Usually, when we grab a seat and start to piece together a story about a particular coffee (that we share with you in the form of stories like this one), we focus on things like processing, variety or type of coffee, or something related to one of those things. For this coffee, however, the most important part of the story is why it’s even available to us at all.
I’m sure you’re aware of those who say something to the effect of “get politics out of my coffee”. As we all know, that’s impossible.
This is a coffee we’re so proud to have had the opportunity to buy, because of how it tastes, but also because of what it represents.
Byron, along with his community are in active resistance to a Canadian mining company who has been persistently in conflict with those who have been peacefully living there. Escobal mine, owned by Pan American Silver (based in Vancouver), want this land for mining, against the will of those who are living and growing agricultural products here including coffee. There’s an article in the LA Times that covers this story, particularly this group of people in the area of Mataquescuintla who understand what it will mean for their homes and community if a foreign entity, who’s goal is to extract nonrenewable resources, has full and unfettered access to where they live and work.
A friend and roaster peer of ours named Drew saw this LA Times article and felt compelled to reach out (starting last year) and see if he could buy coffee from the Mataquescuintla group. This is not a normal way to buy specialty coffee. Usually, buys are predicated on cup scores and taste alone. So when Drew brought in these coffees last year, and they were delicious, that’s when he reached out to the coffee roasting community in Canada to see if anyone else wanted to form a buying group with the goal of not only strengthening resistance efforts of a community who only wants peace and land conservation but also to bring in some very delicious coffee.
This is some nice Pache and San Ramon from a region of Guatemala called Mataquescuintla – Grown and processed by Byron Pineda on his farm. It’s full of stewed apple aromatics and straight-up reminds us both of apple butter (hence the name). This is a nice coffee for fall.
For more context on why we’re carrying this coffee and what it represents, you can read Kate Linthicum’s article for the LA Times here.