Updated: Sep 21
Ever wonder what gives coffee from Guatemala its ambrosial aroma? There's something special about the coffee from this Central American country. Nothing beats the full body, tasting notes of cocoa, and a toffee-like sweetness in this unique and robust Arabica coffee. Rather, one could say flavor is a legacy of Guatemala coffee beans.
In fact, Guatemala was the first country to establish a denomination of origin system to showcase its eight unique coffee-producing regions.
In This Article:
The Science Behind Your Sip: Terroir
The science and geography behind coffee production emphasize that the quality of a coffee cherry is intricately tied to its growing conditions. Factors such as soil quality, geographical location, climate, and cultivation methods combine to craft the ideal cup of coffee. Much like the concept of terroir in winemaking, these elements can either enhance or diminish the brew's flavor profile. The unique blend of soil composition, sunlight exposure, and rainfall patterns imparts a distinctive character to coffee. This is precisely what makes Guatemalan coffee so special.
Volcanoes: The Secret Ingredient
Did you know that volcanoes are the secret ingredient behind the distinct guatemala coffee flavor profile? Volcanoes are crucial in enhancing coffee quality through their unique soil composition. Volcanic soils, scientifically called Andisols, are rich in essential nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, creating an ideal environment for coffee plants to thrive.
Additionally, volcanic soil's porous and airy texture promotes efficient drainage, preventing waterlogging. Beyond soil enrichment, volcanoes also contribute to coffee cultivation by providing shade and establishing high-altitude microclimates, which enable coffee cherries to mature gradually, resulting in distinctive and nuanced flavors of Guatemalan coffees.
The Bounty of Microclimates
Guatemala is celebrated for its remarkable coffee diversity, stemming from its eight distinct coffee-producing regions. These regions are endowed with a wide array of microclimates, which prove to be instrumental for small-scale coffee farmers in cultivating some of the world's finest coffee beans. Whether it's the sun-kissed slopes of Antigua or the sheltered Acatenango Valley, each region possesses unique characteristics that impart exceptional Guatemalan coffee taste profiles. These distinctive flavors are attributed to the fertile volcanic soil and high-altitude landscapes contributing to the coffee's distinct chocolate and spice flavor notes.
The 8 Coffee Growing Regions of Guatemala
Guatemala is the pioneer in establishing an origin system for its Guatemala coffee beans, meticulously categorizing them by their unique flavor profiles based on region. There are eight distinct regions, many of which boast volcanic soils, abundant rainfall, and high-altitude landscapes. These varied climates and environments create the perfect conditions for the best Guatemala coffee beans to develop intricate and individualized flavor profiles. The coffee-producing regions encompass
Exploring Guatemalan Coffee Varieties
Typica: Typica coffee plants are known for their tall height and lower yield, making them susceptible to coffee leaf rust. However, these characteristics result in a coffee with an intense flavor profile and a refreshing acidity that can awaken your taste buds. Moreover, the longer time these trees take to mature contributes to complex flavors and aromatic qualities in the Guatemalan coffee beans.
Caturra: Caturra is a smaller, green coffee plant that's popular in Central America. It's known for producing a good amount of coffee beans with consistent quality. This type of coffee plant naturally developed from the Bourbon variety. However, it's important to note that Caturra is more vulnerable to a disease called coffee rust.
Bourbon: Bourbon is a coffee variety known for its exceptional cup quality. Despite its tall stature, green appearance, and lower production than other varieties, Bourbon is highly sought after due to its outstanding flavors. Although it may be more vulnerable to diseases, its exceptional taste makes it a prized discovery for coffee enthusiasts.
Marsellesa: Marsellesa coffee beans are quite special. They're like a mix of Sarchimor and Caturra beans. What's great about them is that they make really tasty coffee, and the coffee plants they come from are tough. They can handle lots of rain and even tricky weather, making them a top pick for places where the weather can be a bit unpredictable. Plus, they're resistant to a disease called leaf rust, which can harm other coffee plants. So, they're like the superheroes of the coffee world!
Anacafe 14: Anacafe 14 is a type of Arabica coffee from Guatemala, which is a high-quality coffee variety. It was created in the 1980s by a Guatemalan farmer named Francisco Manchamé when he crossed two coffee plant types, Catimor and Pacamara. This special coffee wasn't available to the public until 2014 when the National Coffee Association of Guatemala decided to make it commercially available.
Also, read: 4 Unique Yemen Coffee Beans You Need To Try
Best Guatemala Coffee Beans From Mokafé Coffee House
Concepcion Buena Vista ( Coffee Beans From Guatemala's Chimaltenango Region)
This coffee from Guatemala hails from the Chimaltenango region of Guatemala. Grown at an impressive 1650 meters above sea level (MASL) by the dedicated Solano Family. MOKAFÉ is one of the guatemala coffee brands that offer different varieties, such as Red Bourbon and a mix of Red Bourbon and Caturra."Concepcion Buena Vista" offers versatility, available in both whole beans and pre-ground options, ensuring you can relish its exceptional taste with ease.
This exquisite coffee is available in multiple varieties, each with its own unique flavor profile:
Washed Process: It is known for its sweet and bright acidity, this variety offers a clean and vibrant cup.
Inoculated Lactic Maceration/Honey: Known for its vibrant acidity and delightful sweetness, enhanced by hints of red fruits.
Inoculated Anaerobic: Delve into a cup brimming with exceptional fragrance and a combination of bright acidity and luscious sweetness.
