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Guatemala - Nahuala - FTO - "Cafe Femenino"

September 3, 2008

This coffee was roasted in a PID'd Sirocco "fluid bed" hot air roaster and was cupped blind against other coffees including a control sample. After cupping, it was tasted as a brewed coffee and espresso extraction. For more information on my sample roaster and method, see our reference page.

Note: The website link above will take you to the relatively new web page of this roaster. This coffee is not shown on the web site so follow the link to contact the roaster.

The Nahuala Cooperative, located in Pasac, is about a one hour drive up the Nahuala River basin on Guatemala's pacific slope, about 15 Km from Quezaltenango. Here, in 1965, to address the extreme poverty in this remote region, the cooperative was formed, and today consists of 127 member families. In 1994, they became interested in exporting their coffee through the Fairtrade, Organic labeling certification programs and today, besides coffee production, they are expanding to alternative income projects, growing bananas and maixán (used to cover tamales) for sale in local markets, and are experimented with raising Tilapia (fish).

The Femenina Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Peru in 1994, and the Cafe Femenina Coffee Project provides grants, support programs and projects to worthy organizations in order to enhance the lives of women and their families in coffee producing communities. I believe that the Nahuala Co-op received a grant from the Project to help repairs in the community after the devastation from Hurricane Stan in 2006. Flamenco Organic Coffee, the roasters from whom these samples were received, is a supporter of Femenina.

OK - great - but what about the coffee? Well, this is one excellent Guat! It has the intensity one looks for in Guatemalan coffee. It has just a hint of Coban smokiness but is very sweet with fruity notes filling the room from the ground coffee. The cup is a complex, balanced combination of pit fruit and spice against a hazelnut background and the long aftertaste is savory and other spices on the tongue. The coffee is brightly acidic with rich body.

This coffee lends itself to a wide range of roast levels and does well with most preparation methods. Although it is best brewed, it makes a decent single origin, straight shot espresso though it is a bit aggressive in that role.

Dry Fragrance: 4.5
Wet Aroma: 4.4
Flavor: 7.9
Finish: 7.8
Acidity: 7.7
Body: 7.6
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 89.9

  • Lighter Roasts: Produces a fine, complex brewed beverage.
  • Darker Roasts: Handles dark roasting well, up to the rolling 2nd crack. Interesting combo of varietal and roast tastes.
  • As Espresso: Just OK as a single shot but quite acidic. Better as a cappa.


UPDATED: July 9, 2008