Guatemala Bella Carmona Premium Preparation Washed
Region: Sacatapequez, Antigua
Altitude (masl): 1500-1800
Farm size (ha): 675; 112.5 dedicated to coffee
Wet/dry mill: Carmona
Coffee varieties: Red and Yellow Bourbon
Owner/Manager: Maria del Socorro Ester Zelaya Aguirre
Harvest season: December – April; Peak: late-February – early March
Annual Rainfall (mm): 1200
Tasting Notes: Apple, Milk Chocolate, Orange
Carmona is has been in Maria Zelaya’s family since 1910, when it was purchased by Maria’s grandfather, Luis Pedro Aguirre. Mr. Aguirre passed the farm on to Maria’s mother and now Maria is the third generation owner and manager of Carmona. From its initial green coffee yields of 200 bags (46 kg) production has increased to a high of 2700 (46 kg) and continues to grow. Maria’s farm has been growing coffee in conventional and old-fashioned ways with one devastating result that in 2012, it was strongly attacked by Roya (or “coffee rust” disease). It was then that Maria realized she needed to change Carmona’s agricultural management in order overcome the disease. With the help Luis Pedro and Ricardo Zelaya, Maria started working on tissue management, plant nutrition and pest/disease control. So far these efforts have resulted in bigger yields, healthier and renewed plants, and a return to the same excellent quality coffee she has been delivering to her clients year after year.
Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.