Guatemalan coffee, known to many as the best of the best Central American coffees, is grown in a very climatically diverse country – perfect for growing coffee. In fact, the regions in Guatemala are so diverse, that seven variations of Arabica coffee are grown in this beautiful country. The Antigua region boasts the most popular and sought after of the coffees, stemming from its surrounding three volcanoes, young soil, constant 65% humidity, 4600-5600 altitudes, and moderate temperatures. The Fraijanes Plateau region had recent volcanic eruption, leaving the soil rich with minerals from the ashes, and giving the coffee a full body and marked acidity. In the Rainforest Coban region, you’ll find much more humidity, varied temperatures, rain throughout most of the year, and limestone and clay in the soil leaving the coffee with wine and fruit notes. The Highland Huehuetenago region has a unique and subtropical micro-climate it gains from its border with Mexico, and the coffee produced here is of Antiguan standards and has key wine notes. The Atitlan region grows very pronounced coffee that is crisp and high in acidity, this is due to the very organic (no fertilizer) soil that is used, the high altitude, and low pest issues. Volcan San Marcos, Guatemala’s warmest region, gets the most rain and has the highest humidity, resulting in some delicious coffee. And lastly, the Oriente region, where soil consists of clay and rock from the volcanoes, there is little rainfall, and a mild temperature – coffee here is full bodied and very aromatic.
The politcal instability of Guatemala has led to problems on coffee farms, along with widespread poverty, uneven land distribution, crime, and general insecurities. However, the recent democratic processes put in place will hopefully be beneficial to the country, and coffee farms may see an increase in prosperity soon.
Varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Panche, Typica
Grow Regions: Fraijanes Plateau, Antigua, Rainforest Coban, Highland Huehuetenago, Atitlan, Volcan San Marcos, Oriente
Growing Altitude: Between 1400 to 5600 meters
General Cup Profile: High acidity, fruity, wine, medium to bold, natural
Production Amount Exported: Over 594,000,000 lbs.
Harvest Seasons: Between October and March