Luis Pedro Zelaya
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. At his Bella Vista mill, Luis Pedro cultivates, processes, mills, and roasts his coffee, which he also serves at his two cafes in Antigua and Guatemala City
Founded in 1527, the city of Antigua was once an important seat of Spanish Colonial government. Its colonial-era buildings and cobblestone streets are nestled in a valley lined with three volcanoes. Over centuries, volcanic ash has contributed to the structure and minerality of the region’s soil - a contributing factor to the legendary quality of Antigua coffees.
At his Bella Vista Mill, Luis Pedro cultivates, processes, mills, and roasts his coffee, which he also serves at his two cafes in Antigua and Guatemala City. He focuses on pruning, tissue management, soil enrichment, and preventive methods for plant health. Coffee cherry comes in from his farms 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 guardiolas; moisture is monitored closely.
Luis Pedro follows a regimented pruning schedule; he uses a three row technique to renovate in a cadence that helps maintain consistent plant yields. Each year he prunes back a third of the plants on the farm, while the next third grows back, and the last third is at full cherry production. This technique prevents inconsistency in yields many farmers may experience.