Farm: Finca Guadelupe Zaju
Varietal: Marsellesa & Hybrids (H16 and H18)
Processing: Fully washed & dried in guardiolas
Altitude: 900 to 1,400 meters above sea level
Notes: Brown Sugar, Boozy,Whisky, Cherry, molasses
Town / City: Toquian Grande & Pavencul, Soconusco Region
CUPPING SCORE: 88-89%
Guadalupe Zaju Barrel Aged - Mexico
The secret to this exceptional and very special lot is wood. Usually this is NOT the ‘secret ingredient’ you are looking for in a specialty coffee, but when you are talking about wooden barrels, you are into a whole new category of excellence. This nano lot of Guadalupe Zaju has been barrel aged in whisky barrels re-purposed from the Brown Forman Group, whose famous bourbon brands include Jack Daniels, Gentleman Jack and Woodford Reserve. The coffee is aged, in parchment, in these barrels for three weeks, and the result is a complex, boozy and deeply satisfying brew.
The team at Guadalupe Zaju came up with this innovative concept in seeking to develop a new product that would emphasise the complex and intrinsic characteristics of the coffee bean itself. Barrel Aging as a process is a relatively quick method of enhancing the flavour profile of the coffee without damaging the bean structure and with minimal risk to negative characteristics.
All coffees contributing to this lot are Marsellesa or Hybrid varietals. Marsellesa is a variety obtained from the hybridization of Sarchimor and Caturra. It is sought after for its superior cup quality and its resistance to leaf rust. Mundo Maya (H16 / EC16) is an F1 hybrid from a cross between T5296, a rust-resistant descendant of the Timor Hybrid, and a wild Ethiopian accession “ET01". The variety is high yielding when planted in healthy soil, with very good quality at elevations above 1,300 metres above sea level. Evaluna (H18 / EC18) is an F1 hybrid from a cross between rust-resistant Naryelis (a Catimor-type variety) and an Ethiopian landrace accession “ET06“. It is a very high yielding variety at high altitudes. Both Hybrids were developed and distributed by CIRAD & ECOM in the mid-2000s and compose a significant portion of Guadalupe Zaju’s plantations, as they are rust resistant while also displaying exceptional cup profiles.
Lots selected to be barrel aged were selected based on a score of 83+, with fruit and wine profiles. These selected lots were then blended to balance the cup and aged in parchment barrels to contribute the heady aroma of Bourbon.
Beautiful Finca Guadalupe Zaju occupies 310 hectares right on Chiapas, Mexico’s famed ‘Ruta de Cafe’. This ‘Route of Coffee’ rides along the Guatemalan border, north from the border town of Tapachula, through Mexico’s famed Soconusco region. The route flows past some of Mexico’s most famous farms – including the Fincas Hamburgo and Irlanda. A neighbour of these farms, Guadalupe Zaju is well on its way to helping carry on the region’s (somewhat diminished in recent years) reputation as a location for high quality coffee.