bags each year.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Guatemala Finca Santiago, from ReAnimator Coffee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Todos Santos Cuchumatán, Río Ocho, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
farm: Finca Santiago
producer: El Esfuerzo
elevation: 1600 – 1700 meters above sea level
cultivars: Bourbon, Catuai
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of the Guatemala Finca Santiago is very fragrant, refined, and pretty sweet. If the nose of the coffee is indicative of the coffee’s flavor, this is going to be a tremendous cupping experience. Notes of white tea and rose hips accentuated by berries, citrus, and honey.
Taking my first few sips of the cup, I am delighted to report the flavor does follow the nose. This is a medium-bodied coffee with soft, supple mouthfeel and soft edges—which is unique, considering how bright and fruit forward the profile is. While it does lay down a bed of butterscotch, which envelops the tongue, and while it does very faintly showcase the sugary sweetness and nutmeg spiciness of a snickerdoodle cookie, blackberry, plum, raisin, and clementine are the stars of the show.
As the cup cools off, those fruit flavors pop even more and the coffee only gets brighter and livelier; as a result, the texture becomes a bit more sparkling and effervescent. Now I’m tasting more fruits in addition to what I tasted up front: pear, peach, apricot, and a sparkling green grape acidity that leaves behind a crisp, clean finish.
Medium body; supple mouthfeel; citric acidity; clean finish.
It’s been a while since I tasted a really dynamite Guatemalan coffee and, I have to say, ReAnimator Coffee’s Guatemala Finca Santiago really was dynamite. It was the perfect prototype for washed Guatemalas—bright, sweet, fruity, effervescent, elegant… A coffee that simply danced and sparkled on the palate.
*content provided by InterAmerican Coffee
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.