"The concept of altitude in coffee cultivation can be controversial. On one hand, altitude has tended to be prized. Witness the multitude of traditional grades like Strictly High Grown (SHG) indicating the coffee’s provenance, compared to those of lower climes, meaning the buyer ought to pay more, sight unseen. Lower altitude coffees may exhibit tendencies towards nutty, vegetal, or even “dusty” cup notes.
More modern approaches to the trade have evolved to glorify cleanliness in the cup, necessary for the light roasts and low TDS brew methods that can produce sparkling, apple-juice-like profiles. Altitude continues to be important, but this perspective champions processing above all else, going so far as to suggest that perfect processing of standard varietals at 1200 meters wins every time over imperfect processing at 1800 (which I tend to agree with, by the way).
Here though, is a coffee that renders the discussion nearly moot. Crisp green apple acidity pierces a lush, burnt sugar sweetness. With a surprisingly chewy texture, this may not be the perfect coffee if your preference is for something akin to sparkling juice; however if what you're after is a rich and opulent apple turnover in coffee form, come and get some."
- Max Nicholas-Fulmer
At peace with life on a coffee farm best describes Hugo Chavez, the third generation in his family to own Finca Limonar. In the 1940s, Hugo’s grandfather, Jose Olivio Chávez, established a larger coffee estate in the community of San Pedro Necta that would later be divided into pieces for each of his three children and then passed down to his grandsons. Difficulties such as leaf rust outbreaks and low coffee prices don’t seem to shake Hugo’s tranquil demeanor, which is evident from the approach he takes towards managing the 170-acre estate. Renovation efforts seem limited and there appears to be a lot of deferred maintenance throughout the estate. But despite a bit of disrepair, the wet-mill infrastructure is well designed and fully powered with an unbelievable amount of pulsing water. Harvested cherries literally flow from all corners of the estate through elaborate water channels to a holding tank where less dense cherries are removed when they float to the top of the tank. The cherry depulper is actually turned by the force of water passing through the wet mill. Once depulped, the coffee is submerged in water and fermented for 48 to 72 hours. Next, it is mechanically washed to reduce water contamination and then dragged by clean water through long classification channels to separate out less dense beans. The coffee conveniently falls from the channel onto the patio where the water runs off and the parchment is left to dry in the sun.