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Guatemala Atitlán el Grano


Guatemala is always on our minds here at Huckleberry, and even though the coffees from the AProCafé El Grano Growers Association might only be on our menu for a few months each year, these coffees represent year-round work and commitment from both Huck and the growers. After months of work and a bit of waiting, we’re always stoked to drop Atitlán el Grano back into the lineup.

Lake Atitlán is a truly stunning body of water, surrounded by mountains on all sides, and three volcanoes on its southern shore.  The coffee growers of AProCafé are based on the southwest shore of the lake and the slope of Volcan San Pedro. Their rich volcanic soil, combined with well-managed organic growing practices and careful processing, contribute to a delicious coffee year after year.  AProCafé farmers also consider themselves stewards of the environment, growing their coffee with only organic inputs and taking care to properly treat their processing water. Petrochemical fertilizers and improperly treated water from washing stations have contributed to various environmental problems in the area, including increased algae on the lake over the past decade.  AProCafé is one of several grower groups around Atitlán working to improve the environment while also producing tasty coffee.

Huckleberry has been roasting coffee from AProCafé el Grano since 2015, and have been working hands-on with these growers since day one. Several years ago we worked with the group to develop their first single farmer microlot program, and have used a portion of proceeds from our holiday Sister Winter blend each year to help the group with a variety of projects. AProCafé has used Sister Winter funds to purchase and apply organic-approved leaf rust prevention treatments, to build raised drying beds to improve coffee processing, and a portion of funds from 2017-18 will help some of the more remote growers purchase a new depulper to further improved coffee processing.

While we’ve had special single farm microlots each year, this year’s main lot from AProCafé is equally special, and may be our best multi-farmer coffee from the group to date. While AProCafé does produce excellent coffees from all 40+ farmers, this year we worked with the group to take it a step further. Association head Pedro Izaias separated out Huckleberry’s lot from some of the group’s most experienced and dedicated growers (including familiar microlot producers Lucinda Puac Pérez and Pedro Trejo) and only from the peak period of harvest. The result is our cleanest and juiciest Atitlán el Grano yet.

This year’s Atitlán el Grano  is balanced, deeply sweet, but also packs some pop - we’re tasting caramel, black cherry, pear, and cacao, and are looking forward to brewing it up as both a filter coffee and espresso over the next several months. We’ll also roast up some special single farm coffees from these growers, but don’t overlook the main lot - it’s tasty as hell.

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