Grower Pepé Arguello, Finca Santa Cruz
Variety Bourbon, Typica, Yellow Caturra
Region La Concordia, Chiapas, Mexico
Altitude 1360 – 1750 masl
Fermentation 20-72 hours, dry in concrete tanks
Drying 17-25 days on raised beds
Finca Santa Cruz, run by the innovative Pepe Arguello is quickly achieving widespread notoriety in only its fifth year running. In 2019 Pepe won the Cup of Excellence Mexico and even his non COE lots reflect that quality. Flavor profiles include notes of ripe purple fruit, black currant, raisin, date, and plum, a saturated amber honey sweetness, and a complex acidity.
Pepe’s father was a well-known producer in Chiapas, and when Pepe purchased Finca Santa Cruz, he decided to build the business around specialty. His farming practices reflect his desire for a more precise, agronomically advanced, and conservation-focused approach: he harvests cherry according to the measured the sugar content of the fruit(Brix), ferments according to pH (the actual acidity of the fermentation), and generally seeks experimentation, growth, and collaboration. The area is biodiverse, filled with native Inga trees that also provide shade, allowing the coffee to grow in harmony with the surrounding reserve rather than in conflict with it. Pepe’s goal is to slowly increase production as well as quality and gain wider international recognition.
Community-wise, the local workforce is integral to Finca Santa Cruz’s success in meeting demand. After the community helps harvest cherries, Pepe first floats the cherry in water, then ferments for 20-72 hours in concrete tanks depending on outside factors like weather and ambient temperature, using pH as his guide. He then dries washed parchment on raised beds with mesh covering for 17-25 days. He uses a hydrometer to measure the level of moisture in the coffee during drying.
His practices also help inform and grow education in the surrounding farmer population. He carries on the legacy of his father and his community while advancing with the technologies of the present, producing a truly stellar product.
This lot is also exciting for Pax & Beneficia as we served a 2021 lot from Finca Santa Cruz as our first drip coffee offering. We are familiar with the quality produced by Pepe and were very excited to contract a fresh lot from him to show how coffees can differ year over year from the same farm.