Our Solitude Espresso is easy drinking and features coffee from a single origin, in this instance Finca San Lorenzo in Guatemala. We’ve used this farm previously in our Solitude Espresso and are excited to feature it again.
Expect flavours of dark chocolate, hazelnut, brown sugar and biscuit in the cup.
Located near the town of San Cristóbal Verapaz, in the cool, rainy reaches of Cobán, Guatemala, Finca San Lorenzo nestles in the verdant hills at around 1,500 metres above sea level. San Lorenzo is the Valdés family’s second farm, purchased in 1987 as a sort of ‘little brother’ to Santa Isabel, which has also featured in our Solitude Espresso. When Lorenzo was first bought, there was only one small plot of land under coffee. Today, the family have developed 20 different lots under coffee, covering 110 hectares of the farm. The remaining 35 hectares are under forest cover, which the family is managing in a very interesting way (see below).
Harvesting & Processing
The annual precipitation at San Lorenzo is around 3,000mm, with regular rainfall between nine and ten months of the year. Constant rain (much of it gentle drizzle) means that flowering is very staggered, with 8-9 flowerings per year. Due to this prolonged flowering season, coffee ripens at different stages, which means that up to 10 passes (with breaks of up to 14 days between passes) are needed to ensure that only the very ripest cherries are selected.
After harvesting, the red cherries are taken to the wet mill at Santa Isabel, which lies very close by. They are then mechanically pulped. Coffee is fermented for up to 48 hours and is covered at night to maintain constant temperatures. After fermentation, the coffee is washed and then soaked in clean water for 24 hours to remove any traces of mucilage before being dried. It is important to note that Santa Isabel and San Lorenzo lots are processed completely separately and great care is taken to preserve the integrity of each lot of coffee from the two farms.
Most of the coffee is dried for at least one day on the patios. Usually, after spending one day on the patio, the coffee is stored overnight in wooden boxes before being moved to the greenhouses to dry between 15 and 30 days, or until a minimum of 30% humidity is reached. Much of San Lorenzo’s coffee is partially dried and/or finished in guardiolas according to a very strict and controlled drying schedule.
Social & Environmental Responsibility
30 hectares of San Lorenzo remain under forest conservation. It is necessary to maintain this sort of forest cover, firstly, in order for the farm to be sustainable with regards to lumber. However, the family feel strongly that setting aside this large tract of land is the right amount of natural conservation to preserve wildlife in the area. In fact, throughout the farm, a very high priority is put on conservation. Although the farm isn’t organic, great care is taken with regarding to application of agrichemicals and organic composts are preferred. There is no hunting allowed anywhere on either San Lorenzo or Santa Isabel, and all forest land is managed so as to optimise native flora and fauna.