El Rincon is a 25-hectare farm situated in the corner of a valley of limestone hills, protected from warm, dry winds and climate fluctuations. The climate is very stable with high relative humidity, which, along with the chalky soils of Huehuetenango define the cup character of this farm. Roberto Molina was the cousin of Jorge Vides the first owner of Finca La Bolsa, and they bought and established the farms around the same time. Roberto passed away in 2009 and his widow Yolanda Galindo is now taking care of the farm. The farm is now run by Renardo Ovalle, who has transformed the production towards quality focussed microlots.
Many of the plants are old bourbon and caturra trees from the early years of the farm, but the farm manager is in the process of planting new bourbon and caturra plants, along with other exotic varietals. Coffee is fermented dry in tiled tanks for 18-24 hours, before being washed and graded in channels. After the mucilage has been washed off, the coffee is soaked overnight in clean water. This step is more common in African processing, and is rare in Guatemala, but adds to the unique cup profile of this farm.
There are several benefits to using this process for decaffeination. The agent used for extracting the caffeine is entirely natural and the process can be classified as ‘organic’ due to the complete lack of chemicals used throughout. There is also no health risk by consuming coffee that has been decaffeinated in this way. The way the process works means the other compounds in the green bean are left untouched, meaning decaffeination has no effect on the flavour and aroma of the finished product. The carbon dioxide is very selective and doesn’t extract the carbohydrates and proteins in the green bean which contribute to flavour and smell. The cell structure of the green bean and the finished roasted bean is unchanged which is of great advantage when working with speciality coffees. The by-products are 100% natural and recyclable.