Juan Diego de la Cerda works hard to uphold his family’s legacy and continually improve the coffee production at Finca El Socorro. El Socorro has been producing coffee since the 1980s and has been run by Juan since 1999. During this time, his name has become synonymous with quality both in Guatemala and the greater coffee community. Juan and El Socorro have been awarded on numerous occasions for their coffee, including a Guatemala Cup of Excellence victory for his Maracaturra variety in 2011 and his victories in 2020 and 2023 for his Gesha variety. In addition to quality, El Socorro has become known for offering exciting varieties that are seen less often, including Maracaturra, Java, and Pacamara. Juan also has plots of land set aside to experiment with different varieties at different altitudes, as well as even more rare varieties.
El Socorro is situated about 33 miles east of the capital of Guatemala City, in the town of Palencia. Palencia. The town of Palencia sits around a staggering elevation of 1,750 meters (or around 5,750 feet) above sea level. While this elevation is ideal for growing coffee, it can make milling and drying the coffee tricky, as heat during the days and humidity can play a major factor in the final product.
By doing all the milling on-site, however, Juan is able to utilize a variety of different drying techniques to ensure quality coffee. El Socorro can dry coffees in the sun on patios or in the shade, along with mechanical drying if needed. As part of his many improvements, Juan has also added African-style raised drying beds to further the versatility of the processing operation.
The Maracaturra variety is a hybrid of Maragogype and Caturra. These two varieties crossed naturally and the result was discovered sometime in the late 1800s. Caturra is known for both good cup qualities and providing higher yields. While Maragogype is known for producing much lower yields than Caturra, the potential cup quality is often on the same level. Unfortunately, both varieties are highly susceptible to coffee leaf rust and, as a result, Maracaturra is as well. Similar to Maragogype and another relative Pacamara, Maracaturra is known for producing larger than average beans, sometimes known as “elephant beans”. The variety can be found in various regions in Central and South America, though it is primarily grown in Nicaragua.
In this coffee, we tasted an interesting mix of fresh fruits, florals, along with sweet pastries and desserts. This Maracaturra starts with a very mellow but fruity acidity, akin to a cantaloupe melon. As the cup cools, the soft fruit acidity begins to shift into something more tart. In the cool cup we found notes of ripe nectarine and other stone fruits. This coffee also offered a pleasant mix of spices and a gooey, doughy sweetness that brought memories of a warm pecan pie. The gaps between these two tastes are filled in with delicate florals that round out the cup.
Producer: Juan Diego
Farm: El Socorro
Aromatics: Soft Florals, Yellow Fruits, Warming Spices
Taste: Cantaloupe, Honeysuckle, Pecan Pie, Nectarine, Brown Sugar,. Ginger, Apricot
Recommended Brewing Methods:
Fellow Stagg [X]
22g in, 350g out
2:50 – 3:10 minutes
205 f temperature
50 gram pour, pick up brewer and spin 3 times
Pour from 50 grams to 200 grams, starting at 30 seconds and ending your pour at 50 seconds (7.5 gram per second, pour rate)
Let fully drain should be between 1:15-1:30
1:15 – 1:30
Pour from 200 grams to 350 grams, starting at 1:15-1:30 and ending your pour at 1:35-1:50 (7.5 gram per second, pour rate)
Let drain completely
Drain should end between 2:50 – 3:10 minutes or brew to taste
Recommended Espresso Recipe:
Classic 9 bar recipe
20g in, 60g out (22 gram basket)
200 f temperature