Tilly's Coffee - CLOSED
Guatemala La Ponderosa

Roaster Location: Flag of United States Grand Rapids, Michigan


Roast Level: Light
Bean Source Country: Guatemala
Bean Source Region: Huehuetenango
Varietal: Bourbon, Catuai
Process: Washed

La Ponderosa is owned by the Pérez family, who have been working in coffee for five generations. It is managed by Wilfrido, a fourth-generation coffee producer, and his son Hernán. Their mission is to produce high-quality coffee in the most sustainable way possible, and they care deeply about ensuring they look after both the environment and their community, and that everyone involved in their supply chain prospers.

La Ponderosa is forty-two hectares in size and is part of the ‘El Zapote y Anexos’ farms, which is also owned by the Pérez family, and was acquired in the 1950s. El Zapote has won many awards in the Cup of Excellence over the years, including a Presidential award in 2018, and most recently in 2020. La Ponderosa is Rainforest Alliance certified and has also placed in many times in Anacafe’s regional competition.

La Ponderosa is located near the village of Agua Dulce, in Cuilco, Huehuetenango, a stunning region located in the west of Guatemala near the border of Mexico. Huehuetenango is known for its vast ethnic diversity and Los Cuchumatanes mountain range, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in all of Central America. It is also home to some of the most celebrated coffees in the country, which frequently appear in the top ten of the Cup of Excellence competition. This is in part due to the incredibly high altitudes that coffee is able to grow at (up to 2,000m above sea level), thanks to the dry, hot winds that blow into the mountains from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain which protect the region from frost. These high altitudes, combined with a relatively predictable climate make for exceptional, complex and very sweet coffee, like this very special lot from La Ponderosa.

La Ponderosa sits at an altitude of 1,400–1,800m above sea level. The high altitude of the farm means that the beans mature very slowly, giving time for the sugars to develop and resulting in a clean, sweet and complex cup. The topography is steep and irregular, making harvesting very labour-intensive and time-consuming. All of the coffee is picked by hand by a team of seasonal workers, most of whom live locally and join the farm each year. They typically do multiple passes throughout the season (which typically runs from December through to April) to ensure only the very ripest cherries are selected.

The Peréz family have planted a range of varieties on the farm including Anacafé 14, Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Geisha, Pacamara and Villa Sarchi. This particular lot is Bourbon and Catuai. The coffee grows under the shade of Ingas and Grevillea trees which protect the coffee trees from the sun and provide valuable organic material which helps keep the soil moist and well-nourished.

The Peréz family are committed to producing the very best quality coffee possible. This starts with farming in the most sustainable way, and looking after the team that grow, harvest and process the coffee. The family is ambitious, innovative and progressive, and constantly looking at ways to improve quality, yield and their environmental footprint.

Harvest time at La Ponderosa begins in December and concludes at the end of March. Around one hundred people are given employment during this time, from the surrounding villages which helps sustain the local economy. These seasonal workers are trained in best-picking techniques and select only the perfectly ripe cherries.

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1 rating
Ratings here are based on aggregated user reviews of individual roasts from Tilly's Coffee - CLOSED.
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Latest Reviews and Tasting Notes

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1136 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    4.50 - Aroma

    5.00 - Value

    4.50 - Flavor

    5.00 - Acidity

    Blind tasting. Nice upfront acidity but not too much. Tons of citrus. Some nice natural sugars. Super easy to drink and a lot of subtlety. Maybe not super fancy like expensive geshas but something Id be 100% happy drinking every day. Extremely clean and pleasant finish. Super smooth.

    Great value at $15/bag.

    Cupping Method:Pourover, 207 F, Hario v60 Ceramic

More Details

Roast Level: Light
Light roast coffee is a delicately roasted coffee that retains more of the beans' natural flavors and characteristics. Light-roasted coffees have bright acidity, complex fruit, and floral notes. Light roast coffee does not have less caffeine than darker roasts because caffeine levels remain stable during roasting.
Bean Source Country: Guatemala
Guatemala is one of the main coffee-producing countries in Central America. Its volcanic soil and altitude make it ideal for producing quality arabica.
Coffee in Guatemala is grown in the high-altitude regions of the country. The country is known for producing high-quality Arabica beans, known for their well-balanced, rich, and complex flavors with notes of chocolate, fruit, and nuts with great acidity. The volcanic soil and favorable climate conditions contribute to the unique taste profile of Guatemalan coffee. The coffee industry is a significant part of the country's economy, with small-scale farmers and cooperatives being the primary producers. Guatemala represents around 2% of the world's coffee production, but due to its reputation for high quality, has an outsized impact in specialty roasts.
Bean Source Region: Huehuetenango
Specialty coffee from Huehuetenango, a region in the highlands of Guatemala, is renowned for its unique flavor profile, characterized by a complex blend of fruity, floral, and citrus notes, often complemented by a mild, chocolatey undertone. Grown at elevations ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 meters above sea level, the beans benefit from the area's microclimates, well-drained soil, and cool temperatures, which contribute to the slow maturation of the coffee cherries. Huehuetenango coffee is a favorite among connoisseurs and frequently scores high in specialty coffee cuppings.

Best Rated Roasts of Tilly's Coffee - CLOSED

Tilly's Coffee - CLOSED is a coffee roaster from Grand Rapids, Michigan United States. We have 10 cataloged roasts with 14 total reviews with a score of 4.53.

International Rank: #25 out of 835
Ranking is based on a combination of reviews and popularity on CoffeeRoast.com
Name Roast Level Bean Source
Light Honduras
Light Honduras
Light Honduras
Light Colombia
Light Honduras
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