Farm: Finca Puerta Verde
Process: Fully washed
Location: Ciudad Vieja, Sacatepéquez
Variety: Caturra & Villa Sarchi
Owner: Ricardo Zelaya & Family
Recommended Brew Method: French Press, Areopress, Pourover, Chemex
Overall: dark cherry, syrupy, well structured, cola, green apple, great for espresso
Puerta Verde (Green Door) lies along a relatively level 1,500 metres above sea level near Ciudad Vieja, Sacatapequez in Antigua, Guatemala. The farm’s name derives from its unique position in the Panchoy valley, home to the richest soil, plentiful water and (accordingly) some of the best coffee grown in the area.
The farm truly is a ‘green door’ that has been owned and meticulously operated by the Zelaya family since 1999. Overseen by Roberto Zelaya, one of Guatemala’s most renowned coffee farmers, the farm’s daily management falls to Marcos Rompiche, the Administrator, and Israel Yool, the farm’s Production Manager. Marcos is the 3rd generation of his family to work the farm and has, himself, worked there for 22 years. Israel is the 2nd generation of his family and has 16 years working on the farm under his belt. Together with Ricardo, they know every inch of the farm’s terrain and are keenly aware of minute differences in climate and soil composition between plots. This intimate knowledge of the farm’s terrain and plants is married with a commitment to quality and environmental preservation that is central to their coffee producing ethos. However, it is Zelaya’s forward-thinking and innovative approach to farming that helps the farm yield some of the region’s most interesting coffees.
Workers on the Zelaya family farms are seen as members of the family, which is why, in 2010, Ricardo began a scholarship program to help workers pay for the education of their children. This program is funded by Ricardo and has the support of three buyers from abroad, who have supported the cause since 2012. Managed, now, by his daughter Bel, who has a degree in Special Education, the dream is for the project to achieve formal non-profit status and expand to include not only all the children whose parents work on the farm but also those from surrounding communities