EL Platanillo San Marcos
إل بلاتانيلو سان ماركوس
In 1977, Mr. Samuel Coto Escobar purchased Finca El Platanillo and managed it until 1985. In 1985 the farm management was passed to Mr. Samuel’s youngest son, Mr. Stuardo Coto. Since then, management has focused on
the ecosystem, the community, coffee quality and productivity.
At Finca El Platanillo, Stuardo has managed to promote and perpetuate environmentally friendly practices which are not only compliant with current day certifications but also with his own personal quest to find the balance between the ecosystem and a productive high quality coffee plantation as one wholesome unit. Close monitoring of flora and fauna has allowed for the rich environment of the region to thrive in the farm.
Regarding the coffee itself, high quality and productivity have always been the goal. For many years, Stuardo has been researching varieties that will adapt to El Platanillo’s specific conditions. Rainfall at El Platanillo is considerably above average for Guatemala thus not all varieties will adapt well to the microclimate. For this reason, many years ago, he started a varietal garden where all varietals (around 150 different ones by 2021) are studied for their production capabilities, adaptation to the microclimate, and cup characteristics. Varieties that are found to be ideal for the farm are thoroughly tested and then plotted as new plantations. Along with the varieties, much research has been done regarding processing. Keeping in mind the high environmental cost of water usage, natural processing was selected as the main process to research at El Platanillo.
After 10 years of selecting and re selecting the best plants from an original group of Geisha plants, the team at El Platanillo managed to select a 30 day natural processed green tip Geisha lot to be a competitor in the Cup of Excellence competition in 2020. Their lot was named Mirador and placed 10th in the competition that year! This lot is composed of red and yellow Icatu, a variety known for its high yields and consistent cup flavor. Icatu’s fruity
and juicy characteristics are ideal for natural processing. This lot was built from over 40 different day lots, each processed separately. Each lot is naturally sun dried on raised beds for 10 to 12 days then finished in mechanical
dryers at a low temp. During the first 3 days the cherries are constantly turned in order to maintain even drying. After 10 to 12 days on the raised beds, the cherries are moved to a mechanical drier and then tumble dried for another 24 to 36 hours at low temperatures to ensure optimal humidity is obtained. The final mixing of the blend takes place in the dry mill when the selected lots are stripped of their parchment.