For most of the 20th and 21st century, Guatemala has been Central America’s top coffee producer, with Honduras only recently taking the top spot in 2011. Starting its development in the 1850’s, coffee production was initially slow. This was mainly due to lack of knowledge, farmer funding, technology, and labor shortage. Over the years that began to change, with coffee plantations specifically in the southern coast flourishing and producing very high quality coffee.The rich volcanic soil and low humidity here provide the perfect setting for coffee crops to flourish.
The coffee’s produced in Antigua are exceptional and arguably the most popular. Quiche, Coban, and Atitlan produced coffees are also superior quality. Huehutenango farms produce great coffee that tends to have a high acidity and fruit flavor. While political problems have been affecting output, quality, and success of Guatemalan coffee there are still a multitude of farms putting out some great product – and hopefully more in the future once Guatemala sees a more peaceful time.
To look a little more in depth now at some coffee varietals from this country, here’s a couple that stand out and truly live up to the expectations of great Guatemalan coffee:
Guatemala Acatenango Gesha
This cup has some intense floral and tropical taste and scent. This type of coffee actually originates from an old Ethiopia coffee that was then brought to Costa Rica for testing and flourished from there. When the roast is just right, this coffee can blow your senses out of the water with it’s rich sweetness, incredibly balanced acidity, and fruity and floral scent/taste.
Guatemala Antigua Retana Red Bourbon
This is a very clean, sweet, low acidity coffee that definitely seems to know what it’s doing. It’s definitely in stride with your typical bourbon profile, but carries a smooth malt and toffee taste all the way through.
If you’re interested in ordering some Guatemalan coffee to try it yourself, check out these sites:
www.cafedepoca.com (launching soon)