Origin Information

Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG) | El Vergel Natural Reserve
San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta, San Marcos Department, Guatemala
January - April
1600 masl
Volcanic loam
Fully washed and dried on raised beds

Background Details

Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG) is an umbrella organization that represents a number of different smallholder farmer organizations across Guatemala. FECCEG provides centralized milling, marketing, and exportation services on behalf of associations, and we purchase a variety of coffees from within their network each year, from large FTO certified blends all the way down to single-farm, single-variety lots for special release. FECCEG also, since 2013, has been operating an experimental coffee estate of their own, meant to showcase the potential of organic farming and be a knowledge resource for the grower associations they represent, as well as a unique revenue stream, and overall passion project for everyone involved. “El Vergel” is the name of the estate, a 24.4-hectare blend of common and exotic arabica cultivars, all planted in under ample shade and alongside lemon verbena, banana, bamboo, taro, and grazing wool sheep. The property was first acquired in 2013 and is today producing 500 quintales of parchment, about one container of exportable coffee. The largest 2 coffee parcels on the farm are caturra and geisha. Fully washed coffees at El Vergel are inspected carefully prior to depulping, to eliminate as many visual and ripeness inconsistencies as possible. Depulping itself takes place on a Penagos machine, a water-efficient device that uses traditional pulping and friction to loosen a coffee’s mucilage prior to fermentation. Coffee then ferments in concrete tanks for 15-24 hours and is washed clean with spring water (El Vergel contains 4 natural springs on site). Drying takes place using a combination of mobile raised panels and solar dryer. Once drying is complete, the finished parchment is taken to FECCEG’s local storage facility, where it is coded with delivery day and with individual numbers for each sack. As with all their various coffees entering dry milling, a sample of each delivery is extracted prior to milling for quality analysis. FECCEG employs 15 individuals year-round for estate management, and dozens of others for seasonal labor during harvest. In addition to coffee production, their ongoing programs at El Vergel include organic compost, test areas for organic inputs, demonstration areas and programs for other producers to interact with, and evaluation sites for experimental cultivars.