Central American coffees are here, and we're starting off this part of the year with a returning favorite and our most hands-on producer relationship - Atitlán el Grano, grown by the AProCafé grower's association around the shores of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.
Lake Atitlán is a truly stunning body of water, surrounded by mountains on all sides, and three volcanoes on its southern shore. The coffee growers of AProCafé are based on the southwest shore of the lake and the slope of Volcan San Pedro. Their rich volcanic soil, combined with well-managed organic growing practices and careful processing, contribute to a delicious coffee year after year. AProCafé farmers also consider themselves stewards of the environment, growing their coffee with only organic inputs and taking care to properly treat their processing water. Petrochemical fertilizers and improperly treated water from washing stations have contributed to various environmental problems in the area, including increased algae on the lake over the past decade. AProCafé is one of several grower groups around Atitlán working to improve the environment while also producing tasty coffee.
El Grano has all of the deep chocolate, sweet nuttiness, and crisp acidity that we've come to expect from high altitude, well-produced Guatemalan coffees. This coffee is also distinct, with a ripe red fruit characteristic - a bit of cherry, and a bit of red apple. This unique flavor profile and the cooperative's commitment to sustainable development around Lake Atitlán set this coffee apart, and we're excited to roast and brew it for you here in Denver.
As with last year, Huckleberry is taking a more hands-on approach to working with AProCafé, with the goal of helping the group produce exceptional and unique coffees in the years to come. Last year we worked to bring in the association's first single farm microlots. This year we're expanding that program, and are using a portion of proceeds from our 2015 holiday blend to assist its growers with leaf rust prevention. This particular coffee represents the whole grower association's joint effort, but over the next few months you should also keep your eyes peeled and pourover cones ready for some Huckleberry-exclusive microlots grown by individual farmers from AProCafé.