Everyone loves a great cup of coffee. And there’s no better cup than one full of Guatemalan coffee. Central America is known around the world for the coffee grown throughout the region, and Guatemalan coffee is considered the best of the best.
Guatemala coffee growers produce Arabica beans in several varieties such as Bourbon, Catuai, Typica, and Caturra. The climate and environmental conditions of Guatemala’s famous coffee-growing regions are essential in giving Guatemalan coffee its remarkably well-balanced flavor.
It’s thought that coffee was first brought to Guatemala by Jesuit missionaries several centuries ago. Since then, growing coffee beans has become one of the country’s most important agricultural industries. Guatemalan coffee is not just known worldwide; it is beloved.
What Is Guatemalan Coffee?
Put simply, Guatemalan coffee is grown in the Central American nation of Guatemala. However, coffee marketed as Guatemalan coffee generally comes from the country’s regions best-known for their prime coffee-growing conditions.
Guatemala as a whole has outstanding growing conditions, and its coffee-producing areas have soils not just rich in minerals but also receive abundant rainfall and feature high elevations.
There are several regions where top-notch coffee is grown in Guatemala. While there are seven coffee-growing areas in Guatemala, three of them are the best known. There are slight differences in flavor profile and quality between the regions because of differences in microclimates and general growing conditions.
The vast majority of coffee grown in Guatemala is Arabica coffee beans. Guatemala has been an exporter of coffee for more than a century. About 40% of Guatemala’s agricultural export revenue is from coffee beans. The country has about 125,000 coffee growers.
Guatemalan Coffee Flavor Profiles
The flavor profile of Guatemala coffee is broken down into four categories: aroma, flavor, body, and acidity. Coffee grown in Guatemala has an aroma with floral and citrus notes. The flavor is delightful, with chocolate and nutty overtones. Guatemala coffee has full and what is described as “round” body, and it features a pleasing acidity level.
The exact flavor of Guatemala coffee will vary by the region from where it comes. The climate and environmental conditions of each region impact the coffee’s taste. Let’s explore some of the Guatemalan coffee-growing regions below.
The most popular region of Guatemala for its coffee production is Antigua. These wildly popular Guatemalan coffee beans come from the region of Antigua, where the soil gets plenty of rain and sun, and the temperatures stay helpfully consistent. Antigua boasts nutrient-rich soil that nourishes coffee beans grown there. The result is coffee beans known for the complexity of their flavor profile.
The acidity level of Guatemalan Antigua coffee creates brightness. These beans are also known for their well-rounded body. The combination of brightness and richness is key to the popularity of Antigua beans from Guatemala.
The region of Huehuetenango has high altitudes ranging from 5,000-6,000 feet. The flavor of coffee grown here is known for having especially fruity notes. The high elevation of Huehuetenango creates extra brightness in the flavor. You should discern notes of citrus, green apples, and even berries.
While these features of Huehuetenango coffee are undeniable and key to why it’s so popular, the flavor profile remains pleasantly subtle. As well as bright citrus tones, Huehuetenango offers a floral scent and a bit of a buttery taste.
While San Marcos coffee isn’t as well-known as the two we discussed above, it also offers a top-notch flavor profile. It has a noticeable acidity that makes it distinctive. The region of San Marcos features plenty of rain and high elevation. Also, the soil has outstanding mineral content.
Why Choose Guatemalan Coffee?
It’s the wonderful flavor profile of Guatemalan coffee from its various regions that makes it so coveted. While Central America as a whole is renowned for great coffee, Guatemala stands out. Guatemala coffee is available from a variety of regions, but Huehuetenango is the most prominent.
Guatemala knows coffee, and the country and its producers have the knowledge and experience necessary for growing and exporting the very best. Guatemala ranks No. 9 on the list of countries producing coffee around the world. In fact, 2.3% of all the coffee grown in the world comes from Guatemala.
The fact that all Guatemalan coffee is grown at an impressive elevation is a crucial factor in its quality. Guatemalan coffee is known for its high standards. Coffee produced in Guatemala is evaluated and labeled in the country’s coffee grading system. There are two main categories: SHB (Strictly High Grown/Strictly Hard Bean) and HB (Hard Bean).
The SHB grade is for beans produced at elevations exceeding 1,350 meters above sea level. The HB elevation is given to beans produced at least 4,000 feet and up to 5,000 feet above sea level. Hard Bean beans are generally considered a higher grade than SHB.
Guatemalan coffee is the best of the best. Huehuetenango, for example, is a popular kind of Guatemalan coffee. Specialty varieties have all the superior Guatemalan flavor as well as other advantages, such as knowing your coffee beans are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This makes Guatemalan coffee a great choice when it comes to protecting the environment.
Where to Buy Guatemalan Coffee
Know the best Guatemalan coffee brands when deciding where to source Guatemalan coffee. There are several options for where you can buy your Guatemalan coffee. Check local options and online.
But be careful. You don’t want to end up with substandard beans. Choose an experienced vendor that appreciates and understands the finer points of Guatemalan coffee and creates delicious blends.
An Artisan Beverage Company, CULT offers an exciting range of Guatemalan coffee products. Purchasing your Guatemalan coffee from a company that understands the craft of coffee production is essential for the best experience. CULT Guatemala Sunrise Ground Coffee is Craft Roasted and boasts a delectable floral and chocolatey flavor profile. CULT is notoriously picky when it comes to sourcing its coffee beans.