ALTITUDE: 2000 masl


Buy the Coffee


In October our friends from Onyx Coffee Imports, a specialty importer who specializes in Guatemalan coffee, visited us in Kansas City and introduced us to some of their incredible offerings. Not only were we able to taste some amazing coffee, we had the opportunity to hear the stories of the regions and producers responsible for the coffees in our cups. 

One of these stories relates to our newest offerings, a washed Bourbon from a producer named Nicolás Ramirez Ramirez and his farm Finca Quejiná. 

This is the story according to the fine folks at Onyx: 


The haunting tale of the black house 
“The remote mountainous highlands of Huehuetenango are full of mystery, and that mystery is fertile soil for spooky stories. The land lends itself to this. Vertical mountainsides cast long shadows over isolated villages and often harbor fog throughout the day.
Throughout small indigenous communities, traditional creepy stories are told in the dark. One might walk along a creek and hear low, intense crying, only to feel themselves unable to move as a woman in white called La Llorona walks by ever so slowly. Alone at night a man might be charmed by a beautiful woman called La Siguanaba, but as he draws close she turns toward him, with the face of a horse and red glowing eyes which cast a death spell. The hills are full of these stories, some mystical, some funny, some terrifying. 
But then there was this house. 
Not so long ago in the mountains of Huehuetenango, there was a black house. Long abandoned, the small cottage stood forgotten by the years, dilapidated adobe falling from the sides exposing the wood underneath. Nobody knew the owner. Colorful adobe houses dotted the surrounding mountainside, with deeply worn trails between. But no trail ventured too near the black house. It was said that those who dared enter, to satisfy a curiosity or to challenge a dare, were never seen or heard from again.
Vanished or consumed by the house or its occupant, no-one knew. 
In the Mayan language of Mam, Quejiná (pronounced keh-hee-NAH) means haunted house, an apt name for this eerie place. But where the black house once stood, coffee plants now flourish. 

Don Nicolás Ramirez Ramirez is a fourth-generation indigenous coffee farmer on this land. Finca Quejiná has been in the family for many years, starting with Nicolas' great grandfather. Nestled in the dense forest of Petetan high up on a mountain ridge, Finca Quejiná boasts a beautiful view of the valleys below. While harvesting coffee at over 2000 MASL presents a learning curve, Nicolas is proud of his coffees and the many decades he's spent pursuing excellence. 

Lots are separated by altitude and slope, according to readiness. During the height of harvest from February through March and into April, Nicolas and his son turn in small lots to their export partners and we receive farm samples. Quejiná varieties include Caturra, Pache and Bourbon. 

In contrast from the haunting tale of Quejiná, the story of Don Nicolás’ Finca Quejina is one of resilience and triumph through difficult challenges. When he was just a baby, his mother passed away. Raised by a grandmother with very few resources, Nicolás could not be sent to school and only learned a bit of Spanish later in life. He struggled to cultivate coffee at this altitude for many years before a successful harvest.

Despite these challenges, Don Nicolás has worked incredibly hard to produce coffees of differentiated quality, while sending his own four children to school. In recent years, Don Nicolas has been able to purchase more land, plant new trees, invest in processing experiments, while learning and investing in new techniques.”