Red Bank Coffee Mountain Rescue - Guatemala x 250g
Tasting Notes - Dark Chocolate // Plum // Nougat
Roasters Description -
Our current Mountain Rescue coffee is grown by six smallholder farmers based around the town of San Antonio Huista in Guatemala's famed Huehuetenango region, and has been sourced via our importing partner Primavera.
Primavera was set up by Nadine Rasch who grew up in Guatemala and whose family have had a coffee farm there for four generations. After studying finance in London, Nadine ended up working for a commodities fund where she saw the price for commodity coffee drop sharply. She came to realise that the only way to maintain stable prices for coffee was through quality. After working for one year with speciality coffee importers Mercanta, she moved back to Guatemala to gain experience of how things worked on the ground.
Most of Guatemala's highest quality coffees come from the Huehuetenango region. This is a very remote area of Guatemala, and the farmers' traditional route to market has been through local coyotes who mix all the coffee they collect together a pay the 'market' price. This model leaves no incentive for farmers to practice methods that result in higher quality coffee, such as selective picking and better post-harvest processing. It is Nadine and Primavera's mission to change this. They want to educate farmers to produce better coffee that gives them access to the speciality coffee market, higher prices for their product and a more stable future.
This group of smallholder farmers are just some of the beneficiaries of Primavera's work. They are able to use the premium paid by Primavera to reinvest in their farms and wet mills in the hope of achieving higher yields and better quality coffee in the years to come. The coffee is washed in wet mills on each of the farms then sun-dried on patios. The dried parchment coffee is then transported to Nadine's family farm at Finca el Hato where it is sorted, dry-milled and packed for onward transport to ourselves.
I have been looking forward to sharing this coffee with you for a while. I used to live very close to an amazing taqueria in London called... Taqueria! I fell in love with the vibrant, complex flavours of Mexican cuisine, the rich culture... and the margaritas! Over the ensuing years my obsession with Mexico has grown and grown. A wonderful episode of The Food Programme awakened me to the unbelievable work of Diana Kennedy in documenting Mexico's food heritage. Oaxaca in particular has a special place in my mind as a cornucopia of deliciousness, so when the opportunity to purchase some organically grown coffee from Oaxaca came along, I grabbed it with both hands as an opportunity to immerse myself even more in this fascinating culture.
This particular lot comes from 11 smallholder farmers in the Sierra Sur region of Oaxaca. The coffee is named after Monte Alban, a large pre-Colombian Zapotec ruin that can be seen from the coffee farms hidden in the surrounding Sierra Sur mountains. Coffee growers from this region have been producing coffee for more than three generations in a very traditional, and mostly organic way. This particular lot is certified EU organic. The coffee is fully washed in micro-mills at each farm and is then sun dried on patios and raised beds.
The Lake District Search & Mountain Rescue Association(LDSAMRA) provides a vital service here in the Lake District, helping injured and stricken hikers to safety from some of the most remote and precarious places in the country. The vast majority of incidents are safely resolved but there are inevitably a number of fatalities, and without the help of LDSAMRA this number would be much higher.
In order to carry out their work LDSAMRA rely on a team of brave and highly trained volunteers. We are friends with a number of them so are well aware of the great work that they do and the importance of donations to provide them with the kit necessary to do their job effectively.
With this in mind, we donate £1 per kilo of Mountain Rescue sold to LDSAMRA.**
Origin - Smallholder Farmers of San Antonio Huista, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Altitude - 1,550 - 1,650 M.A.S.L
Process - Washed
Variety - Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon