Guatemala Finca El Tambor
Guatemala Finca El Tambor
Guatemala Finca El Tambor

Guatemala Finca El Tambor

$ 13.00
Victor Calderon represents the 5th generation of coffee farmers from a family that has been in coffee for more than 100 years; El Tambor, however, is a relatively new addition to the rich mosaic of farms dotting this region of Guatemala, just outside of Guatemala City.

Founded as a cattle farm in the 1930s, El Tambor’s previous owner had converted the farm’s steepest, highest slopes to coffee during the 1960s. Victor bought the farm at the beginning of 2001 with the aim of moving out of Robusta cultivation (in which his family had previously specialised) and into Arabica. He was so committed to this vision that he sold his house and car in exchange for El Tambor, and upon signing the documents immediately set about renovating the coffee plots, expanding areas under coffee and improving the farm’s small wet mill. 

Victor manages the farm with 8 people who are in charge of their own specific areas and duties. All employees have permanent residence on the farm, and 10% of the farm is given over to the workers to produce their own vegetables. Nearly half the farm has been left under forest, which is set aside entirely as conservation area. In addition to the farm’s permanent workers, approximately 25 seasonal pickers are employed for the harvest.
All coffee is picked and processed in microlots of around 22 bags of pergamino, selected according to location on the farm with attention to varietals making up the lots. Despite the farm’s size, Victor continues to process all of the farm’s coffee using a small pulper with a diesel motor. He points out that not only is this more energy efficient than larger pulpers, it is also more economical: $20 for diesel gets them through a full half of the harvest.
El Tambor means ‘The Drum’ in Spanish: it is assumed that the name comes from the sounds of an underground river pounding under the ground, making a drum-like sound.  Even though the sound can no longer be heard today, Victor carries on marching to the beat of his own drum, innovating and refusing to follow the well-trodden path simply because of accepted agricultural practices.  In the future, Victor and his family want to continue planting single varietal areas, focusing on new and less planted varieties, such as Amarello, Pacamara, and Amarello geisha. They also plan to build new drying patios, a fruit garden and new tanks for the workers to farm fish.
100% Bourbon. Light roasted, medium bodied, tart cherry, lime and cocoa. Very versatile, this coffee can be used for drip, pourover, cold brew, or single origin espresso.