La Maravilla

  • Country
    Guatemala
  • Region
    Huehuetenango
  • Municipality
    La Libertad
  • Village
    Los Arroyos
  • Altitude
    1,650 -1,800m above sea level
  • Variety
    Caturra
  • Processing
    Washed
  • Owner
    Mauricio Rosales
  • Awards
    Cup of Excellence 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016

Sweet and full bodied, with syrupy mouthfeel and a long, clean finish. Grilled peach, red grape, dark chocolate and hazelnut.

La Maravilla is a family-run farm located in the heart of the lush Huehuetenango region located in the west of Guatemala near the border of Mexico. Huehuetenango is known for its vast ethnic diversity and Los 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. Coffees from this part of Guatemala are incredibly sweet, complex and distinctly floral, and frequently appear in the top ten of the Cup of Excellence competition.  This flavour profile is in part due to the very unique conditions in Huehue – coffee is able to grow at incredibly high altitudes, thanks to the dry, hot winds that blow into the mountains from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, protecting the region from frost. 

HISTORY

Guillermo Rosales and his son Mauricio bought the 21-hectare farm in 1997 and named it La Maravilla (‘’wonder’’) after their reaction to the beauty of the land. At the time they had just three Arabica coffee plants, but many ideas to develop a successful coffee farm. Back then, the farm was only accessible by horse or foot, and there was no sophisticated infrastructure, electricity or roads.

In that same year, with a lot of faith, hard work and support from the other coffee growers in the region, the Ro­sales family planted the first 1.21 hectares of the farm. Some plants were donated by some dear friends and fellow coffee professionals,  Octavio Alfaro and Hugo Avila Díaz; the additional 2,500 plants were bought from their neighbours at El Injerto. 

In the years that followed, Guillermo and Mauricio carefully planted out the rest of the farm, using Bourbon seeds from El Injerto, and Caturra seeds from the region of El Pajal, San Antonio Huista. Meanwhile, foundations for the first drying patio were laid and de-pulping equipment was purchased to process the harvest in 2000. Considering the pressing need to prepare for future harvests, Guillermo proposed cutting a road for four-wheel-drive vehicles, a project that received ready support from farmworkers, neighbouring producers and the wider Los Arroyos community. With pickaxes, hoes, and shovels on hand—not to mention tremendous determination—workers began working on the road in 2001. In 2002, the first four-wheel-drive vehicle ascended the road to the centre of the farm – a very exciting and transformative develop­ment!

In 2005, Mr Guillermo Rosales passed away at the age of 82. He left the world knowing that his dreams for La Maravilla had come to fruition and that the foundation to produce exceptional quality coffee had been laid.

LA MARAVILLA TODAY

Today, La Maravilla is a well-established farm with machinery on-site to process quality coffee, including fermentation tanks, drying patios and a treatment water plant, along with fourteen rooms for seasonal workers to stay in during the harvest. The farm is now twenty-four hectares in size after the family acquired their neighbour’s farm.

Mauricio has carefully divided La Maravilla into six different plots, which differ in varieties: Pacayal (Caturra), La Peña (San Ramon), El Mezcal (Bourbon & Caturra), El Aguacate (Caturra), La Cumbre (San Ramon) and Los Arroyos (120 families of Caturra & San Ramon). This years lot comes from the El Aguacate plot.

The harvest season at La Maravilla is from January to April. For quality control purposes Mauricio and his team monitor every step of production, from hand-picking right through to final delivery, and carefully cup each individual day lot from each plot. 

HOW THIS COFFEE IS PROCESSED

The topography of La Maravilla steep and irregular, making harvesting very labour-intensive and time-consuming. All of the coffee is picked by hand by a skilled team of seasonal workers, most of whom live locally and join the farm each year. They do multiple passes throughout the harvest to ensure only the very ripest cherries are selected. and pick the cherries at a very high level of maturity.

Maurcio mainly produces fully washed coffees, like this one.  On the same day that they are picked, the cherries are carefully sorted and pulped in a traditional wet mill, and then fermented and sun-dried on Mauricio’s pristine patios or raised beds for 15-20 days. Once dry the coffee is rested in parchment in a timber warehouse built on the farm. 

ENVIRONMENT

The Rosales family is very keen on preserving the local environment at La Maravilla, and is an active member of the Private Nature Reserve Association of Guatemala. On the farm there are natural forests of cypress trees and other local tree species; this forest provides abundant natural water resources to the farm. The farm also grows several types of fruit trees.

WHY WE LOVE IT

We adore Maurico – he is warm and hard-working and somewhat of a visionary when it comes to coffee production. Over the last decade, he has constantly invested resources into his farm,  implementing processing improvements and infrastructure that is focused on producing the very best quality coffee. In 2011, he received his first Cup of Excellence award, and has received a string of them since. We were lucky enough to purchase our first lot of La Maravilla in 2013 in the Cup of Excellence competition and fell in love with the coffee. This love affair has continued, and we have purchased it nearly every year since. We are always impressed with the quality and distinct profile of this coffee – which is in no doubt a result of the hard work, love and dedication that Mauricio and his team put into every single lot of coffee they produce.