Guatemalan coffee is revered as one of the most flavourful and nuanced cups in the world and with so many growing regions the coffees vary throughout the country both in their cup quality & potential. Most of the coffee in Guatemala these days is grown with the right altitude, soil and climate conditions and most are grown with good quality production and processing systems, resulting in some very good to truly exceptional coffees.
Coffee cultivation in Guatemala was introduced by German immigrants in the 19th century, and coffee has since become a major industry with nearly one quarter of the population involved in coffee production. Guatemala’s high-grown beans (above 4500 feet) are among the world’s best coffee, especially those beans grown on southern volcanic slopes. This country produces 3.5 million bags per year. Coveted blends are the Atitlan and the Huehuetenango.
What makes Guatemalan coffees so unique is its high altitudes, diverse microclimates, consistent rainfall patterns, and excellent cultivation and processing, hence producing a variety of distinctive types of Guatemalan arabica coffees.
More than 225,000 hectares of land are dedicated to the growing of coffee, with production spread across eight distinct regions: Antigua, Acatenango Valley, Atitlan, Cobán, Fraijanes Plateau, Huehuetenango, Nueva Oriente, and San Marcos.
Huehuetenango is probably the most famous (and difficult to pronounce—it is generally said “way-way-ten-AN-go”) region, and has the highest altitudes in the country, as high as 2,000 meters. Crisp malic and citrus acidity, full body, and toffee sweetness mark these coffees, which tend to be the most fruit-forward and can be the most complex of what Guatemala has to offer.