Guatemala Santa Sofia
We are happy to offer coffee from Santa Sofia again this year. Farm owner Pablo Ferrigno’s well-maintained farm is situated on a hill above the town of Tactic, in Alta Verapaz Department. Although his family has been farming coffee for three generations, Pablo founded his own farm, Santa Sofia in 1991, after completing university studies in agronomy. The farm is located within the Cobán growing region, a four-hour drive north of Guatemala City. Last time we visited the farm, we were excited to see experimentation with new cultivars, including the coveted Gesha variety.
Stretching up to 6,200 feet, Santa Sofia faces extreme climatic conditions; it is a challenging farm in which to grow coffee. Scarce hours of sunlight, overcast conditions and ample rainfall have forced Pablo and his team to adapt to the farm’s unique climate. Harvesting is completed in small increments of just five to ten sacks of coffee cherry per day through a period lasting up to nine months. Due to irregular rain patterns, the plants flower sporadically throughout the year, so coffee is harvested and milled almost continuously.
Ripe cherry is picked, fermented, fully washed, and sun dried on concrete patios. Since available sunlight is irregular at this high altitude, mechanical driers are used when there is insufficient sunlight to complete patio drying. Over the years, Pablo has adapted to the unique growing conditions on Santa Sofia. Through his commitment to work with the challenging climate, he has learned to produce truly delicious coffee.
We should note too that Equator co-owns a farm in Panama called Finca Sophia; although the names are similar, there are no connections between the two farms.