Producer: Don Jesus Reonos
Finca santa Anna – 1800 Meters
This one is for the books. Don Jesus Reonos is one of kind, to put it lightly. You hear his laugh right before you see his glowing smile and know he is special coffee producer.
Don Jesus would have won the Cup of Excellence in 2016 for Guatemala but he lacked the proper quantities needed and they disqualified him for a technicality. Either way, he still scored his coffee at 91 points which is well above benchmark.
He grows Yellow Bourbon, Catuai and Geisha varietals at his 27 farms near the El Salvador border. He is a multi-generational farmer of a mixed origins himself, such as Italian, Russian and Spanish.
His intelligence is evident within minutes of meeting him. He talks in metrics and facts like no other specialty coffee producer I have met. He graduated from the local school, and went to college in Guatemala City for nutrition in agriculture. From there he studied at Texas for a two years on plant nutrition.
Don Jesus believes plants need fertilizer and the realization of when a plant needs to be replaced. He understands margins and ROI along with what the value of his assets are. This perspective was very impressive to me.
His coffee, the best coffee off the trip. After lunch at his home, we went into his basement where he proceeded to dry mill his own personal stash of Geisha beans. Following his milling he went into roasting them on his small propane Guatemalan roaster. Once that was completed we went back into his house for a cupping of fresh roasted Geishas and Yellow Bourbons with the crew. Amazing coffees scoring well into the 90’s.
We finished our time with Don Jesus discussing non-GMO coffees and nutrition along with the market and how producers can survive. His voice and wisdom needs to be hear. He is a perfect example of what producers can accomplish that embrace a strategic vision for their crops.