Luis Pedro Zelaya
Antigua, GuatemalaPartnered with Stumptown
Bourbon, Bourbon 300, Tekisic, Caturra, and Villa SarchiProcessing techniques
1500 MetersOn Our Menu
Guatemala Bella Vista
Bella Vista has been in the Zelaya family for over 100 years, and is the heart of this fourth generation coffee organization.
Luis Pedro Zelaya is a fourth generation coffee producer and a leader in the Antigua coffee community. With a background in agronomy, he brings knowledge and innovation to all aspects of his practices. Bella Vista is both a meticulously planted coffee farm and an expansive processing facility that is the center of the Zelaya family operation. Here, coffee is grown, processed, dried, milled, and evaluated for quality. In addition to exporting green coffee, Luis Pedro also operates a roasting facility and serves coffee at the Bella Vista cafe in the center of Antigua.
In Guatemala’s old capital of Antigua, colonial-era buildings and cobblestone streets are nestled in a valley lined with three volcanoes: Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango. These impressive landforms – one of which actively rumbles, spewing ash throughout the day – are a constant reminder of the powers of the natural world. Over centuries, volcanic ash has impacted the structure and minerality of the region’s soil - a contributing factor to the legendary quality of Antigua coffees.
Luis Pedro Zelaya runs the family business with a deep respect for its history and an eye towards innovation. He focuses on pruning, tissue management, soil enrichment, and preventive methods for plant health. A hallmark of Luis Pedro's approach on all the farms is a unique pruning system, each year aggressively cutting back every third row. One row is always growing new tissue, one is in peak production, and one is awaiting pruning. This helps stabilize volume each year, and allows for even light and airflow.
Coffee cherry arrives at the Bella Vista wet mill from the surrounding farm and is then depulped, fermented and washed, while being kept separate by lot and varietal. Luis Pedro uses a combination of patio drying, covered raised beds, and mechanical driers; moisture is monitored closely. All the while maintaining lot traceability so that each small piece can be evaluated separately – a truly meticulous task that is done at scale.
In 2019, Luis Pedro built a seedling nursery at a lower elevation outside the city, where warmer temperatures mean the plants mature faster. When the seedlings have sprouted and have a set of leaves, they are grafted onto rootstock of the robusta plant. The roots of robusta are heartier and can withstand disease and soil conditions better than many arabica varieties. Though labor intensive, this practice mitigates risk without affecting quality.