The Falla Castillo family is one of the oldest farming families in Antigua. Arturo Falla Cofiño purchased the beautiful El Tempixque more than 50 years ago. Located in the village of San Miguel Dueño near the World Heritage Site of Antigua, the farm sits between three active and picturesque volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.
While pursuing his love of coffee, Arturo also established a nursery for poinsettias and orchids that, over the years, produced a variety of unique and prize-winning new flowers.
After Arturo’s death his son, Estuardo, assumed his the mantel, and today the third and fourth generation—Estuardo’s children and grandchildren—are also involved on the farm. From his father, Estuardo learned the important philosophy of preserving the earth for ensuing generations and everything he does today is with this purpose in mind.
Caring for the environment
The farm has a variety of programs in place that ensure a sustainable model. Due to the high levels of water usage in the wet-milling process, the farm has established reabsorption wells connected to its water-efficient mill. The wells allow water used for wet milling to sit for three days for the sediment to fall to the bottom of the wells and be removed. This prevents waste-water runoff that can be hazardous for the environment and for people.
Another of the farm's sustainability-based initiatives is its vermiculture program. Coffee pulp and dirt are mixed together and then offered as a home to red African worms, which digest the pulp. The resulting compost is full of macro- and micro-nutrients that nourish all the plants on the farm. Any extra compost is sold to local farmers.
The farm also reuses parchment. Once it has been removed from the beans, the parchment is stored in silos and used as fuel for the farm’s machine dryers.
In addition to caring for the environment, the farm takes care of its team. It has a health clinic that treats more than 4,000 patients annually. Founded in 2006, the clinic is named after Arturo and is free to the farm’s employees, suppliers and their families.
Once the cherries have been harvested, with pickers paying close attention to pick only the perfectly ripe cherries, they are brought to the wet mill where they are place in floating tanks to remove any under-ripe cherries.
Next, the cherries are pulped and then put into fermentation tanks for 12 to 18 hours, after which the mucilage is removed. The beans are dried for two days on a patio and then for 35 hours in a drying machine before drying for a final day on a patio.
Finally, the beans are rested in parchment for 30 days, before the parchment is removed and the beans are sorted by color and size and placed in GrainPro bags.
Proudly, El Tempixque is APCA Certified as a Genuine Antigua coffee.
Complex, chocolate-covered raspberry, citrus, sweet, very clean; bright, juicy acidity. (10/19/2018)