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Silver Oak Coffee - Single Estate: Finca Manila, Guatemala

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Silky mouthfeel, notes of chocolate and orange.

Finca Manila is owned and run by Sr. José Fernando Valdes. The farm first rose to fame in 2002 after placing first in the Cup of Excellence Competition. Since then, the farm has placed in the top 20 on two additional occasions.
Finca Manila is located near the small town of Nuevo Progreso in the San Marcos Department of Guatemala, a very remote region about 250 kilometres to the north of Guatemala City. The farm’s 271 hectares range in altitude from 1,300 to 1,500 metres above sea level, crossing rugged topography and steep slopes. There are no internal roads at Finca Manila - only footpaths – which means that all travel done within the confines of the farm is done by mule or by foot.

The property has many natural water springs that supply water to many surrounding communities. Annual rainfall varies between 5 and 7 meters and temperatures range from 12 to 24°C. At this altitude and climate, coffee can grow only on slopes that receive morning sunshine. Normally there are two or three hours of light during the morning and this allows coffee plants to survive fungal infections, such as ojo de gallo and phoma.

Manila produces primarily Bourbon coffee, though they also have plots of Pacamara. After careful hand-picking, the coffee is washed in a wet mill located on the property. After washing, all beans are sun dried on patios and then moved to greenhouses to finish drying upon stretchers (parihuelas).
After the harvest, which typically runs from January to March, the coffee trees and shade trees at Manila are pruned to maximise growth. When the rains begin in May, the soil is fertilised and new seedlings are planted. Weed control is also done by hand during this time. After careful soil analysis, a second batch of fertiliser is dispatched in late winter.

In total, Finca Manila is over 271 hectares in size. Of this, around 16 hectares are dedicated as nature preserve, which encourages and preserves the biodiversity on the farm. Many different native trees act as shade trees on the farm, which protect the coffee and ensure a healthy amount of organic material is returned to the soil, which also helps to protect these steep slopes from erosion.

The flattest part of the farm borders a village called San Ignacio, where many of the farm' employees live. In 2008 Jose created a football pitch on this section of the farm for the use of the villagers.

Altitude: 1300-1500m
Farm/Coop: Finca Manila
Great for: Aeropress, Espresso, Filter
Origin: Central America/Guatemala - Nuevo Progreso
Owner: Jose Valdes
Process Method: Washed - and sun dried
Roast Profile: Medium-light
Tasting Notes: Silky mouthfeel, notes of chocolate and orange.
Varietals: 100% Bourbon

Roasterr: Silver Oak Coffee

Silver Oak Coffee does not deliver to United Kingdom

Initial collection:

Tasting record

Method Dose Grind Time Volume Comments
e.g. Espresso 18g Vario 1E 25secs 30ml A bit finer next time would be better.