In Photos: Guatemala 2017
Passenger's focus within Guatemala is in and around Antigua, an indescribably beautiful town of Spanish-colonial provenance. A number of the farms we have focused on the past couple of years are located directly within Antigua, such as La Folie and Chuito. This year we extended our relationship to the region a bit to the south and in addition to our Antiguan strongholds, purchased coffee from Finca Candelaria which is located in Alotenango, approximately a twenty minute drive south of Antigua.
Seedlings grow in a nursery. The rootstock from this species (C. canephora, also known as Robusta) will be grafted onto Arabica seedlings. The Arabica genetics produce a good cup profile (i.e. desirable flavors), the Robusta rootstock provides nematode resistance, a must have in the region's soil.
The youngest member of our green buying team, Jane May Stallings, makes it to her first coffee farm at just two years old and has an encounter with a Jane sized coffee plant.
Day lots dry separated on a patio.
Coffee cannot tolerate frost. Above you can see the result of frost on Chuito, a farm in Antigua that Passenger has bought coffee from for the last three harvests. The first frost in the area in over two decades, approximately 10% of the crop was lost on Chuito this year. The only option is to cut back the parts of the plant damaged, in this case that meant stumping the plants. To the left you see what happens when plants are exposed to sustained cold temperatures, but not cold enough to form frost. Not a serious concern at this level, it was none-the-less interesting to see the pale yellow leaves.
Volcan de Fuego looms over Finca Candelaria, bestowing upon the land the occasional layer of volcanic ash.
Villa Sarchi seedlings await grafting onto Robusta rootstock in the Finca Candelaria nursery
17 year old Bison is the official guard dog at La Folie, a farm Passenger has purchased from the last three harvests.
Tyler Goodling, who runs the coffee program at Passenger's flagship coffee bar, finds a moment to relax on Finca Carmona.
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There exists an eagerness in Honduras; a willingness, motivation and ambition to produce the best coffee in the country.