About This Coffee
Jorge Vides, patriarch of the Vides58 family-owned exporter, purchased his first coffee farm, Finca La Bolsa, in 1958. FInca La Bolsa shares a border with Finca El Sarral, the Vides58 farm where this coffee was cultivated.
Jorge was the kind of man who poured his heart into everything he did. In addition to cultivating coffee, Jorge also worked fulltime as a physician. In the beginning, he saw patients Mondays through Fridays and worked on the farm during all other hours. He later became director of the National Hospital of Huehuetenango, which still bears his name today.
In addition to producing coffee and saving lives through medicine, Jorge founded a school on the farm in 1980. The school, authorized by the National Ministry for Education, is still educating young people in the community today.
In 2001, Jorge and his children and grandchildren decided to transition the farm towards entirely growing specialty coffee. In 2002, coffee from Vides58 won 2nd place in the Guatemalan Cup of Excellence.
Vides58 also established a joint program with Association Coffee Care, an organization dedicated to reducing instances of child labor by offering educational and recreational programs to children aged 2 to 14.
Today, Vides58 is as family-owned as ever. They managed several farms, including Finca La Bolsa and Finca El Sarral.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
After selective handpicking, cherry from Finca El Sarral is delivered to the wet mill at its neighboring Vides58 farm, Finca La Bolsa. Cherry is pulped and then dry fermented for 24 to 36 hours. Parchment is then washed in clean water and dried using a mixture of sun drying on a patio and a mechanical Guardiola dryer. It takes a total of 10 to 12 days for parchment to dry fully.
Huehuetenango is well-known for its high altitude and consistent weather patterns. The region lies at a nexus of hot air sweeping eastwards from the Plains of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico and cool air rushing down from the Cuchumantanes Mountains. The meeting of this hot and cold air creates a microclimate that keeps frost in check and enables coffee cultivation at higher altitudes: coffee production at 2,000 meters above sea level is common. These conditions are perfect for producing the sparkling acidity and distinctive fruit flavors of the region.
Coffee in Guatemala
Guatemala boasts a variety of growing regions and conditions that produce spectacular coffees. Today, the country is revered as a producer of some of the most flavorful and nuanced cups worldwide. We are proud to work with several exceptional in-country partners to bring these coffees to market.
The Guatemalan coffee industry experienced a major setback with the 2010 appearance of Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) in Latin America. The epidemic peaked in severity in 2012, and though CLR continues to affect some farms, Guatemala continues to produce high-quality, record-breaking coffees. In 2017, new and varied processing methods pushed prices at the Guatemalan Cup of Excellence contest to record highs.
The quality of coffee being produced in Guatemala is increasing, overall, due to the diversity of the industry’s producers. There are more and more small holder farmers producing exceptional coffee at high altitudes. Cooperatives are becoming more appealing to so many smallholders because they often offer farmers financing and other support for improving their farming and processing and are frequently able to offer higher prices for cherry than middlemen. Many cooperatives have initiated quality improvement training for farmer members and are becoming more adept at helping members market their coffee as specialty.