Los Pastores is a mill located just outside the old part of Antigua, Guatemala _‹_ the historic old capital before it was moved to Guatemala City. The mill itself is historic, a converted four mill, made of wood and sheet metal with a lifetime of quirky wooden patches, repairs, modifications. It seems appropriate, because they prepare coffee here in a very traditional way, by hand. They do not use modern electronic sorting; they have 40 or 60 or 80 (depending on the season) people who sit at special desks and sort green coffee bean by bean in preparation for export. This is rare too, because when many mills sort, they do so on a continuously moving or intermittent conveyor. At Pastores, the sorters study coffee, and while it is not as quiet as a library (they gossip a lot), it certainly looks like a repository of tomes, or perhaps a big schoolroom. I spent time there on a couple of trips recently, and it was amazing to see the difference between night and day. At night, the harvest from the day's picking is being recieved, the pulpers are thumping away, and the smell of coffee fruit is ripe in the air, but inside the mill is a ghost town. In the morning, a few men are cleaning outside and raking coffee on the patios, while the sorting room is abuzz with activity as 50 or more women expertly remove defect beans at their "desks" while they gossip with those around them! Anyway, Los Pastores buys ripe cherry from local farms, many with whom they have long relations, but this is not farm specific coffee. I have seen them receive their cherry, and the quality (ripeness) is outstanding. They use old style depulpers and fermentation tanks, and wash the coffee in long channels as people have done for years and years. All this effort results in classic, sweet, clean Antigua coffee. I was really impressed with this lot. The dry fragrance has toasted grain and nut sweetness, honey and almond. There are hints of sweet, mild, yellow fruits in the aromatics and the cup flavors. I get a bit of white grape, as well as starfruit and pear. It's not a powerhouse of intensity, but has finely layered flavors that become better enunciated as the cup cools.