Guatemala is Central America’s largest country, it's known as the country of the “eternal spring” and also as the “soul of the earth”, the 23 Maya groups that spread throughout the country contribute to the rich, colorful culture of this amazing land.
We are happy to partner with La Hermosa co-op, located in Los Planes, in the foot hills of the Acatenango volcano. The soil in Acatenango is exceptionally fertile and rich in nutrients because of the volcanic activity in the area that has taken place for thousands of years. This, along with the implementation of strict organic practices and managing small lots, has allowed La Hermosa to focus on quality, while maximizing their yields without using dangerous chemicals.
La Hermosa was the first coffee cooperative in the Acatenango valley. It's now made up by 52 small producers. Thanks to the operation that is done annually, more than 250 people enjoy permanent work, and another 500 people have temporary work in the harvest months. This generates economic stability & growth in many families in the community.
We are really proud of the fact that we're the only US roaster working directly with Max, Claudia and the members of the La Hermosa. It’s great to see young people get involved in coffee farming. La Hermosa is a great example of a group that's focused on creating a sustainable future for everyone from the farm to the consumer.
This light roast coffee has floral aroma of jasmine and a delicate balanced acidity with distinctive white wine highlights and notes of berries, mango and tangerines that give it an unmatched taste and profile character.
Region: Los Planes, Acatenango
Producer: La Hermosa Cooperative
Number of members: 52
Elevation: 5,000-6,500 feet above sea level
Varietals: Catuaí, Caturra, Borbó, Pacamara
Harvest Season: November-March
Average Temperature: 65ºF
Certified Organic since year: 2016
Max Perez, is the founder & president of La Hermosa cooperative. He comes from a coffee producing family from Huehuetenango, Guatemala. As the son of a coffee farmer, Max saw his father deal with the frustrations of being a farmer in this industry. Initially he decided that he didn't want to have the same struggles, so he decided to move to Guatemala City and pursue a career as a lawyer. He and his wife Claudia, began their careers as lawyers, living in the daily rush of a big city like Guatemala City.
Shortly after receiving his law degree, however, he realized that coffee farming was in his blood. He convinced Claudia, to also leave her legal career, to buy some land in Acatenango, about 90 minutes from Antigua. Their goal was to grow excellent coffee while preserving the environment via organic farming practices. Having been born and raised in the coffee farm in Huehetenango, and having been involved with coffee all of his life, he set out to pursue his coffee dream of having his own coffee farm. In 2010 he purchased a farm in Acatenango, ideal for the production of high quality coffee. Max renovated the farm with high quality varieties such as typica, pache, geisha and pacamara and he carefully worked in the processes to produce a top quality coffee that has already earned Max several national and international coffee awards.
Shortly after they started, Max realized that he needed to help his neighbors so they could get better access to the market. In 2015 he organized La Hermosa cooperative. Max became the president of the co-op and his next step was to motivate all members to become organic certified to further differentiate their high quality coffee and so that they could leverage their volumes for export and work and grow together.
Now there are 52 members in La Hermosa cooperative--all organic certified and all getting paid much higher than market prices. Max’s young and entrepreneurial spirit moves him to continuously innovate in varieties, production and milling processes, such as double soak washed, honey and naturals. He states that, “the appreciation of organic, specialty coffee by the consumer motivates us to produce with a bigger passion and determination a high quality coffee.”