Calahute

  • Country
    Guatemala
  • Region
    Huehuetenango
  • Municipality
    San Pedro Necta
  • Size
    220 Hectares (210 under coffee)
  • Altitude
    1,300 -1,500m above sea level
  • Variety
    Bourbon, Catuai
  • Processing
    Washed
  • Owner
    Alfonso Anzueto
  • Awards
    Cup of Excellence 2018 (19th Place)

Well balanced and rounded with caramel sweetness, and notes of milk chocolate, purple grape and stone fruit.

Calahute is owned by the Anzueto family, who purchased the farm in the 1950s. Today, it is managed by third-generation coffee producer Alfonso Anzueto, who inherited the farm from his father.

Calahute (which translates to “Free Deer”) is located in Huehuetenango, a stunning region located in the west of Guatemala near the border of Mexico. Huehuetenango is known for its vast ethnic diversity and Cuchumatanes mountain range, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in all of Central America. It is also home to some of the most complex and celebrated coffees in the country, which frequently appear in the top ten of the Cup of Excellence competition. This is in part due to the high altitudes and the dry, hot winds that blow into the mountains from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, protecting the region from frost.

To get to farm, a steep road ascends the side of El Tapón Mountain in Huehuetenango, rising to the town of San Pedro Necta. Verdant hills surround the town centre, dotted with coffee producers—many of whom who grow coffee as their primary source of income.

Calahute is a relatively large farm for this region (many of the producers in San Pedro Necta have very small farms), with 210 hectares dedicated to coffee. Today the family grow a number of different varieties including Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Pacamara, Tekisik and Typica. This lot is made up of Caturra, Catuai, Tekisik. Tekisik, for those that have not come across this variety before (it was new for us!), is an offshoot of Bourbon developed in El Salvador: it produces a complex cup with bright acidity, intense brown sugar sweetness and a heavy body.

Calahute sits at an elevation of 1,300–1,500m above sea level, with an average temperate of 18–25°C, and rainfall of 1,300–1,800mmm annually. The coffee grows under the shade of Ingas and Grevillea trees which protect the coffee trees from the sun, and provide valuable organic material which helps keep the soil moist and well nourished.

PROCESSING

Harvest time at Calahute beings in December and concludes at the end of April. Around 100 people from the surrounding villages are employed during this time, which helps sustain the local economy. These seasonal workers are trained in best-picking techniques, and select only the perfectly ripe cherries. All operations at the farm are overseen by Alfonso and his manager Ricardo Arturo Sandoval Godoy, who has worked with the Anzueto family for 19 years.

 

Historically not many micro-lots have been produced at Calahute, however, since taking over the farm Alfonso has invested more resources and efforts into lot separation, experimentation, processing and quality control, hoping to improve the quality and diversity of offerings from his farm. His dream is to become a leader in quality in the region and from the results he is already achieving, he is well on the way to succeeding at this.

This coffee was produced using the washed method at the mill, which is located on the farm. At the end of the day each of the workers delivers their carefully selected coffees to the beautifully maintained wet mill, which is located on the farm. Here the coffees are carefully hand-sorted and then weighed, pulped and fermented for 24–36 hours. The beans are then washed, graded by weight in long channels, and carefully dried on patios for 7 -12 days.