Cooperativa Rio Azul formed in the Huehuetenango region of far-Western Guatemala in 1967. It collapsed for a time during the 1990s (around the time the coffee market price hit rock bottom…), but has been running in its current form for nearly 10 years.
They produce excellent coffee!
Members farm coffee at altitudes between 1200 and 1750m above sea level centered around the town of Jacaltenango – only 20km from the Mexican border.
The coffee plants are Caturra (60%) and Bourbón (40%), and all the coffee is processed using the washed method.
Last year we got three coffees from different farms in El Salvador. This year, we have two lots from one of those farms – our favourite of the three.
The farm is Finca Plan de la Batea and it is owned by Ricardo Augspurg. It sits at 1400-1550m asl in the Santa Ana region, and has 46 hectares planted with the Bourbón variety.
The first lot is 100% Red Bourbón. This is the normal colour for ripe cherries of this variety.
The second lot is from a section (tablón) of the farm called Miramar. Some plants bear cherries that ripen to orange and tablón Miramar has been planted exclusively with this Orange Bourbón variety.
Both lots were processed, dried and exported under the watchful eye of Aida Batlle – a one woman El Salvadorean coffee powerhouse.
Kenyan coffee is amongst the best in the world. This comes down to a number of factors:
- The altitude and soil is ideal for coffee.
- The varieties grown in Kenya were developed there and suit the terroir perfectly.
- The nationalised auction system – which is nearly 80 years old – works very well at connecting buyers with the very best coffees.
The two things that characterise Kenya coffee are their intense fruited acidity and their buttery/creamy body and mouthfeel.