For a lot of people, waking up to a steaming cup of coffee is an absolute must. Do you ever wonder where that coffee comes from? While many wonderful coffees come from all over Central America, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras, to name but a few. Guatemalan coffee stands out from the rest. Known around the world, as even McDonald’s uses the countries’ Arabica beans. Caffeine Aficionados know that cultivating coffee beans is a true art form, and takes dedication and talent to produce the perfect bean. Generally, Guatemalan coffee is full-bodied, with rich flavor. The country has 7 different regions that grow beans, with each region giving its’ coffee a unique complexity.
The Fraijanes Plateau – Surrounding Guatemala City, and situated nearby Pacaya Volcano, this region has mineral-rich soil as a whole. The Plateau is large and is split into 4 smaller areas each having its own microclimate which helps produce their own flavor profiles.
Mataquescuintla – The climate is mild and generally warm, and see’s most of its rainfall during the summer season. Sweet orange and dark chocolate flavor notes.
Amatitlan- Less rain with extra activity from Pacaya Volcano along with high winds from Lake Amatitlan.
Mellow, persistent acidity, grape and citrus flavors with a caramel finish.
Palencia- Rugged terrain, that receives just enough humidity to slowly develop a unique coffee.
-Notes of caramel, chocolate, and wild honey.
The Plateau- Much cooler temperatures with constant wind and a large amount of rain and frost during the cold season.
Clean, crisp, acidity with berry, stone fruit, and toffee notes.
Antigua – Located between two volcanoes, the area gets more sun and less rain. As with all Guatemalan coffees, Antigua has a full body and is heavier than typical central American coffee.
Usually a medium roast, complex with a hint of cocoa, smooth, with vibrant acidity, and notes of nutty chocolate.
Huehuetenango – Close to the Mexican border, and with the highest altitudes — non-volcanic- (between 5,000-6,000 feet). The climate is typically very dry. Balanced, with floral, honey, and milk chocolate flavor notes.
Rainforest Coban – Intensely rainy, very humid, subtropical forest, located in the northern part of the country, with a December- March harvesting season. Medium bodied, light acidity, fruity notes with a slight wine aroma.
Volcano San Marco – The warmness of all the micro-regions, and with the highest rainfall. Thanks to an intense rainy season, which comes earlier than others, this area will be harvested earlier than well.
Medium roast, with floral notes, pronounced acidity, and well-rounded, good body.
Nuevo Oriente – On the border of Honduras and El Salvador, over a volcanic range, Oriente has a similar climate to Coban, however, not as intense. Aromatic, marked acidity, with good body.
Now that I have tempted your caffeine aficionado taste buds, there are the top three best, widely available Guatemalan coffee brands. Available in most grocery stores or pick them up online. Try them all. Your taste buds will love you for it.