Luis Pedro Zelaya
Washed and sun dried on patios
Hacienda Carmona is nestled in the shadow of Antigua’s Agua volcano, where nature has created one of the best places in the world to grow coffee. The Hacienda is managed by Maria Zelaya Aguire, whose family has owned and operated the farm since the 1800s. In addition to coffee, Carmona is a working dairy that supplies the Antigua community with fresh milk (much of it going to local working families for little or no cost). Every dairy cow on the farm has a name, dubbed by Maria herself. Whenever we visit, we are struck by the nurturing and open feel of the place, as if it’s a natural part of the whole community. The coffee is all managed by Maria’s nephew, Luis Pedro Zelaya (or “Pedrito,” as Maria calls him). Luis keeps a watchful eye on all aspects of coffee production, with special attention going to the harvesting and processing of the bourbon and typica trees of the Pulcal farm, which sits on the North East slope of Volcan Agua. Luis readily concedes that most of the credit for this coffee goes to nature: perfect rainfall patterns, rich volcanic soil and constant gentle breezes all conspire to create an ideal place for superb coffee to grow. We’ll give plenty of credit to “Pedrito” though, for laying down the standard for ripe cherries, clean fermentation tanks and perfectly-timed drying. This is a classic Antigua coffee not to be missed.