Guatemala San Gerardo

Process: Washed
Altitude: 1650 meters
Varietal: Bourbon
Tasting Notes: Caramel, Fudge, Yuzu
The San Gerardo farm is located in Moyuta, Jutiapa in the Nuevo Oriente region, in a sub-tropical rain forest where clouds begin to settle at about 2pm every day. The Recinos family has been producing coffee since 1870 - amazingly 150 years! Jesus Recinos’ great grandfather started planting coffee more than 75 years ago. Jesus is a firm believer in nutrition and his theory is that a well-nourished plant is a healthy plant, and therefore much more resistant to disease.

The microclimate of the area is certainly unique to the area! The altitude and proximity to the ocean bring in daily fog that supplements the rainfall (even when the rest of the country experiences a drought) and provides some sun cover. The unfortunate downside is that they also sometimes get unseasonable frost, which can be damaging to the coffee trees. It's a delicate microclimate that is really only understood and properly managed when you experience it for many years (150!)

Jesus's growing strategy is very hands-on and numbers-driven. He rotates new and old plants on a rigid schedule, so that he knows what percentage of trees in each field are in each year of growth at any given time. He lets them grow for 5 years, when they're just past maximum productivity, then stumps them. If healthy, most will sprout new trunks and sort of "start over", but with an established root system.

He explained how he calculates his fertilizer needs by counting the "knots" (bud clusters) on the coffee trees after flowering. He'll count the buds on a few trees, extrapolate to the whole field, and predict the yield of coffee cherries he can expect. Fertilizer needs are proportional to cherry yield mass, because that's mostly where those nutrients are going. But he needs to fertilize before he sees his final yield and uses his extensive experience and knowledge to approximate these needs each year.

He grows mostly single-varietal lots, with fields planted with red/yellow bourbon, pacamara, and geisha.

Our team took a trip to visit Jesus a couple years ago, be sure to ask them about their experience the next time you are texting or emailing!

For further information check out our brew guides

If you prefer ground to whole bean, please specify

  • French Press
  • Filter
  • Pourover / Aeropress
  • Espresso

    You might also like