Trapichitos, Guatemala


March, 2004
A Narrative Trip Report
Craig Holt

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I returned last week from an origin visit to Guatemala. The primary purpose of the visit was to return to the village of Trapichitos, from which Atlas buys its eponymous coffee. The trip also featured visits to mills and farms in Atitlan, Jalapa, Fraijanes, and Antigua. In Trapichitos, we delivered the soccer uniforms that had been requested by the villagers, and sat down to talk about our mutual goals for the community. After much discussion, we decided that our next steps for Trapichitos coffee would involve coffee infrastructure improvements. In the short term we hope to locate and purchase a small milling device called a “retria” which separates the green coffee from the pergamino, and send down some sorting screens. With these two simple pieces of equipment the folks at the village will be able to send samples directly to us, rather than waiting for the whole crop to be consolidated at a mill eight hours away. The long term vision is to develop a simple cupping lab in the (relatively) nearby village of Nebaj, where coffee growers from around the area could sample their own coffees and learn more about how to compete in the North American Specialty market.

This year’s shipment of Trapichitos is due in May, and is the source of much excitement here. The bourbon beans have been meticulously processed and sorted, and the resulting cup is beautifully nuanced, with a delicate smoky tone and medium heavy body. As usual, the price for the coffee was set by the coffee growers themselves, and is paid to them directly.

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