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.
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.
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)|