Today’s coffee hails from Beneficio Bella Vista, a mill in Antigua which processes coffee grown by many small producers in the surrounding areas. Bella Vista is owned and run by Luis Pedro Zelaya, a fourth generation coffee producer, miller and exporter—a man who has come to be a bit of a coffee leader in the Antigua coffee community. With a background in agronomy, Luis Pedro brings knowledge and innovation to other producers in the area through education and coffee assistance. He previously served as the director of the Antigua Coffee Growers Association, which was founded by a group of producers in 2000 to protect the integrity and quality of the Antigua name and coffees grown in the region. We have seen first hand his commitment to maintaining excellent quality coffee throughout the region via ecologically stable and environmentally friendly methods.
This particular coffee, Guatemala Los Santos, is from a small town just north of Antigua. Los Santos is a blend of coffees from farms in Chimaltenango, where the cherries are processed. This coffee is sold to Bella Vista from two “middlemen” who buy cherries/pulped cherries from the smallholders of San José Poaquil. These individuals have been working with Bella Vista for some time and thus understand the quality expectations of the mill. Bella Vista handles the sorting and packaging.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Guatemala Los Santos, from ReAnimator Coffee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: San José Poaquil, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
farm: Beneficio Bella Vista
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1700 – 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Bourbon, Typica
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of the Guatemala Los Santos is pretty straightforward; no big surprises herein. Sweet scents of caramel mingled with bright citrus and red fruit.
Taking my first few sips from the cup, my tongue is coated by a medium-bodied coffee with a silky mouthfeel. Caramel and nougat spread over my palate, quickly followed by bright, juicy red delicious apple, orange, and red grape. As the cup cools, the coffee becomes a bit more varied in flavor profile. It brightens considerably with flavors of mango and tart rhubarb, even through its chewy and lingering caramel, roasted almond, chocolate malt, and nougat finish.
This was a fine offering from ReAnimator Coffee. Flavorful, clean, and balanced, their Guatemala Los Santos provided a pleasant cupping experience that was pretty straightforward, but featured just enough variation to keep the coffee interesting over the course of the cup.
The Guatemala Los Santos is a terrific example of how diverse the classic Latin American breakfast coffee can be.
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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.