Guatemalan Coffees


Guatemala has quite a few major green coffee bean producing regions - it's a country ideally suited for coffee production. Although unroasted coffee is produced throughout, the best coffees come from the famous Antigua, Atitlan, Hueheutenango, and Coban regions. Much of the coffee production is produced in small farms where it is processed by various beneficios around the country (the farmers bring it by the truckload to the processing facilities and then sell it after it is processed). Many farms group together to form small co-ops and process the raw coffee on site. And, some of the best coffees are produced by estates with in-house processing facilities.

Flavorful, acidy, rich, complex

Guatemalan coffees are wet-processed, a method that emphasizes the acidity and brighter notes of the bean. Coffee from the Antigua region is famous for the smoke, chocolate, and spice notes and its incredible flowery aroma. Acidity is a prized attribute in Guatemalan coffee and the best stuff is classified as Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) based on the intensity of its acidity in combination with body and aromatics - and subsequently sold at a premium. Beans grown at higher altitudes grow in colder microclimates, and the bean is able to take its time as it grows, leading to a more flavorful bean.

Fun Facts About Guatemala:

Capital: Guatemala City
Languages: Spanish, indigenous languages
Religions: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant 25%, Mayan Beliefs
Ethnic Groups: Mixed indigenous-European 56%, indigenous 44%
Harvest Seasons: SHB - Jan/Apr, Hard - Dec/Jan, Semi Hard - Oct/Nov, Prime and Extra Prime - Sep/Nov
2003/2004 Exports: 3.31 million 132 lb. sacks
Largest Importers: USA - 46%, Japan - 15%, Europe - 25%, Canada - 8%


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