The long and winding road that leads to Aurelio Villatoro’s door is surrounded by coffee farms, but the wait is worth it! His home village, Hoja Blanca, is the frontier of Cuilco in western Huehuetenango, (Mexico visible barely a kilometer away.) The vertical land in this high valley is dotted with award winning lots from the family. Aurelio’s indomitable energy is as infectious as his smile. A mechanic by training, he took to the family business of coffee and has excelled through hard work and attention to detail. He is kind and curious, and an excellent host.
Aurelio Villatoro was born into coffee. As a child he dedicated himself diligently to his studies, and when he finished school he became a mechanic and returned to Finca La Esperanza, his father’s farm. His hope was to continue the work of farming with his father, and in 1986 he founded his own farm called “Villaure” a combination of his first and last names. At first, his plot of coffee was very small, but with enthusiasm, and dedication, he increased productivity and slowly bought more lots. From the year 2002 to date, the family has received numerous awards nationally and internationally.
From the beginning of harvest each year, (December-March), picking is monitored very closely. Standards include selecting perfectly ripe cherries, avoiding green, dry and damaged fruit. Baskets and nylon sacks are placed under shade to avoid sun exposure. After six to eight days drying on patios (depending on weather conditions) the wet milled coffee is sent to the dry mill immediately. Pulping is performed no later than 6 hours after harvest. Fermentation takes place in concrete tanks, agitating consistently and draining the water no longer than two hours for uniformity. Total fermentation time is 24 to 36 hours depending on weather. Coffees are then washed and then separated for quality and dried. Drying done on cement patios, and each class is dried separately to avoiding mixing. The thickness of each layer of coffee ranges from 3 to 5cm.