Lost Coffee Traditions
Third generation or first generation producers?
Our coffee story revolves around life events that shaped us long before knowing we would be trying to grow the best possible cup of coffee.
As a child I remember visiting my grandfather’s farm on the southern coast of Guatemala. I played on his old patios and admired his old machinery as coffee was being picked, milled, and dried.
Throughout all my youth, I kept strong relationships with my divorced parents even while I lived a couple years in Guatemala, and then a few in Mississippi, and then back again. By the time I was sixteen I had already lost my Guatemalan grandfather and my father.
At this point any chance I had of inheriting two generations of knowledge was lost. But I followed a strong instinct to pursue a life in coffee just as my father and my grandfather did.
My father's land
His love for the mountain
We are here because my father fell in love with this unbelievable paradise. Before we were passionate about coffee, our story begins with a passion for Guatemala’s best kept secret: Sierra de las Minas.
Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s my father, Salvador Melgar, an entrepreneur at heart, was in search for a business opportunity. In the early 80s coffee was just another drink to most people, like water, milk, and orange juice. But, my father DID like to drink good coffee, and he noticed that coffee in this special micro climate was excellent to his taste (he was already a coffee connoisseur). My father’s rollercoaster experience in Sierra de las Minas tells the story of how we ended up owning and protecting a large natural reserve that produces a special micro climate that’s part of the recipe for our coffee.
More about his story is in this post…
Becoming Specialty Coffee Producers
My stepmom sold me what was once my father's old coffee farm. That is how my personal coffee journey started to take shape.
A fresh start
Not knowing much, I just stumped all the coffee trees and vowed to return whenever they would sprout back.
Here we go
Coffee trees started to grow back... but I had no clue as to what varieties of coffee existed on the property, how to take care of the trees, or what to do with everything once the cherries would arrive.
Back to School
Thankfully, my wife - Marielisa - was there, and even though she knew less than I, she had us enrolled in coffee school, urged me to get the old wet mill refurbished, and had us taking advantage of every learning opportunity possible.
Specialty Coffee Producers and Exporters
Our coffee was appreciated in several cupping tables we dared to participate in. We started meeting exporters, roasters and importers and our first commercial relationships resulted from that short after we graduated from coffee school.
SCA here we go!
First time at SCA, meeting all the big boys!
Never stop learning
We took some barista courses to further our understanding and sensory workshops.
We have developed our own style of doing things. We know what we want in a cup of coffee, we know why we do what we do.
The farm, time, and experience have taught us what to do and what not to do. Currently we produce avocados and Specialty Coffee. We have established relationships with amazing roasters in different parts of the world and we keep learning so much from them! And now we venture off in e-commerce, offering our coffee farm-direct with a special roast that we have carefully developed with the help of friends and experts.
What we are today is a husband and wife team with completely different backgrounds, doing what we both love.
You can read in this blog post how I personally tell our story…