I am reluctant to talk about how much I love my job for fear it might be perceived as gloating, but I really do have an amazing job. I get paid – among other things – to travel to remote regions of the coffeelands to meet with farmers hear about their aspirations for their coffee and their families and do what I can to help them along the way. Every one of these visits is memorable in its way. But every once in a while, I get to visit places that are even more memorable than usual, like Tzampetey.
Tzampetey is a village in the department of Sololá that lies between the towns of San Lucas Tolimán and San Antonio Palopó and has commanding views of the breathtaking Lake Atitlán.
Nicolás, who sells his coffee to the San Lucas Tolimán parish project, was kind enough to show us his picture-postcard coffee field, perched on the edge of Tzampetey a few hundred meters above the lake. It was impressive in so many ways, starting with the coffee itself. The plants were in beautiful condition, with very little evidence of pests or illness, the shade was ample and well managed, creating sharp break between the beating sun on the edge of the coffee field and the cool humidity within, the coffee rows were effectively terraced to minimize soil erosion, organic matter was heaped at the base of each coffee plant…in short, this coffee field was extremely well managed. You could see the results of all the hard work on the coffee trees.
Perhaps even more memorable than the coffee itself, however, were the views from this particular coffee farm. Wow.
A friend of CAFE Livelihoods who is a leading judge in one of the Central America Cup of Excellence competitions recently cupped coffee from Tzampetey that was processed by our partners in San Lucas, and shared these notes:
A good coffee with sweet aromas of fruit and citrus. A complex coffee. 80.5 points.