Located near the town of San Cristóbal Verapaz, in the cool, rainy reaches of Cobán, Guatemala, Finca San Lorenzo nestles in the verdant hills at around 1,500 metres above sea level. San Lorenzo is the Valdés family’s second farm, purchased in 1987 as a sort of ‘little brother’ to their already well established farm, Santa Isabel. At first, San Lorenzo offered only one small plot of land under coffee. Today, the family have developed 20 different lots under coffee, covering 110 hectares of the farm. The remaining 35 hectares are under forest cover.
When Don Luis first started in coffee, Cobán didn’t necessarily have a reputation for high-quality coffee, due in part to the fact that coffee from the region must often be mechanically dried because of the humid climate. Don Luis and Wicho, however, knew that the region had more to offer. By placing their attention on improved cultivation techniques and perfecting their drying practices, they succeeded transforming the quality of their coffee over the course of the last decade, even succeeding in placing Guatemala’s Cup of Excellence twice!
San Lorenzo bears much in common with neighbouring Santa Isabel – perhaps not surprising since it lies only 5 miles away! The farm’s Caturra and Catuaí production is indistinguishable in the cup from Santa Isabel’s. In addition, approximately 50% of San Lorenzo is planted under Sarchimor, a hybrid of the Costa Rican Villa Sarchi and Timor Hybrid. Thanks to its ascendant, Hibrido de Timor, the plant is resistant to coffee leaf rust and berry or stem borer. Grown at this higher altitude, the cup quality is also excellent.