I’ve often said that discovering Guatemalan coffee for myself has been one of the joys of the journey I’m on with Twin Fin Coffee.
Obviously, this isn’t to say that I discovered Guatemalan coffee! It’s just that it wasn’t on my radar specifically until I began to learn more about coffee and pick through the vast array of offerings to find which ones were a good fit for Twin Fin.
There is something to be said for the idea that we love what we know, and I was most familiar with Costa Rica, both the coffee and the country, when I started out.
While I often want to go to a new country to surf and explore just because I’ve never been there, the same can happen in reverse.
Guatemala has surf, don’t get me wrong. But there’s a reason why it doesn’t draw the crowds of its Central American neighbors to the south. It just doesn’t get the same level of waves.
The shape of the shoreline and the direction of the swell window conspire to keep Guatemalan surf just a bit on the soft side – great for beginners and mellow surf trips – but a little less than exciting compared to the thumping breaks of Nicaragua or reeling right points of El Salvador.
So, in this case, it is the coffee that has drawn me to Guatemala first, the fact that there is surf and the potential for an epic surf and coffee trip second.
El Paredon – Guatemala Coffee
From the mountains of Antigua to the warm waves of El Paredon, this coffee will take you to this special place in Central America where coffee has a protected designation of origin (PDO) due to its renowned reputation.
Traditionally shade grown under a canopy of grevillea and chalum trees, this Guatemala Antigua Los Volcanes coffee is sourced from family-owned farms in the department of Sacatepequez.
Tasting notes of dark chocolate, bright fruit, and butterscotch.
|Region||Antigua, Sacatepequez, Guatemala|
|Tasting Notes||Dark chocolate, Bright fruit, Butterscotch|
|Process||Fully washed, sun dried|
|Certification||Protected designation of origin (PDO)|
But let’s get back to the Guatemalan coffee.
The Guatemalan coffee that we have on offer, and have named El Paredon after the most famous break in the country, has been an amazing discovery for me and instantly became a favorite.
As you can tell from our coffee selections, Central American coffees rank highly on our list. This comes from a love of the coffee, sure, but really from a genuine love of the region and its people.
I’ve been traveling to Central America regularly for over 20 years and I still can’t get enough. I certainly haven’t been everywhere and there is just so much more to see.
While I used to stick to the coasts, I now try to make time to get up into the mountains and visit the coffee growing regions as well. This project has really expanded my knowledge and appreciation for these places I love.
Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America due to its size, but one of the lowest per capita incomes in the region. It’s history of near-constant turmoil and meddling by outside influences (ie, United Fruit Company and the US) has led to a history of chronic instability.
Coffee is an important export for Guatemala along with other agricultural commodities. It is currently ranked around 10th globally for coffee production, close to its neighbors Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
While it isn’t illegal to produce Robusta coffee like it is in Costa Rica, the push towards higher quality beans means that over 96% of all coffee produced in Guatemala is Arabica.
While there are multiple coffee growing regions in Guatemala, Antigua, located just west of Guatemala City (and conveniently towards the surf if you’re looking to combine the two!) is probably the most well known – and well-regarded.
Antigua is a volcanic region which gives the coffee growers both the elevation and soil quality that lend itself to amazing coffee.
Guatemalan Coffee FAQs
Guatemalan coffee is a high-quality Arabica coffee that is grown in the Central American country of Guatemala.
The country is known for producing some of the best coffee in the world, thanks to its unique growing conditions and a long history of coffee production.
Guatemala’s coffee-growing regions are located in the highlands, where the coffee plants thrive in the volcanic soil and cool climate.
The most well-known coffee-growing regions in Guatemala are Antigua, Huehuetenango, Atitlan, Coban, and Fraijanes.
Guatemalan coffee is known for its distinctive flavor profile, which varies depending on the region where it is grown.
Generally, Guatemalan coffee is characterized by its medium to full body, bright acidity, and notes of chocolate, caramel, and citrus.
Guatemala is also known for its commitment to sustainable coffee production, with many coffee farms implementing environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.
This has led to a growing interest in Guatemalan coffee among specialty coffee buyers and consumers who prioritize sustainability and ethical sourcing practices.
Overall, Guatemalan coffee is a high-quality and sought-after coffee that is appreciated by coffee lovers around the world.
Its unique flavor profile, growing conditions, and commitment to sustainability make it a popular choice among specialty coffee buyers and consumers.
Is Guatemalan coffee considered high-quality coffee?
Yes, Guatemalan coffee is generally considered to be a high-quality coffee due to its unique flavor profile and growing conditions.
Guatemala is known for producing some of the best coffee in the world, thanks to its volcanic soil, high altitude, and favorable climate.
Guatemalan coffee is typically grown at elevations of 1,200 to 1,800 meters above sea level, which contributes to its bright acidity, medium body, and complex flavor profile.
The coffee plants in Guatemala are often shade-grown, which provides protection from the sun and helps to regulate the temperature, resulting in slower ripening and a more concentrated flavor.
Guatemalan coffee is also known for its distinct flavor profile, which varies depending on the region where it is grown.
For example, coffee grown in Antigua is known for its chocolatey and nutty flavors, while coffee grown in Huehuetenango is known for its fruity and floral notes.
In addition to its flavor profile, Guatemalan coffee is often produced using environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices, which adds to its overall quality and value.
