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Coffee

Finca Santa Cruz

Overview

Notes Apricot, Almond Butter, Earl Grey Varieties Bourbon, Typica, Yellow Caturra Elevation 1360-1750 masl Process Washed
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Description

Run by the innovative Pepé Arguello in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas, Finca Santa Cruz is already achieving widespread notoriety in just its third year running. Last year, Pepe won COE Mexico. He was willing to sell in the auction market but wanted to build something deeper, especially with the rest of his product (just as excellent, but at a more accessible quality tier), mostly made up of Bourbon, Typica, Yellow Caturra, and some Geisha. Pepe’s lots’ flavor profiles include ripe purple fruit like black currant, raisin, date, and plum, a saturated amber honey sweetness, and a complex acidity, both tartaric and malic, layered throughout.

Background

Pepé’s father was a well-known producer in Chiapas, and when Pepé purchased Finca
Santa Cruz, he decided to build the business around specialty. With land at 1700 masl
on the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, his farming practices reflect his desire for a more
precise, agronomically advanced, and conservation-focused approach: he harvests cherry according to Brix (measuring the sugar content of the fruit), ferments according to pH
(the actual acidity of the fermentation), and generally seeks experimentation, growth,
and collaboration. The area is biodiverse, filled with native Inga trees that also provide
shade, allowing the coffee to grow in harmony with the surrounding reserve rather than
in conflict with it. Pepe’s goal is to slowly increase production as well as quality and gain
wider international recognition.

Community-wise, the local workforce is integral to Finca Santa Cruz’s success in meeting
demand. After the community helps harvest cherry, Pepe first floats the cherry in water,
then ferments for 20-72 hours in concrete tanks depending on outside factors like weather and ambient temperature, using pH as his guide. He then dries washed parchment on raised beds with mesh covering for 17-25 days. He uses a hydrometer to measure the level of
moisture in the coffee during drying. His practices also help inform and grow education in the surrounding farmer population. He
carries on the legacy of his father and his community while advancing with the technologies of the present, producing a truly stellar product.

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