El Retiro del Quisaya

Tasting notes: Balanced, sweet and juicy with notes of milk chocolate, green apple and a hint of stone fruits, full body and mild acidity with a long aftertaste. 

Roast level: medium roast.

It is very delicious in every kind of coffee method.


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  • Country: Guatemala
  • Region: Chimaltenango
  • Town: San Martin Jilotepeque
  • Farm: El Retiro del Quisaya
  • Owner: Arabigos Del Sur, S.A.
  • Processing: Fully washed and sun dried on patios
  • Altitude: 1,800 metres above sea level
  • Varietal: 100% bourbon

Coffee first arrived in Guatemala in the 18th century with Jesuits to the monasteries of Antigua. Estates began to spread over the following 150 years, primarily owned by European colonists. The country gained independence in 1821, and coffee production soared, making Guatemala an important coffee producer. The Agrarian Reform Law was passed in 1952, redistributing the land of 1,700 estates to nearly 500,000 locals and indigenous peoples. However, a civil war ensued for 36 years, hindering coffee production. 

Soon, coffee regained its prominence, and Guatemala is now home to some exceptional coffees. A quarter of the population are in some way involved with growing or processing coffee. Near the town of Jilotepeque in the Chimaltenango region, is the expansive farm of Finca El Retiro del Quisaya. The farm was established 100 years ago by the Ortega family and was recently sold to the Arabigos del Sur organization. The name of the farm comes from a river that runs within the land. 

During the harvest, the cherries are carefully handpicked and delivered to the mill located on the farm. After sorting, the cherries are pulped with an eco-pulper to remove the external fruit and fermented in aerobic tanks for 14 hours. The beans are then washed and put through a centrifuge machine to remove any remaining mucilage. They are then dispersed on patios to dry in the open sun for ten days.