Guatemala produces a very fine, high altitude coffee bean that we love as a single-origin coffee and use in some blends.
Grown at very high elevations in Guatemala’s premier mountain region near Antigua, Guatemala, these coffee beans mature slowly in the cool mountainous climate. We love this authentic single-origin Guatemalan coffee and you will too!
Coffee didn’t come to Guatemala until the dye industry got overtaken by synthetic products. In the 1850s, the country had to find a new industry to make money in. The government encouraged the growth of coffee plantations. Coffee is the country’s largest export at this time and they are a top producer of coffee in the world as well, hanging in the top ten. Guatemala makes a great cup of coffee from some very distinct regions.
There are several regions in Guatemala that grow coffee. These regions are found in the middle of the country and a little to the west. Each region is known for its distinct characteristics.
Fraijanes Plateau - This region surrounds Guatemala City and the soil is full of important minerals due to volcanic pumice soil.
Antigua - In Antigua, coffee is grown on the slopes of volcanoes, receiving lots of sun and a little rain. The coffee in this region is the best-known in the country.
Highland Huehuetenango - In the Huehuetenango region, near the Mexican border, the have the highest altitudes in the country (5000-6000 feet). The coffee in this region is fruity in flavor.
Rainforest Coban - This region is very humid and subtropical with rainfall between 9 and 10 months out of the year.
Volcan San Marcos - This region is the warmest and wettest in the country. Due to unpredictable weather in this region, they pre-dry the coffee in the sun and then finish drying mechanically in driers.
Nuevo Oriente - This region is dry and comprised of volcanic land. There are great minerals in this soil that contribute to the coffee growth.
Atitlan - The coffee in this region is grown in volcanic soil. This area is known for organic farming without any pesticides and the coffee has a nutty and chocolaty flavor.
The taste of Guatemalan coffee is described as mild, but balanced. The acidity content is medium to high acidity. This region of coffee beans is known for its citrus, fruit, and spicy notes. The coffee is also known for its chocolaty taste and notes of toffee and nuts.
Most processing in this region is washed, especially due to the wet climate and unpredictability of the weather. Harvest time is usually from December to April.
Brewing This Coffee
There are several ways to brew your Guatemalan coffee and the pour over method is one of the most popular. This method highlights the acidity and the flavor notes of the coffee. Lighter roasted coffee will produce the best coffee. The French press is for those that prefer a darker roast and a natural sweetness. Staying in contact with the water makes for a sweeter and full-bodied cup of coffee. Cold brew is another way to drink your Guatemalan coffee. The long steep allows for maximum sweetness and body, which gives a strong and refreshing cup of coffee.