Producer: Pepé Arguello
Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Yellow Caturra, Geisha
Elevation: 1360 - 1750 masl
Fermentation: 20 - 72 Hours, Dry in Concrete Tanks
Drying: 17 - 25 Days, Raised Beds
Tasting Notes: Apple Cider, Shortbread, Pomegranate
Of all our new relationships in Chiapas this year, Finca Santa Cruz is one of the most exciting. Run by the innovative Pepé Arguello, the farm 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.
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.
While Pepé is still a small-scale farmer at 60 hectares, we’re excited to have a slightly larger lot to offer from him than what we’re usually able to get at the producer ID level (for instance, all the farmers we work with in Oaxaca are extreme smallholders averaging just 1-2 hectares). We’re able to provide a deeper commitment than what Pepe would find at the auction level and find good homes for the whole range of coffee he produces. Pepé Arguello State Chiapas Municipality La Concordia Farm Name Santa Cruz Altitude 1360-1750 masl Varieties Bourbon, Typica, Yellow Caturra, Geisha Process Washed Fermentation 20-72 hours, dry in concrete tanks Drying 17-25 days, raised beds Harvest January-March 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. We’re excited to work together to help him customize processing for different clients and continue to invest in and improve quality.
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--