Taste Like: Passionfruit, Muscadine Grape, Black Tea
Region: La Librtad, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Producer: Rosa Maria Ovalle and Rogelio Aguirre Ovalle
Altitude: 1850 masl
Varietal: Mundo Novo
Process: Fully Washed
El Limonar comes to us from Rogelio Aguirre Ovalle and his mother Rosa Maria Ovalle. This farm has been in the same family for over 100 years. It was part of a larger estate that, like many coffee farms through the generations, was divided amongst the children of the original owner. This estate was divided into Finca Injerto (the most famous farm in Guatemala if not the world) Finca Injerto II and Finca El Limonar. All of these farms processing stations and other infrastructure sit in the same bowl-like valley, their coffees growing on the extremely steep surrounding mountains. The farm is situated near La Libertad, Huehuetenango, right near the Mexican boarder.
Finca El Limonar was taken over by Rogelio's dad in 1986. In the early 90's Rogelio's father died in an accident. For a short time, Doña Rosa Maria took over the farm, but Rogelio's uncle basically took ownership from her (unfortunately rural society and family politics in many coffee growing areas, especially until very recently, didn't really accept female ownership and operation of farms). This didn't sit well with Doña Rosa Maria and she took ownership of their farm back after a couple of years. Doña Rosa Maria is a very strong and inspiring woman. She doesn't take anything from anyone but it is apparent she is the heart of the family.
When Doña Rosa Maria took the farm back it was producing only a small amount of commodity coffee. She saw the opportunity to produce speciality and she started planting more areas of the farm and improving their operations. They are now producing one hundred times what they were in the mid-90's. Seventy hectares of the farm is planted in shade-grown coffee as well as macadamia nuts and twenty two and a half hectares are set aside as a natural reserve. Their coffee placed in the Cup of Excellence both in 2013 and 2014 and they are looking to place again this year. This is some of the absolute best coffee coming out of Guatemala.
One struggle Rogelio and Doña Rosa Maria face every year is finding available labor to harvest all of their coffee. They have to pay a higher labor rate due to the steepness of the terrain on which their farm is situated but even with higher labor rates labor is hard to come by. This year was harder than most with unpredictable rains causing many of the coffee cherries to split open and dry on the tree before harvesting could be completed. Even still, some great coffees are coming from El Limonar this year just like every year.
In the 2017 lot we taste a lot of bright and tropical fruit like passionfruit and orange oil along with a grape character, some stone fruit and a tea-like character. We look forward to this coffee every year.