Producer: Alfonso Anzueto
Farm Name: Calahute “Free Deer”
Varietal/s: Bourbon, Catuai
Flavour Profile: Vanilla, Marshmallow, White Peach
Calahute is owned by the Anzueto family, who purchased the farm in the 1950s. Today, it is managed by third-generation coffee producer Alfonso Anzueto, who inherited the farm from his father.
Calahute (which translates to “Free Deer”) is located in Huehuetenango, a stunning region located in the west of Guatemala near the border of Mexico. Huehuetenango is known for its vast ethnic diversity and Cuchumatanes mountain range, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in all of Central America. It is also home to some of the most complex and celebrated coffees in the country, which frequently appear in the top ten of the Cup of Excellence competition. This is in part due to the high altitudes and the dry, hot winds that blow into the mountains from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, protecting the region from frost.
To get to farm, a steep road ascends the side of El Tapón Mountain in Huehuetenango, rising to the town of San Pedro Necta. Verdant hills surround the town centre, dotted with coffee producers—many of whom who grow coffee as their primary source of income.
Harvest time at Calahute beings in December and concludes at the end of April. Around 100 people from the surrounding villages are employed during this time, which helps sustain the local economy. These seasonal workers are trained in best-picking techniques, and select only the perfectly ripe cherries. All operations at the farm are overseen by Alfonso and his manager Ricardo Arturo Sandoval Godoy, who has worked with the Anzueto family for 19 years.
Historically not many micro-lots have been produced at Calahute, however, since taking over the farm Alfonso has invested more resources and efforts into lot separation, experimentation, processing and quality control, hoping to improve the quality and diversity of offerings from his farm. His dream is to become a leader in quality in the region and from the results he is already achieving, he is well on the way to succeeding at this.