Finca Vista Hermosa, Huehuetenango, Guatemala part 2 -
Trust your tastebuds: If a coffee tastes great, you are almost guaranteed that there is a very big group of passionate people that makes it that good. This next part won´t explain the relationships behind a good cup of coffee, but I will give you examples of people I´ve met during this trip. And then you combine it to something that makes sense.
I got an extremely detailed explanation and guiding about watersupply by Edwins father, (also named Edwin). They have a project of securing and upgrading the existing waternet which is already an evolved system of waterbassins. Sourcing is from surfacewater (mostly streams). The water is led in pipes both down the mountain but also across ridges. Over ridges you need constant pressure or water coming at great speed.
As long as the starting point is at higher elavation than the end point, it works brilliant. Sometimes they have to take help of pumps if the airpockets are too extensive in the pipe, but fortunately this doesn´t happen too often. They don´t use water for irrigation of full grown coffeetrees, but the nursery (where the you grow the small plants) is watered every day. The water is mainly for the post-picking process and personal use for the households in the area.This might not sound very complicated since many of us are used to getting our water from watertowers- it is the same principle. But the point is that many coffeefarmers has to both source water and build their own waternet and make it work- everyday.
Edwin has everything he needs in Huehuetenango, including his own sample roasters and a drymill ! Very much fun to be around and even get to drymill some samples. In Guatemala City we made a quick stop at Casa Blanca roastery, which is run by Elaisa Guadalupe de Kestler. You get jealous just being there 15 minutes. A forest roastery with glass walls and endless amounts of light, at the outskirts of a capital!
Doris at Anacafé gave me a very extensive tour around the different institutions in the building.They are doing so much to support the farmers in every aspect. I then ran into a very interesting person: Raúl Rodas. He is the reigning Barista Champion of Guatemala and he is training hard for the World Championships in Atlanta, USA. Unfortunately I didn´t see his program, but just by talking to the guy, you can tell he will give a match to anyone at the WBC.
Later I went around town to see different Coffeeshops: &Cafe (where Raul works) Barista, Saúl E. Mendez- which is actually a suitstore that serves coffee. A nice ending to my stay in Guatemala.