Last month, Kent and Hazel took a field trip to Portland for the opportunity to meet two of Stumptown Coffee Roaster’s premier direct trade coffee producers, Guatemalan Cup of Excellence winners Mercedes and Arturo Aguirre Jr, of Finca El Injerto and Luis Pedro Zelaya of Semillero, Antigua.
These are incredibly savvy farmers. Last year they won the Cup of Excellence with their bourbon varietal, and this year they won the Cup again but with their pacamara bean. Stumptown bought the entire lot, paying a record amount for a Guatemalan coffee.
Not only are they producing a world-class coffee, but these farmers have earned a worldwide reputation for their farming practices. Zelaya and the Aguirres maintain the rainforest microclimate surrounding their shade-grown coffee, recycle their water from processing, produce clean electric power with hydroelectric generators, burn chaf to dry coffee and pay incredible attention to harvest and processing their product. They’re even using worm composting, raising trout and experimenting with fruit and nut trees inter-planted with the coffee as ways to fully utilize resources. And the entire community benefits, as Zelaya and the Aguirres teach other farmers in the region how to duplicate their successes.