El Mirador is a 32-hectare farm located near the town of Pitalito in Huila. Elkin Guzman’s family has over 70 years in the coffee business, 12 of which were dedicated to researching post-harvest processing techniques. 30 Hectares of the farm are devoted to growing exotic coffee varieties like Catiope, Mokka, Tabi, Geisha, and Orange, Striped, and Pink Bourbon. The remaining hectares of the land grow a Caturra variety for experimental lots. During harvest, a process of a meticulous selection of ripe cherries allows only the sweetest fruits to be passed on. Elkin has standardized the workflow and processing procedures to ensure consistency and quality control at each step. His innovative
approaches to fermentation and immaculate attention to detail have made this farm the benchmark in the industry for the quality lots it produces. His passion and eagerness to learn continue to excite us as this year’s harvest is even more ecstatic than the last.
Elkin once stated, “the future of coffee is in its past.” By this, he refers to the importance of looking ahead into the future of the coffee industry and recognizing the innovations of the past and building on them. Elkin’s passion for coffee
It was initiated at a young age, partially through working as an Agronomist for many years. He previously spent most of his time as a technical advisor to coffee farmers around the region. His help sparked a wave of improvement in the farms he had worked with. In 2015, Elkin attended an online Re: co conference held in Seattle as part of the annual SCA Expo. During a presentation by Dr. Flavio Borem about the relationship between sugar molecules and the membranes within the cell walls of the coffee seed, Elkin decided to use these insights and experiment in his processing techniques with an eye on
the improvement of his flavour profiles. After several years of experimentation, he has pioneered a new process called “Hydro.” Along with this innovation, he has improved traditional washed and natural processes yielding exciting results.
Region: Huila, Pitalito.
Producer: Elkin Guzman
Farm: El Mirador
Process: Natural Hydro Honey
Variety: Red and yellow caturra
Elevation: 1550 - 1680 m
Use for: Espresso
Notes: Honey, almond, cherry.
Natural Hydro Honey process:
Elkin constantly measures Brix content to determine when to harvest. Once cherries have reached 20-24 Brix sugar content (around 90% ripeness), he gathers the cherries. After this, cherries are dried for a period of 8 days. Slow drying is induced to promote accelerated fermentation for the first three days. On the 8th day, the coffee is placed in
Water tanks for 36 hours of rehydration and sugar development. After this, the cherries are de-pulped and dried on raised patios for 20-25 days. The typical characteristics of this coffee include a silky mouthfeel, delicate sweet notes and a taste profile similar to double fermentation processes but with a much cleaner aftertaste and medium acidity.