Yesterday we traveled from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango, on the South side of which is a facility operated by FECCEG. FECCEG is a second-tier cooperative, or a “cooperative of cooperatives”, which has 14 member organizations from the Huehuetenango and Quetzaltenango regions. They perform exporting, processing and international marketing functions when the member cooperatives do not have those capabilities. You can check out a neat little map of their members here.
One of FECCEG’s members of course is CODECH, a cooperative that has a lot of people excited because of the tremendous quality they are known to produce. Today we will have the pleasure of cupping around 32 “microlots” from individual family farms – scoring them for the dual purpose of providing direct feedback on quality to the individual producer and to identify those coffees that we wish to purchase. These coffees will be sold for a higher price than the typical top quality due to their exceptional quality and uniqueness.
We’ll report back in shortly to share the story of the coffees we’ll be discovering throughout the day. We also have some great images from the calibration cupping at FECCEG yesterday, which featured three really excellent coffees. The best to date was produced by Juan Francisco, the General Manager of FECCEG, and his family on their 32 hectare farm. His coffee had a wild, effervescent and complex acidity with tons of sweetness and great, creamy body. To match these great taste characteristics it also had huge tropical fruit and floral aromas that stood out on a table of coffees that were mostly cereal, nutty and maple-like. The highest score for this coffee awarded by the roasters participating was, I believe, 89 – which is quite high – and the coffee was more or less sold from the calibration table!
Juan Francisco is one of many interesting people contributing to the continued success of these cooperatives. I look forward to sharing more of their stories both in text and in images of the coming days. For now, we put together a short little video of imagery from our trip down here. Please enjoy and stay tuned for similar clips from the cuppings here in Quetzaltenango and Huehuetenango, where we travel tomorrow for the final round.