Guatemala Finca Isnul Washed
FINCA ISNUL HISTORY WRITTEN by DANNY PEREZ:
“This farm had belonged to our mother's family since 1940 and my grandfather since 1969. It was a small farm, but with hard work and loans, the farm became one of the biggest farms in the region with 160 hectares. Unfortunately, our grandfather passed away on March of 2015. Now his two daughters, Leticia (my mother) and Lorena (my aunt) Anzueto Sandoval are the new owners of the farm. We are working the farm with the help of 5th generation of coffee growers. Starting the process from the ground up, we are now processing, milling, cupping and exporting the finest Guatemalan coffees directly to the best roasters in the world.”
Processing in coffee refers to the conversion of the raw coffee cherry into green coffee, a finished product for roasters to manipulate. Washed coffee, also known as wet processed, refers to the removal of the fruit that covers the beans before they are laid to dry. Finca Isnul sorts their coffee with density by fully immersing the cherries in water. The floaters are taken out of the main harvest and sold as a sub-product. The cherries then are squeezed through a screen called a pulper, and the fruit/skin goes down one shoot, and the coffee seeds (beans) go into a large tank. The seeds at this point still are covered in a sticky, mucilage-like substance. Think the stringy mucilage on the pit of a peach.
From here the coffee goes through a 36-hour dry fermentation. This is a delicate time in processing where bacteria is eating and converting the mucilage and changing the flavor of the coffee. Allow this fermentation for too long, and the coffee becomes vinegary, too little, and you end up drying coffee with mucilage semi-intact. The coffee then is set out to dry on raised beds, allowing airflow and even drying among all the coffee. All of these steps have to be subtly altered depending on temperature, time of the harvest, rainfall and other factors. The Perez family has shown incredible consistency and attention to detail. We are extremely honored to showcase this beautiful washed Pacamara from Finca Isnul.
This coffee works pretty much in all applications, single origin espresso, filter pour-over, or batch brew. Keep in mind that Pacamaras are soft beans, so you will need to adjust your grinder to a slightly finer setting than you're familiar with.
This coffee is a Relationship Coffee from our friends Family Bonds at Finca Isnul. It is our first year to work with Danny and his team. We met this past March in Huehuetenango, and his coffees jumped off the table. We purchased eighty 30k vacuum-packed boxes of their Pacamara. We paid $5.75/lb, and Onyx Coffee (Guatemala) brought the coffee to the states for us.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.51/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.81/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.
We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.