We met Luis Valdez Jr. (aka Wicho) for the first time in January, 2017 — on his farm, Finca Santa Isabel, located in Guatemala's Cobán region. From the beginning, we appreciated his laid back, straightforward personality. Some producers try hard to sell you on the quality of their operation; Wicho exuded confidence in the self-evident quality of his product, so it didn't fee like he was trying to convince us of anything. His confidence is backed up by real-world quality: his coffee (our Guatemala Santa Isabel) impressed us from the beginning with its balance and sweetness, and continues to be one of our go-to coffees.
Touring Finca Santa Isabel provided breathtaking views of the people picking and processing the coffee, as well as resplendent shots of the landscape. Sitting around a table, talking about coffee, and sharing a pint of Wicho's homemade beer was an experience we won't soon forget.
A few months after our return, we had the privilege of hosting Wicho at our roastery, where we invited our staff and friends to meet him and hear about the work his family does on their farm and in their community. Bridging the gap between producer and consumer is one of our greatest joys, and we are excited to create more of these connections in the years to come.