Enrique López Aguilar talks about his life as a farmer:
“Coffee growing began in 1910 in Candelaria Loxicha in Oaxaca. Over time, my parents (Jaime and Graciela) bought farms in Chiapas and from there the story of coffee growing began. In 2000, when my father passed away, I went to the coffee farms to learn how to grow specialty coffee and took a year to learn how to harvest coffee. I knew nothing and didn’t even drink coffee, I was 33 at the time and I started reading a lot of books about coffee, its history and how it was processed in different parts of the world. I learned that you can do a lot of things in fermentation, I kept working on farms (Santa Cruz and Las Nubes) and became a Q Grader, winning many competitions for the best organic coffee and several Cup of Excellence awards. In 2012 I left the farms in Chiapas and decided to start my own farm in Oaxaca, particularly in Candelaria, where my mother is from. Since then, I have been focusing only on the production of specialty coffees in microlots.”
Geisha 50%, Bourbon Rosado 20%, Typica 10%, Maragogype, a 5% sl28, obata, anacafe 14, atd.
At the beginning was an empty farm that Enrique bought and started to renovate. Gradually, he began to plant varieties that he already knew were of very high quality and that, with proper care of the soil, would become tolerant and resistant to rust. The flavours that emerge in the coffees are citrus and floral, thanks to the processes by which the coffee is processed and fermented on the farm. They develop new flavours, but without losing the original and basic flavours. Above all, at the Chelín farm, the focus is on purity in the aftertaste.
“The advantage of the farm is that I can replicate on a small scale everything I learned in Chiapas and have more control over the production of so-called pure coffee.”
Enrique adds that the farm is not yet at full production, but thanks to good nutrition and good work, it is close to the production he expects. We worked with Enrique for the 2022 Barista World Championship and the way Enrique grows the coffee and continues to communicate with clients is very professional. His coffee is truly unique and the intricate processing process matches that.
“The fermentations that we carry out on washed coffees are usually long, lasting more than 36 hours and are always controlled. Over time, we have started to carbonic macerate all the coffees, thus promoting the best possible profile. This lot of pink bourbon is no exception. The long drying process is then important.” The coffee is picked and left to rest, usually overnight, in a GrainPro bag. It is then peeled using a wet mill and carbonically macerated (without air with controlled carbon dioxide) for about 36 hours. The coffee is then washed and slowly dried. Profile: forest fruits, raspberry blossom, herbs slowly goes rose and dark grapes, creamy body, clean pleasant floral aftertaste.
This lot of the Garnica variety was processed first with carbonic maceration (about 40h) and then with black honey. This is a process where the top coat of the cherry is peeled off the bean and as much must as possible is left on the bean to infuse the coffee with sweet, honey-like notes through fermentation. Profile: honey, mandarin ice cream, white chocolate, pecan nuts, grapefruit clean aftertaste.
The hydronatural natural processing is Enrique’s signature processing style. It’s a several-day process where the coffee is carbonically macerated in the whole cherry for several hours and then dried slowly over a long period of time. The coffee then has very complex and pure flavours. At the same time creamy and yoghurt-like body. Profile: blueberries, blackberries, sweet like a berry jam, lightly spiced and almond/marzipan clean aftertaste with a hint of liqueur.