Inmer Abel Valladares Rodríguez was involved with coffee production as a consultant for 20 years prior to managing a farm himself, which he finally did in 1998. Since then his work has been extremely successful: in addition to gesha, El Pinal y Anexos produces pacamara, maracaturra, and pacas, and its coffee has scored over 88 points in recent Cup of Excellence competitions.
El Pinal y Anexos is a 48-hectare estate divided into 12-hectare individual farms, each of which produces and sells under their own name. As a whole, the four single farms are processed centrally and managed by the same 90-110 person team that Inmer oversees each harvest. Finca Linda Vista is one of the sub-farms, and is the source of this gesha lot that we tasted and bought for the first time this year.
Since its founding, El Pinal y Anexos has been a family affair, with everyone participating in some way in picking, processing, quality control, drying or storage management. Cherry selection in the field follows a strict Brix meter minimum of 18-20% (a Brix meter is a refractometer for fruit, reading sugar content as a percentage of total liquid tested). After picking, cherry is transported to the estate’s processing site where it is depulped and fermented overnight, and then transferred to one of many segmented spaces on the estate’s patio, or, in the case of special preparations like this lot, dried on raised beds inside a greenhouse for 12-16 days.
Tasting this coffee is an utter delight. The gesha cultivar itself may have a strong reputation and a consistent expression when grown in Panama or Colombia, but elsewhere in the Americas it often struggles to fulfill buyers’ expectations in florality, sweetness, or cup structure. Many people plant it, hype it, and many do receive great prices for the pedigree alone. We were extremely impressed by this specimen from Inmer’s farm, and felt it deserved a wide audience as a Guatemala gesha. It is beautiful, subtle, and brings many of the hallmark character we have learned to expect from the cultivar. We’re tasting honeycomb, jasmine and lilac, and an open cup structure with lingering vanilla and citrus zest. It is unmistakably a gesha—a rare and successful expression coming from Guatemala, and moreover from a lesser-known department.