Guatemala Don Manuel Microlot

Over the past several years, Huckleberry has been working to build a stronger relationship with the AProCafé El Grano growers association in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala.  These growers produce our Atitlán El Grano coffee, which we love dearly, but we've also been working on some other projects with the cooperative so that we can grow together.  We’ve helped the growers with their leaf rust prevention efforts, built raised beds for improved coffee drying, and this is our sixth year paying higher prices for exceptional single farm microlots. Don Manuel Tzic Saso is the only farmer to make the microlot cut each and every year.

Like all of the farmers in AProCafé, Don Manuel has great terrain and altitude for coffee growing, plants his coffee trees under shade, and farms using organic, sustainable practices.  Manuel is impressively detail-obsessed, able to point out each species of shade tree on his farm, tell you when he last pruned every parcel of his land, and he clearly takes joy in sweating the small details that breed quality.  With wild hair that reminds us of a Guatemalan version of Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future and a hilarious sense of humor, he’s also one of our favorite farmers to visit.

Manuel lives a bit too far away from AproCafe's central wet mill in Cerro de Oro, so he washes and dries his own coffee.  Over the past several years, we've been working with Manuel to slowly improve his micro-mill. A couple years ago Huckleberry invested in raised beds to improve Manuel’s coffee drying, and ahead of this most recent harvest, we helped Manuel purchase a better, motor-driven depulper to help him wash and process his coffee more efficiently

Don Manuel's coffee is both approachable and complex, with both crowd-pleasing, milk-friendly sweetness and more adventurous fruit notes. We're tasting red plum, cacao, and pastry in year 6, and though we'll have to admit some personal bias towards Don Manuel, his coffee is one of our favorites coming out of Guatemala, year after year.

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