Guatemala - El Pensativo
Altitude: 1550 - 2000m
Characteristics: Notes of caramel, green apple, citrus fruit and nectarine. A fruity finish with light acidity. Medium bodied and sweet.
Further Information: El Pensativo cooperative is located near San Antonio Nejapa, and not far from the volcanoes Acatenango and Fuego, within the boundaries of Chimaltenango. The two volcanoes together are known as La Horqueta and are constantly active in normally low levels of activity, though of course every now and then, the risk is all too evident. The nearby river here is also prone to flooding, so particular care has to be taken in the siting of the processing equipment and the drying patios.
Established in 1972, El Pensativo is a primary cooperative that has consistently evolved to grow both the quality and their export markets through the help of Fedecocagua. The work between cooperatives allows one to focus on what they are good at, whilst the other offers a similar level of expertise and understanding but in an alternative aspect. Fedecocagua have improved access to agronomists for improved crop and cup quality, as well as buying machinery for wet processing and providing access to microfinancing for the members of El Pensativo to enable them to provide small scale rejuvenation products or buy fertilizer where needed. Some of the varietals here are very traditional, typica is still referred to as Arabigo, harking back to its early introduction in to the country.
After picking, coffee is washed and pulped then dried on the patios which are stacked on top of houses and on the steep mountainsides. Or it is taken to Guardiolas for controlled drying if the weather is poor or the harvest high. This typically comprises of 40 hours at 45 degrees before being lowered to 30 degrees and finally 15 degrees until optimum moisture content is reached. The lowering of temperature ensures evenness of drying meaning the green life of the coffee is as best as it can be. It is then shipped in parchment to the Fedecocagua facility in Palin, Escuintla for final grading and milling under the experienced cupping spoon of Gustavo.