When we created the La Familia Blend, we carefully considered the flavor balance between beans from these two family farms.
We used our roasting lab to find the perfect roast level and blend to bring out the best flavors in both beans. And after much experimentation, we think this connection between two supreme Central American coffee regions — Costa Rica and Guatemala — makes a great blend.
Brew yourself a cup of La Familia and discover what makes this family connection a delectable brew.
Rainforest Alliance Certified, Organic Guatemalan Beans from The Ovalle Family
Guatemala is the 10th largest coffee region in the world. It has over 300 microclimates, rich volcanic soil, and a long tradition of artisan coffee production.
Coffee was originally brought to Guatemala by Jesuit missionaries in the 1700s as ornamental plants. But it wasn’t until the mid 1850s that coffee started to be cultivated commercially. By the 1880s, nearly 90 percent of Guatemala’s exports were coffee beans.
Guatemala is particularly known for its specialty-grade coffee. The Asociación Nacional Del Café (ANACAFE) ensures that exported coffee meets the country’s high grading standards. Coffees are graded by elevation that they were grown at — with strictly hard bean (SHB) being the highest rating. The other system notes that the regionally named coffee — such as Guatemala Huehuetenango — is consistent with the appropriate region’s flavor profile.
Our Guatemalan coffee beans are SHB, organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee. They are also European preparation (EP) — meaning that the sorting screen size is 15 and above and with a maximum of 8 defects or less per 300 grams per bean. So these coffee beans are truly some of the best in Guatemala.
They are grown at Finca Palo Blanco in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala, which is a private small farm, owned by the Ovalle family. Founded in 1990 by Tulio Sergio Ovalle, he now runs the farm with his son, Iván Ovalle. The farm sits at 1700 masl, and its topography allows the region to receive hot winds, creating an ideal environment for growing coffee. Varietals grown on the farm include Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai.
The Ovalle family supports the community through donations to local schools, and through education to the region's people on the proper use of water and use of water resources. They strive to be socially and environmentally responsible.
Grade 1, Organic Costa Rica Beans from The Montero Family
Coffee arrived in Costa Rica in the late 1700s via Cuba. The Arabica coffee plant was first grown in Costa Rica’s central highlands which provided ideal growing conditions. Growing coffee quickly became one of the most profitable crops for farmers.
At first, coffee was simply consumed within the country. But by 1820, the country started exporting its most profitable crop to neighboring Panama and then to Chile. Within 10 years, revenue from exporting coffee crops exceeded that of sugar and tobacco.
The coffee-growing regions feature high altitude and soil rich with volcanic ash, which acts as a fertilizer to help coffee plants thrive. With sunshine in the morning and rain in the afternoon, it is the perfect climate for growing beans.
Originally purchased in the early 1900s by the Montero family, Hacienda la Amistad has given 6,000 of its original 10,000 hectares of land back to the government of Costa Rica for the preservation of La Amistad International Park — the largest natural reserve in Central America.
Of the remaining 4,000 hectares, 300 are used to grow these delicious, organic beans. Most of the rest of the land has been rewilded with forest and animals. Here the cherries ripen slowly, absorbing the flavors of the flora.
Third-generation farmer, Roberto Montero, uses the natural resources of the land to make his coffee processing efficient and environmentally friendly.
For example, running water from forest springs passes through turbines generating electricity to run the wet and dry mill equipment at La Amistad. Water from depulping cherries (honey water) is treated and used to water grass fields grown specifically to feed dairy cows that in turn produce the milk used for organic cheese production.
Because the farm is close to the Panama border, it has attracted many indigenous people as seasonal harvest workers. Roberto ensures seasonal pickers’ needs are met by providing housing and free access to medical care.
Roberto provides more than 100 full-time jobs to his neighbors from Las Mellizas, not only in coffee cultivation but also in the dried fruit operation that he runs year-round at La Amistad. He hosts an annual employee celebration to recognize all their hard work and distributes school supplies to their children each year before school starts.
La Familia Blend’s Unique Flavor Notes
The fusion of organic Costa Rican and Guatemalan Arabica beans creates a harmonious duet of the best coffee from both countries—and a uniquely satisfying zenith of flavor. At Tower we say, “La Familia es muy buena!”
This sweetly mild-bodied, medium roast combines Costa Rica’s revered crown jewel beans with the world’s best Guatemalan Arabica. The result is a delicious flavor medley of a chocolate nougat with a soft creamy vanilla honey finish. Also present are notes of dark fruit, almond and cocoa nibs.
Try La Familia today in whole bean or Super Pods and discover the unique flavor of these two happy families.