Release #11: La Folie Special Selection 2016
Nestled in the shadow of three volcanoes and characterized by cobblestone streets and stately Spanish colonial architecture, the city of Antigua, Guatemala is undeniably beautiful. Coffee farms are found scattered just outside the city, but so close that they feel like they are within the city itself. Of these farms, La Folie, located in the small town of San Felipe de Jesus, is distinctively charming and well operated. Owned by Mary Ann de Urruela and managed by Antiguan coffee legend Luis Pedro Zelaya since 2003, La Folie is a thriving coffee estate. Planted mostly in Bourbon, but also with some dwarf Bourbon (B300), Caturra, and Typica, La Folie has been the consistent source of many of the finest Antiguan coffees we have tasted over the years.
While coffees from Guatemala have not figured quite as prominently on Passenger's menu in recent times, selections from La Folie played a significant role on the offerings list during our early years. During a harvest visit to Antigua in January, 2016, Passenger's green buying team cupped through hundreds of coffees at Luis Pedro Zelaya's Bella Vista Mill. One decent sized lot from La Folie was showcased as a seasonal offering later that year. And, in addition to the larger single origin offering, we also came across the present lot that we are proudly re-releasing from our frozen archive 5 years later. The original tiny day lot that graced Passenger's Reserve Lot menu was only 300 pounds in total. Roasting our last few pounds that we have kept fresh in the freezer and revisiting this harvest on the cupping table confirmed that this special selection from La Folie still ranks among the most spectacular coffees from the Antigua region that we have had the pleasure of tasting!