This stellar Guatemalan renders a balanced, citrus-driven cup layered with sweet notes of caramel and chocolate. Its dense texture and gentle citric acidity combine for a refreshingly clean and satisfying finish. The Bella Carmona comes to us from a number of single estates in the traditional area of Sacatepequez, Antigua. Surrounded by three volcanoes - Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango - the valley below enjoys a microclimate perfectly suited to produce superb coffees. As if these growing conditions aren't impressive enough, the Bella Carmona has another factor going for it: the coffee grower.
Luis Pedro Zelaya, Jr. is a force to be reckoned with in Antigua coffees. He’s a fourth-generation coffee professional whose reputation, in part, results from his remarkably clean and efficient coffee processing plant that produces world-class coffees. Among the many impressive features of his mill are the sizable maceration tanks and drum-type coffee dryers. Our coffee from this lot was not mechanically dried, however, but rather sent to the greenhouse where stacked beds three tiers high maintain a strict rotation schedule to ensure even drying with sensors that precisely manage temperature. While not all of the coffees processed at Beneficio Bella Vista are grown on his farms, our Antigua was.
Zelaya constantly innovates and elevates quality levels, and is instrumental in making Antiguan coffee a Protected Designation of Origin product, which places it alongside champagne from the 45th parallel or prosciutto from southern Italy.
The Bourbon and Caturra blend of varietals in this coffee hails from the farm, Hacienda Bella Carmona, located within the traditional Antigua growing region. Located a mere 90-minute drive from Guatemala’s capital city, Antigua was once itself the capital of the Spanish colonial Kingdom of Guatemala which included nearly all of Central America, stretching from Chiapas, Mexico south to Costa Rica.
World renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city contains a remarkable concentration of beautiful architecture connected by cobblestone streets. Coffee from the highlands surrounding the city has a protected designation of origin and benefits from the volcanic soil in the region since Guatemala is home to numerous dormant, extinct, and active volcanoes. In fact, Antigua rests in the shadows of Volcán de Fuego, from which smoke can be seen rising on a daily basis.
Grower: Luis Pedro Zelaya
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra
Region: Antigua Guatemala; Sacatepéquez, Guatemala
Harvest: October - February
Altitude: 1500 – 1650 meters
Soil: Volcanic loam
Process: Fully washed after depulping and fermenting, then dried on raised beds in a greenhouse