Flavor Notes: Magnolia Blossom, Lime Zest, Apple
Producer: Armando Gomez
Region: San Martin, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Altitude: 1,900 masl
Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica
Process: Fully Washed
This coffee comes from a farm in Huehuetenango called Twi'Ha, formerly El Chalum. Twi'Ha is owned by Armando Gomez. Armando and his family (wife and two sons) take care of the 2 hectare farm.
The farm was originally owned by Armando's grandfather and Armando has worked the farm for many years. He purchased the farm from his Aunt and Uncle 8 years ago. On the farm Armando grows a handful of 100% arabica varietals mainly Typica, Bourbon and Caturra, although he has begun planting Geisha and Kenyan varietals SL-28 and 34 recently.
Armando was part of a nearby cooperative until just a couple of years ago. Cooperatives, although very helpful to some, are set up as socialist-type endeavors (they value the greater good above giving the very best the ability to reach their full potential). Cooperatives are very good for many farmers but for those who truly dedicate themselves to and make sacrifices for excellence it can be limiting.
About five or so years ago Armando started selling his very best coffees apart from the cooperative directly to roasters. This has given Armando the ability to sell his coffees based on cost of production and quality instead of his price being dictated by the commodity market.
This increase in profits for Armando has inspired him to take on even more quality initiatives and also to expand his farm higher up the mountain.
When we visited with Armando last year he had just planted some more Typica on higher elevation land that he recently purchased and he was also experimenting with drying his coffee on raised beds that he had recently constructed. He had also recently poured concrete patios so he can dry a bigger bulk of his coffee more evenly. Previously he had been drying his coffee on tarps on the dirt.
When we visited Armando in 2017 he was continuing to make expansions to his farm and improving the quality of his coffees.
On top of all of this, his son is studying agronomy at the university in the city of Huehuetenango so that he can take on a larger role in running the farm and also continue in his family's tradition of coffee growing.
The whole family is focused on quality and the production of the very best coffee they are capable of. The Gomez family really should be an inspiration to the entire speciality coffee industry. We are very stoked that we get to work with them for the last four years and we're excited to see what the following years will bring.