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  • Introducing the El Vergel: The rainforest orchard

    Introducing the El Vergel: The rainforest orchard

    With such an overwhelming reception of one of our newest coffee, the El Vergel from the rainforests of Guatemala at our cupping last night and across our wholesale accounts, we at Maker wish to share all we know of this complex and delicious Central American cup

    Photo of Juan Francisco Gonzales, the farmer-producer of El Vergel (Spanish for The Orchard) 


    Tony Strickett and Celina Lazarus, the green bean sourcing duo from First Crop in Melbourne visited the co-op coffee mill, the Federación Commercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG) to cup and source the finest Guatemalan green. On this trip, they came across the El Vergel (Spanish for The Orchard), a dense temperate rainforest farm which is part of this incredible mill co-operative. The luscious terrain of El Vergel, coupled with its high altitude and climate lends its conditions perfectly to coffee farming, and in 2009 the FECCEG prioritizing the social, environmental and financial wellbeing of its network, also helped establish the farms in beekeeping to sustainably diversify their offerings.


    At El Vergel farmer-producer Juan Francisco Gonzales employs organic fertilizers onto the rainforest plants, a combination of natural local resources including ash, soil and rocks which contain natural minerals. After picking, the Caturra and Catuai cherries are fermented depending upon the ambient temperature, often done by laying out and exposing the coffee to the sun, with time ranging from 12-16 hours. Following this, as a coffee-mill the FECCEG is a processing co-operative, the El Vergel crop then wash the mucilage from the beans a process that offers clarity and complexity to the coffee.


    The organic mixture used by the farm as a fertiliser; consisting of ash, soil and mineral rich rocks. 


    Here at Maker Fine Coffee in Richmond, when we received this coffee from the First Crop team, we were truly impressed by the delicate florals and sweetness that is present in the cup. We identified that with careful roasting, we could accentuate and bring forth the berry and gentle tea aroma and have found that our approach to this beautiful Guatemalan has been eagerly received.


    If you would like to try the El Vergel, it is now available as a Filter or Espresso at our Brew Bar and Roastery in North St Richmond, or if you’d like to see how this coffee tastes when brewed by yourself, it is now available here on our Online Shop.


    For our wholesale accounts, the El Vergel is presently on our offering list for both Filter and Espresso and as usual, we offer our extraction guides for this coffee. If you are interested in ordering for your café, please send us an email at


    The 300 meter waterfall inside the El Vergel farm