Background Story 

Santa Isabel is located in San Cristobal, Alta Verapaz - a wonderful region with remarkable mountains, rainforest and impressive flora. It is located in the upper part of Alta Verapaz, very close to Coban. The soil of this region is mostly clay and limestone. Coban and its neighbouring areas are predominantly characterized by humid subtropical forests. The climate in the region is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and is often cloudy with only a few hours of direct sunlight. The farm’s altitude is 1,372 meters above sea level and the annual precipitation is around 3000 mm. Flowering takes place during April and June, and the harvest season is between December and March. Santa Isabel is a family business that started as a coffee plantation in 1875, when it was granted by Guatemala ́s President at the time to the great grandfather of the current owners, Luis Valdes. In 1890, the farm was sold, however, after decades, the Valdes family managed to buy Santa Isabel back in 1961. The coffee from Santa Isabel is now produced by fourth and fifth generations of Valdes Family.


The coffee farm has 187 hectares of coffee plantation where it produces strictly hard bean coffee of bourbon, caturra, catuai, sarchimor and pache varieties. Inga and macadamia trees help provide shades for coffee plants. The annual production is around 2,000 of 69 kilogram bags of green coffee which is exported to different countries around the world such as Denmark, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, France, Australia and Italy. Santa Isabel has also worked with many coffee companies in the United States. Santa Isabel employs 40 full time workers year-round, and up to 500 seasonal labourers are employed during the busy harvest season. Wicho has commented that although many farms in the region find it increasingly difficult to secure labour for the entirety of the harvest, Santa Isabel has a stable and reliable work force, despite their reputation for being very particular with regards to selective picking. In addition to paying fairly, a picker at Santa Isabel can harvest up to 160 pounds of cherries a day, which means many of the same workers come back year after year resulting high quality and consistent pickings.


Roaster's Thoughts

For us, Guatemala is an origin that always gives us a good quality beans. Although it is not always unique and special regarding flavour profile, it provides a nice quality across all the parts such as aroma, flavour, aftertaste, sweetness, acidity, clean cup and balance. This coffee, Santa Isabel is one of the most well-known farms in Guatemala for high quality coffee cultivation. 


How this coffee is roasted

This coffee is light roasted to make the acidity brighter, but roasted for an enough development time to get an enough amount of sweetness hence a great balance.


Basic Information

  • Origin: Guatemala
  • Region: San Cristobal Verapaz
  • Farm: Santa Isabel
  • Altitude: 1,600 masl
  • Variety: Caturra & catuai
  • Process: Washed
  • Best Ageing Window: 14-21 days
  • Best as: Espresso


How to brew this coffee

  • Espresso: 20g dose, 44g beverage yield, 28s extraction time
  • Flavour Profile: Brown sugar, lemon, lime, cacao
  • Milk: 23g dose, 44g beverage yield, 34s extraction time, 150g milk
  • Flavour Profile: Sugar, dark chocolate, vanilla
  • Pourover Filter: 15g dose, 45g water + 30s blooming, 1m 40s extraction time, total 225g water
  • Brewing Method: Chanho-Tornado (Click here to see details of the brewing method)
  • Flavour Profile: Cacao, brown sugar, roasted almond, lemon, red apple


Flavour Spectrum