From the rare monja blanca (“white nun”) orchid and the brilliantly colored quetzal to the cloud forests that shroud the mountainous terrain year-round, the famed Coban region of Guatemala has an ethereal feeling about it. Add fertile limestone soils, mild temperatures, and ample shade into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for an environment where coffee trees don’t just grow - they thrive. Like the protagonist of a classic story, though, this coffee was born into struggle. Over the past few years a disease known as coffee rust has increasingly threatened farms throughout Central America. Fortunately, the vigilant growers of the Chiyuc community in Coban came prepared for a fight. With the support of an innovative new importer, they’re armed with the tools they need to continue producing world-class coffees through this difficult time. While we sample plenty of Guatemalan coffees, it’s been over a year since we’ve tasted anything from Coban. However, it came as no surprise that brothers Nathan and Gabe Quillos from Quills Coffee would be the ones to break the dry spell with an undiscovered gem. We featured the Louisville-based roaster in our September box, and we’re happy to have them on board again this month with another unique and exciting selection. In our eyes this elegant Coban proves that, in coffee as in life, some of the best things are worth waiting for.
Since the 60's, Guerrero, Mexico has been a hotbed of guerilla activity and drug-related violence. But recently it seems that great coffee might help tame this Wild West. Guerrero coffees are usually ignored on the international market. But, the farmers at El Eden knew that if they could make a truly unique coffee, unlike anything else in Mexico, they just might get noticed. We're happy to say that they've done just that. Their ridiculously complex brew, prepared using the decidedly un-Mexican natural process, left our tasters totally floored. We're always on the hunt for new roasters and new flavors, so we're especially proud to feature first time Craft Coffee-ers Quills Coffee, whose masterful roast reminded us just what it means to taste something truly unexpected.