The Antigua Valley is to coffee what regions like Burgundy and Bordeaux are to wine - unique, agricultural lands with a strong past in producing exceptional beverages. Capetillo is strategically located in the Antigua Valley between the Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango volcanoes, a region that has ideal coffee growing conditions. The high altitude, mild temperatures of 20 to 26˚C during the day and 10 to18˚C during the night, perfect rain patterns during the year and rich volcanic soil, provide a unique ecosystem for growing coffee.
The organic matter from the pruning of the shade tree is mixed to nurture the surrounding soil.
The nutrients within the soil, such as high potassium levels, keep the plants healthy and biologically sustainable. As this soil is rich in active organic matter, the leaf area-to-fruit ratio leads to a better coffee quality. One of the most distinct influences of volcanic ash on the environment is the development of unique soils. Andisols are soils formed in volcanic ash and are typically very fertile.
The right amount of precipitation, between 1,000 – 1,500 mm per year, fall between May to November. Mild sunny days and cool nights result in ideal climate conditions for growing coffee. The hot days allow the plants to develop coffee beans with an intense flavor, while the cool nights create great structure and balance.
Shade for the coffee comes from the Gravilea trees deliberately planted between the coffee plants. Pruned and trimmed several times throughout the year, the trees expose the coffee plants to the right amount of sun to nurture the plants while also protecting them from too much light and heat that could stress them.
The organic matter resulting from the pruning of the shade trees is mixed with the surrounding soil, increasing the organic matter content and nurturing the soil.
Macadamia nut trees are also an alternative, complementary shade tree. The Macadamia nuts are also handpicked and sold locally. There are also Inga trees and indigenous species, such as Guachipilines, oak trees, and avocados, that serve the same purpose and provide the precise shade required.