Guatemala - El Penon
Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Pache
Owner Ivan Ovalle is laser focused on producing high quality, ecologically-friendly coffees at his farm, Finca El Peñón in La Democracia, Huehuetenango. Ovalle holds an engineering degree and has utilized his training to increase Finca El Peñón’s water efficiency and to ensure that workers pick only the ripest cherry with the highest sugar
content. The farm is 75 hectares, 15 of which are devoted to forest reserves, whilethe remaining 60 hectares are planted with Caturra, Pache and Bourbon.
Ovalle is meticulous about teaching workers to pick only ripe, red cherry at the exactly right moment. He’s used analyses of Brix degrees (sugar content) to find
the optimal moment at which to pick cherry. Workers selectively handpick cherry according to their training.
Finca El Peñón is dedicated to protecting the environment from any adverse effects of coffee growing. Ovalle has been focused on reducing water usage year after year and working with various certification programs to improve the farm’s
environmental and social impacts. Cherry is sealed in GrainPro bags and anaerobically
fermented for 120 hours (5 days). Different microbial interactions take place in this oxygenless environment and produce new flavors. Following fermentation,
cherry is laid on raised beds and dried under shade.
Cherry is raked frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 12 to 15 days for cherry to dry. Dry cherry is then bagged and stored on the farm to 30 to 45 days before being transported to Quetzal’s dry mill in Escuintla. Ovalle receives technical and
financial help from Quetzal.
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