Guatemala Chalabal Estrella Medium Roast
A bright fruity and complex body with the sweet acidity of ripened plum. Well balanced with a clean finish.
Type: Strictly Hard Bean (SHB)
Varietals: Bourbon, Caturra
Altitude: 1,500 - 1,800 metres above sea level
Chalabal means in the Mayan language “cave of the tiger”. They like to call it the “Coffee Cave” since coffee has been the main product of the farm, located in Acatenango, Chimaltenango.
Its story dates from 1880, when it belonged to Jorge Bulnes, its first owner. In 1930 Miguel Soto, the current owner's grandfather, bought the farm. He was a well-known coffee grower that improved the plantation and modernised the mill. But in 1976 a massive earthquake damaged all the central region of Guatemala and all the buildings and facilities of the farm were destroyed. The epicentre was just 50 km away.
Nydia Soto de Amenábar, the owner's mother, a brave woman, managed to rebuild the farm and two years later it was fully operational again.
In 1980 the farm was divided in two: the part where the mill is located was inherited to his sisters. The plantation as well was split in two: the upper part is what today they call Chalabal Estrella, “the cave of coffee in Guatemala”.
Almost 40% of the farm is a nature reserve that protects water resources, which provide half of the water for consumption by the communities living near the farm, clean water for milling coffee and feeding the Xayá Pixcayá river. The farm has bee hives, uses worm compost (coqueta roja) for organic fertiliser and also produces green beans and avocados.
One thing is certain, the rich volcanic soils with abundant organic material due to shade grown coffee and the high altitude of the mountains surrounding the farm are the perfect combination for producing excellent coffee.