Guatemala Finca Palo Blanco Rainforest Alliance - Coffee Beans

Light - Medium Roast

candied cherry, toffee, dark chocolate

This is a delicious smooth and sweet Guatemalan offering from growers at the top of their game.  The aroma on grinding is of freshly baked amaretto biscuits and there is a delicate floral acidity which dances on the tongue before developing into a brown sugar sweetness and caramel finish.

Owner Ivan Ovalle is laser focused on producing high quality, ecologically-friendly coffees at his farm, Finca Palo Blanco in La Democracia, Huehuetenango. Ovalle holds an engineering degree and has utilized his training to increase Finca Palo Blanco’s water efficiency and to ensure that workers pick only the ripest cherry with the highest sugar content. Founded in 1990 by Tulio Sergio Ovalle, he now runs the farm with his son, Iván Ovalle. The farm sits at 1700 masl, and its topography allows the region to receive hot winds, creating an ideal environment for growing coffee. Varietals grown on the farm include Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai.

The farm is 60 hectares, 10 of which are devoted to forest reserves, while the remaining 50 hectares are planted with coffee trees. In addition to growing Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra and Pacamara varieties, Ovalle also plants less common varieties including SL28, Marsellesa and Parainema at the farm’s higher altitudes.  

This coffee is also Organic, which means that it was grown without the use of any artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Organic farming can also include ecologically-focus farming method that aim to reduce erosion, increase irrigation and improve overall soil health. With the help of an organic certification, producers receive higher prices and they, their families and any workers on their farm are not exposed to dangerous chemicals. Fewer chemicals used on a farm also means less run off and fewer chemicals finding their way into our global water systems. 

Harvest & Post-Harvest

Ovalle is meticulous about teaching workers to pick only ripe, red cherry at the exactly right moment. He’s used analyses of Brix degrees (sugar content) to find the optimal moment at which to pick cherry. Workers selectively handpick cherry according to their training.  

Palo Blanco is dedicated to protecting the environment from any adverse effects of coffee growing. Ovalle says he’s been improving and refining Palo Blanco’s processing methods for more than a decade. He’s been focused on reducing water usage year after year and working with various certification programs to improve the farm’s environmental and social impacts. 

After selective handpicking, cherry is carefully sorted to select the best and most ripe cherry using visual inspection and flotation. Cherry that passes Ovalle’s high standards is laid on patios to dry in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight helps to speed up dehydration of the parchment and mucilage. Removing excess moisture as quickly as possible and turning drying parchment frequently can help prevent of drying defects such as phenol and mold. 

Cherry is turned frequently, especially during the first 3 to 4 days. During this time, workers go over cherry and remove any damaged cherry to ensure only the highest quality cherry reaches the ensuing stages. Cherry that passes the test is then transferred a greenhouse covered with plastic sheeting, where it will dry on raised beds for an additional 13 to 15 days. 

The Ovalle family also support the community through donations to local schools, and through education to the region's people on proper use of water and use of water resources. They strive to be socially and environmentally responsible.

£7.50 GBP In stock

Tasting and Cupping notes

Roast Light - Medium Roast