Located at the centre of a major coffee growing area, Finca Rosario De Fátima is hidden in the tropical valleys of Cobán, Guatemala. Surrounded by stunning mountains that house the rare Monja Blanca orchid at an altitude of 1200 – 1450 MASL and shielded by volcanos which create a natural formed enclosure to keep in cool temperatures that travel over from the winds of the neighbouring ocean. This unique mix of soil and climate has led to the Sterkel family, owners of the farm, to operate using uncommon methods, but which yield beautiful results.
With the introduction of a cool climate to a coffee farm, rain and cloudy skies is an inevitable challenge to hurdle over. To avoid plant diseases that brew in the cool, rainy temperatures, the coffee trees, mostly Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuaí, are spread out allowing for gaps between rows for ventilation. Another unusual choice is the limited amount of shade trees there are. This permits a direct line of access for the plants to receive the sunshine when it makes its rare appearance. The damp soil is also treated with expertly timed analysis and smaller, regular applications of fertilizer. The ability to adjust operation methods under difficult growing environments successfully is a testament to the dedication, care, and skill that goes into these coffee beans.
Image: Cobán, Guatemala, Christopher Crouzet
The innovative style of farming was put in effect as a result of the coffee leaf rust crisis, a fungal disease that devastated farms across Colombia and Central America in 2008-2013. Under farm manager, Don Carlos’s expertise, they are able to identify the best parts of the farm to grow the trees and care for sections that need a bit of TLC. With the addition of scientific analysis from samples sent out through the harvest process, they are able to cultivate the most effective plan for the farm from processing to picking stages.
The coffee itself has fruity flavours of vibrant citrus, mandarin, with notes of nectarine and brown sugar. We are fortunate enough to be able to source this coffee, you can head over to our Guatemalan Organic Coffee page to try it out yourself!