We recently added a new importer to our coffee purchasing regimen that we’re quite excited about: Red Fox Coffee Merchants. Not only do they have exquisite quality specialty coffee, but they put a lot of effort into relationships with farmers and paying above and beyond Fair Trade and Organic coffee wages. According to this article from Daily Coffee News, the price for a cup of coffee adjusted for inflation is at it’s lowest in 50 years. Sadly this means a lot of strain on coffee producers and makes programs that pay Fair Trade wages or beyond all the more essential.
Here is some background for our newest offering Guatemala Chimaltenango Buena Esperanza with information from Red Fox Coffee Merchants:
Buena Esperanza was part of the farm Retiro de Quisaya in San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango, about 2 hours outside of Antigua. The farm sold the land to their former workers, mostly indigenous farmers. Some of them kept the coffee planted in the farm and others have been planting more. This year we bought some cherries from them and processed it at the wet mill of el Retiro de Quisaya.
As you might imagine, we at Red Fox do have a favorite corner of Guatemala, and that spot is Chimaltenango. Although located smack dab in the middle of the country just a couple hours north of Guatemala City, it also happens to be a region that is less traversed by coffee buyers.
So what makes Chimal so special to Red Fox? Good question. To put it simply it’s a combination of 1800-2000 masl elevation, an almost pure presence of Bourbon and Caturra, and its accessible location — resulting in some of the most complete coffees in all of Latin America. These cups absolutely burst with fruit flavors, from black cherry to crisp red apple to currants of all varieties, alongside mandarin and white grape. They’re complex on the high end. They’re also sweet in the purest way, reminding us of wildflower honey and panela. Top Chimal coffees also offer weight at the back end of the cup with clear expressions of melted butter and fresh cream.
Lot Name: Buena Esperanza
Producer’s Name: Various small producers
Municipality: San Martin de Jilotepeque
Farm Area: 2-4 Hectares average
Altitude: 1700-2000 masl (5,600 – 6,600 feet)
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra, Pache
Fermentation: 18-36 hours
Drying Method: Raised beds under parabolic cove 10 -20 days
Importer: Red Fox Coffee Merchants
Tasting Notes: Toffee, bakers cacao, raisin