Prizs - Guatemala COE: #6, 2012; #18, 2010; #21, 2009; #3, 2001
The Zelaya family has been growing coffee for over 100 years and four generations.
This renowned family owns farms throughout Guatemala and grows one of only a handful of genuine ‘Antigua’ coffees (coffees grown in the Antigua valley area bounded by three volcanoes –Agua, Acatenango and Fuego).
Finca Santa Clara is located on the fertile southern slopes of the Volcán de Agua in the Antigua Valley at 1,600-1,830 metres.
Ricardo Zelaya has managed the farm, which was bought in 1974 by his Grandfather, since 1988 and is the 4th generation of the Zelaya family to have produced coffee at Santa Clara.
Since taking over the farm, he has increased the size from 17 hectares of coffee plantations up to 95 hectares as well as building a wet mill, drying patios and a greenhouse to improve the processing of the coffee.
Ricardo is one of the first producers to bring the Geisha variety to Guatemala, and his experimentation and forward-thinking is paying off. This exquisite 100% Geisha coffee has been handpicked by specialpickers employed (and paid higher wages) particularly for their skill at selecting only the ripest and most perfect cherries.
The method of ‘special’ picking is one that the Zelayas have used to great effect in the lots that they submit to the Cup of Excellence competition. They’ve recently begun to expand their offerings of lots, such as this one, that utilize the same method of picking.
The Zelaya family is passionately committed to both quality and sustainability. The family’s farms are scrupulously well-managed right from the careful selection of varietals planted, to the close supervision of the dry and wet mills.
The coffee is shade grown,which protects the plants from direct sunlight, maintains soil health, and provides an important habitat for birds and insect life. The family’s mills are also eco-friendlyand features edimentation tanks that prevent pollution of the local river systems.
On Santa Clara, the workers are seen as members of the family, which is why, in 2010, Ricardo began a scholarship program to help workers pay for the education of their children.
This program is funded by Ricardo and has the support of buyers from abroad, who have supported the cause since 2012.Managed, now, by his daughter Bel, who has a degree in Special Education, the dream is for the project to achieve formal non-profit status and expand to include not only all the children whose parents work on the farm but also those from surrounding communities
Tasting Notes -
Blackcurrent, Lavender & Honey
|Farm||Finca Santa Clara|
|Altitude||1,600 to1,830 metres above sea level|
Fully washed & dried ingreenhouses