Many Guatemalan coffee farms are certified organic or Fair Trade, and work to protect the environment and promote sustainable farming practices.
Overall, Guatemalan coffee is highly regarded for its unique flavor profile, growing conditions, and commitment to sustainability, making it a popular choice among coffee lovers and specialty coffee buyers.
What is special about Guatemalan coffee from Antigua?
Guatemalan coffee from Antigua is considered to be one of the most prized and sought-after coffees in the world, thanks to its unique growing conditions and distinctive flavor profile.
Antigua is located in the central highlands of Guatemala, and the coffee grown in this region benefits from the area’s volcanic soil, high altitude, and favorable climate.
The coffee plants in Antigua are often shade-grown, which provides protection from the sun and helps to regulate the temperature, resulting in slower ripening and a more concentrated flavor.
The flavor profile of Guatemalan coffee from Antigua is characterized by its full body, bright acidity, and notes of chocolate, nuttiness, and subtle smokiness.
The coffee has a rich and complex flavor profile that is often described as bold and intense, with a long finish.
In addition to its unique flavor profile, Guatemalan coffee from Antigua is often produced using environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.
Many of the coffee farms in this region are certified organic or Fair Trade, and work to protect the environment and promote sustainable farming practices.
Overall, Guatemalan coffee from Antigua is highly regarded for its unique flavor profile, growing conditions, and commitment to sustainability, making it a popular choice among coffee lovers and specialty coffee buyers.
When is Guatemalan coffee harvested?
Guatemalan coffee is typically harvested between November and April each year, with the peak of the harvest season occurring in January and February.
The exact timing of the harvest can vary depending on the region where the coffee is grown and the weather conditions in a given year.
Coffee trees in Guatemala typically have one major flowering period each year, which occurs between February and March.
After the flowers have bloomed, the coffee cherries begin to develop and grow over the next several months.
The coffee cherries are harvested by hand once they have ripened to a deep red color, which typically occurs between November and April.
The cherries are then processed to remove the outer layers and extract the beans inside.
This process can vary depending on the farm and the region, but often involves a combination of wet and dry processing methods.
Once the beans have been extracted, they are typically sun-dried and then sorted and graded according to their quality.
The highest quality beans are often sold as specialty coffee and command a premium price in the international market.
Overall, the harvest season is a critical period for producing high-quality coffee beans that will command premium prices in international markets.
Guatemalan coffee is highly regarded for its unique flavor profile and growing conditions, and the harvest season is a busy time for coffee farmers as they work to produce the best possible coffee beans.
How much coffee does Guatemala produce annually?
Guatemala is a significant producer of coffee, consistently ranking among the top 10 coffee producing countries in the world.
The amount of coffee produced in Guatemala can vary from year to year due to a range of factors, including weather conditions, pests, and disease.
In recent years, Guatemala has produced an average of around 3.5 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee per year. However, production levels can fluctuate depending on a range of factors, including weather conditions and market demand.
Coffee production in Guatemala is primarily driven by small-scale farmers, many of whom are members of cooperatives that prioritize sustainable farming practices and environmental conservation. These farmers often produce high-quality, specialty coffee that is sold at a premium price in the international market.
Overall, coffee is an important part of the economy in Guatemala, and the country is known for producing some of the best coffee in the world.
While exact production figures can vary from year to year, the country’s commitment to sustainability and high-quality coffee production ensures that Guatemalan coffee will continue to be a sought-after commodity in the global coffee market.
What is the department of Sacatepequez in Guatemala known for?
The department of Sacatepequez is located in the central highlands of Guatemala and is known for its coffee production as well as its cultural and historical significance.
Within Sacatepequez, the city of Antigua is particularly well-known for its coffee production. Antigua is located at an altitude of around 1,500 meters and is surrounded by three volcanoes.
The volcanic soil and climate in this region provide ideal growing conditions for coffee plants, resulting in a high-quality coffee that is known for its distinctive flavor profile.
In addition to coffee production, the department of Sacatepequez is also known for its cultural and historical significance.
The city of Antigua was once the capital of Guatemala and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its well-preserved colonial architecture and rich history.
The region is also home to many indigenous communities who continue to preserve their cultural traditions and way of life.
Overall, the department of Sacatepequez is a significant region for coffee production in Guatemala, with Antigua being particularly well-known for its high-quality coffee.
The region also has a rich cultural and historical significance, making it an important destination for both coffee lovers and tourists alike.
Can you tour coffee farms in Antigua Guatemala?
Yes, it is possible to tour coffee farms in Antigua, Guatemala.
Many coffee farms in the region offer guided tours and tastings, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn about the coffee production process and sample some of the local coffee.
The tours typically include a visit to the coffee plantation where visitors can see the coffee plants and learn about the growing process.
They may also include a visit to the processing plant, where visitors can see how the coffee is harvested, dried, and roasted.
Some tours may also include a tasting session, where visitors can sample different types of coffee and learn about the flavor profiles of each one.
There are several companies that offer coffee farm tours in Antigua, Guatemala, including some that specialize in sustainable and socially responsible coffee production.
These tours can provide a unique insight into the coffee production process, as well as the cultural and historical significance of the region.
Overall, a coffee farm tour in Antigua, Guatemala can be an informative and enjoyable experience for coffee lovers and tourists alike.
It is a great way to learn about the local coffee production process, sample some high-quality coffee, and appreciate the beauty and culture of the region.