Episode 569: Guatemala El Bosque Washed Bourbon

Situated on a hillside which runs parallel to the main road to Guatemala City, sits El Bosque. Due to it's proximity to the Capital, it faces threats from ever-expanding urban development but for the time we have been working with El Bosque, prices and returns for the farm have made it a much higher concern for the brothers, and they are very motivated.

Before I'd tried this coffee at El Bosque, it was love at first taste, I was absolutely blown away by how good it was! However, my first visit to the farm in January 2007 really cemented this, because I got to learn more about the awesome people behind the coffee.

In 1932, Julian Flores founded the farm and the fourteen-hectare extension of land was planted out with Bourbon varietal coffee, which was cultivated and sold in cherry form only. Over the next few years, with the acquisition of more land, the farm continued to grow. Julian Flores passed away in 1947 and his son, José Eladio Flores, inherited the farm and continued his father’s legacy of growth. By 1970, José had bought another 23 hectares and continued to grow and sell the same Bourbon coffee varietal. After his death in 1996, a third-generation has taken the farm on under the direction of José’s widow, Martha Stalla, and their sons Julio, José, Francisco and Mario.

Now, this third-generation, headed up by Don Roberto, has focused on innovation, and they have built a plant for processing the cherries in line with strict environmental guidelines. They have also branched into cultivating other plants for local consumption, such as avocados, roses and lemons as well as growing a new grass innovation.

There's a big toffee at the start of this - it's really chewy with a sweetness which reminds me of treacle toffee. As soon as that initial toffee goes, there's a hazelnut which jumps in, before it finishes with a little dark chocolate.

  • Country: Guatemala
  • Department: Guatemala Department
  • Municipality: Villa Canales
  • Town: Amatitlán
  • Farm: El Bosque
  • Farmer: Flores family
  • Farm size: 37 hectares
  • Coffee growing area: 14 hectares
  • Altitude: 1,400–1,645 m.a.s.l.
  • Variety: Bourbon
  • Processing system: Washed

  • Cupping notes: Treacle toffee, hazelnut, dark chocolate

  • Clean cup (1–8): 6

  • Sweetness (1–8): 6.5
  • Acidity (1–8): 6
  • Mouthfeel (1–8): 7
  • Flavour (1–8): 6.5
  • Aftertaste (1–8): 6.5
  • Balance (1–8): 6.5
  • Overall (1–8): 6
  • Correction (+36): +36

  • Total: (max. 100): 87

Roasting Information: Medium-dark - get this through crack and give it some time to develop the toffee flavours before you drop it with the first pops of second.

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