Episode 413 on Monday the 10th of October 2016. Guatemala El Bosque Amatitlan Washed Red Bourbon.

Bosque is a huge, special coffee that I love very much, and am super pleased to see back for a whopping 11th season!

I already loved this coffee before I got to try it at El Bosque. I mean that I was truly blown away with how good it tasted. However, my first visit to the farm in January 2007 made me love it some more because I got to meet the fantastic people behind the coffee.

Don Roberto and his two brothers have tried to move away from generic commercial coffee by raising their growing and milling standards, and you can really tell this in the cup. During another visit in 2009 I got talking to Francisco about the Bourbon, and I asked if it would it be possible to split the red and yellow beans to compare the results. Of course, I could only really ask them to do this for me if we bought all of the coffee, and we were delighted to do so. Nowhere else in the world will you be able to try this famous coffee using just the specific Red Bourbon varietal.

Julian Flores founded Finca El Bosque in 1932. The fourteen-hectare extension of land was planted out with Bourbon varietal coffee, and the farm grew over the next few years with the purchase of additional land. Julian Flores died in 1947 and his only son, José Eladio Flores, continued in his father’s footsteps. In 1970, José bought another 23 hectares and planted the same Bourbon coffee varietal. Since his death in 1996, a third generation has taken charge under the direction of José’s widow, Martha Stalla, and their sons Julio, José, Francisco and Mario.

The first two generations cultivated and sold coffee in cherry form only. Now the third generation has taken care to innovate, and they have built a plant for processing the cherries in line with strict environmental guidelines. They have also diversified into growing other plants for local consumption such as avocados, roses and lemons, as well as growing a new grass innovation.

The El Bosque farm is located on a hillside running parallel to and a way off from the main road near the capital, Guatemala city. It may be jeopardised by urban development in future but, during the time we have been working with El Bosque, prices and returns for the farm have made it a much higher concern for the brothers, and they are very motivated.

This coffee is a world exclusive. We buy every single Bourbon bean from this farm. We also bought the rest of their coffee last year and, after the success of the year before that, we sent most of it off for decaffeination. We are the only people from whom you can get this current crop of coffee.

In the cup expect chocolate biscuit, a spoonful of brown sugar and a hint of green apple. With every sip you’ll enjoy the smooth mouthfeel and a lovely long finish.

  • Country: Guatemala
  • Region: Aldea Loma Larga Mountains, Amatitlán
  • City: Municipality of Villa Canales
  • Farm: El Bosque
  • Farmer: Flores family
  • Farm size: 37 hectares
  • Coffee growing area: 14 hectares
  • Altitude: 1,400–1,645 m.a.s.l.
  • Variety: Red Bourbon
  • Processing system: Washed
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