Now into his ninth season of coffee production, Juan Bernardo oversees Finca La Cumbre in the micro-region of Petatan, Huehuetenango. Close to the border with Mexico, the area of Huehuetenango offers up some of the most unique profiles in Guatemalan coffees.
The coffee cherries mature slower thanks to the higher altitude and cooler evening air; This cooler weather also means the drying time is extended, resulting in more complex flavours, as well as adding to the longevity of the green coffee.
All of this is partly possible due to climate change, which has enabled coffee production at higher altitudes, but it obviously causes other challenges - most notably, the quickened spread of leaf rust (roya), which is affecting a lot of production in Central America. Leaf rust is a fungus which attacks the leaves of the tree, leaving the plant with little energy to produce cherries.
Juan Bernardo is keeping on top of this disease, with the help of a local agricultural scientist, by pruning the plants regularly and maintaining diversity with his planting.
Producer: Juan Bernardo
Varietal: Bourbon & Catuai