Producer: Pablo Ferrigno
Farm: Santa Sofia
Altitude: 5,800 - 6,200 feet
Variety: Caturra, Catimor
We are happy to offer coffee from Santa Sofia again this year. In March of 2017 we finally had the opportunity to visit Santa Sofia in person with farm owner Pablo Ferrigno. The well-maintained farm is situated on a hill above the town of Tactic, in Alta Verapaz Department. Although his family has been farming coffee for three generations, Pablo founded his own farm, Santa Sofia in 1991. The farm is located within the Cobán growing region. With an impressive starting elevation of 5,800 feet, the farm has one of the highest altitudes in Guatemala.
Stretching up to 6,200 feet, Santa Sofia faces extreme climatic conditions; it is a challenging farm in which to grow coffee. Scarce hours of sunlight, overcast conditions and ample rainfall have forced Pablo and his team to adapt to the farm’s unique climate. Harvesting is completed in small increments of just five to ten sacks of coffee cherry per day through a period lasting up to nine months. Due to irregular rain patterns, the plants flower sporadically throughout the year, so coffee is harvested and milled almost continuously. Ripe cherry is picked, fermented, fully washed, and sun dried on concrete patios. Since available sunlight is irregular at this high altitude, mechanical
driers are used when there is insufficient sunlight to complete patio drying. Over the years, Pablo has adapted to the unique growing conditions on Santa Sofia.
Through his commitment to work with the challenging climate, he has learned to produce some of the best coffee coming out of Guatemala. In addition to coffee farming, Pablo is in the process of renovating and expanding the modest farm house into an expansive bed and breakfast for local tourists.
We should note too that Equator co-owns a farm in Panama called Finca Sophia; although the names are similar, there are no connections between the two farms.