Inoculated Lactic Maceration/Honey Process: This variety offers a delightful fragrance, bright acidity, and sweet notes with a touch of red fruits, making it a unique and flavorful choice for coffee enthusiasts.
Paraxaj ( Coffee From Guatemala's Acatenango Region)
Paraxaj coffee comes from the Acatenango region in Guatemala and is cultivated by farmer Herman García Guerrero. It's grown high up in the mountains, about 1600 meters above sea level, which adds to its unique taste. This coffee has a wonderful mix of sweetness and bright acidity, making it a real treat for your taste buds. Available in whole beans or ground coffee, "Paraxaj" has something special for coffee lovers.
Flavor Profile: Sweet and Bright Acidity
Coffee Processing: Washed Process
Farmer Profile: Meet Herman García Guerrero, a devoted coffee and avocado farmer who carries forward his late father's legacy. Inheriting the land after his father's passing, Herman remains committed to preserving the traditions and values passed down through generations. Nestled at an elevation of 1600 MASL, the Paraxaj lot flourishes under Herman's nurturing care. With the Marseillaise variety as his canvas, Herman's profound passion for agriculture shines through by producing one of the best coffee in guatemala ensuring the enduring legacy of his family.
Quisache (Coffee Beans From Acatenango Region Of Guatemala)
"Quisache" coffee, is a product of the Acatenango region in Guatemala. This exquisite coffee is meticulously nurtured by the Santizo Family at an elevation of 1500 meters above sea level (MASL). It boasts the vibrant characteristics of the washed Anacafe 14 variety, offering a delightful sweet and bright acidity that awakens the senses. This essence of Acatenango's terroir is available in whole beans and grounded versions. This rich heritage of guatemala coffee taste , highlights the harmonious blend of sweetness and brightness that defines this extraordinary brew.
Notes: Sweet and Bright Acidity
Process: Washed Process
Farmer Details: The Santizo family has been passionately cultivating coffee cherries for three generations, passing down their expertise and love for coffee. In 2020, amidst the pandemic, Jorge, one of the founders of MOKAFÉ took the initiative to provide quality control training to a group of producers' children, including Alex. Inspired by this training, Jorge and Alex joined forces to enhance the quality control processes on the farm. With their shared commitment to excellence, they tirelessly work together, combining experience and fresh perspectives to ensure the highest standards of coffee quality. The Santizo family's dedication and collaboration embody their unwavering pursuit of exceptional coffee.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Guatemala coffee, and we have provided explanations below.
Are Guatemalan coffee beans good?
Guatemalan coffee beans are highly regarded for their quality and unique flavor profiles. They are known for their rich, full-bodied taste with notes of cocoa and a toffee-like sweetness, making them a favorite among coffee connoisseurs.
What is unique about Guatemalan coffee?
What sets Guatemalan coffee apart is its diverse range of microclimates, high altitudes, and volcanic soil. Depending on the region and variety, these factors contribute to the unique flavor profiles, ranging from chocolatey and spicy notes to bright acidity.
What makes Guatemalan coffee different?
Guatemalan coffee differs from other varieties due to its distinct growing conditions, including the volcanic soil, varying microclimates, and altitudes, influencing the flavor and aroma. Additionally, Guatemala was the first country to establish a denomination of origin system, highlighting its coffee-producing regions' uniqueness.
Is Guatemalan coffee expensive?
Guatemalan coffee can vary in price depending on the region, processing method, and coffee variety. While some Guatemalan coffees may be considered premium and come with a higher price tag, others offer excellent value for their quality.
Is Guatemala coffee Arabica or Robusta?
Guatemala primarily produces Arabica coffee beans, known for their superior quality and flavour. Robusta coffee is not commonly grown in Guatemala.
Is Guatemala coffee the Best in the world?
While coffee preferences are subjective, many highly regard Guatemalan coffee as among the best in the world due to its unique flavor profiles, diverse growing regions, and quality-focused cultivation practices.
How strong is Guatemalan coffee?
The strength of Guatemalan coffee can vary depending on factors like the roast level and brewing method. Generally, Guatemalan coffee is known for its full-bodied and robust flavor.
What roast is Guatemala coffee?
Guatemalan coffee comes in various roast levels, including light, medium, and dark roasts, catering to a wide range of taste preferences. The specific roast level can affect the coffee's flavor, with lighter roasts preserving more of the bean's natural characteristics.
Why does Guatemala have the best coffee in Central America?
Guatemala's reputation for producing the best coffee in Central America is attributed to its ideal coffee-growing conditions, which include volcanic soil, high-altitude terrain, and diverse microclimates. These factors create an environment where coffee beans thrive, resulting in exceptional flavor and quality.
As we conclude our journey through the captivating world of coffee from Guatemala, we're reminded that each sip of this exquisite brew is a testament to the country's rich coffee heritage and dedication. With diverse microclimates and unique terroirs, coffee bean from guatemala offer a symphony of flavors and aromas, thanks to the hardworking farmers who nurture these exceptional beans. As you explore varieties like "Concepcion Buena Vista," "Paraxaj," and "Quisache," you embark on a flavorful journey that connects you to the heart of Guatemala.
So, let's raise our mugs to the abundance of this coffee powerhouse, where passion, tradition, and nature intertwine to create a truly remarkable sensory experience. With every sip of MOKAFÉ, you taste the flavors and the story of a nation that has made coffee an integral part of its identity.
More From Jorge Armando Ciciliani
Shop: Coffee Beans Online
About The Author: Jorge Armando Ciciliani
Jorge is a seasoned coffee professional with a lifelong passion for all things coffee. For over a decade, he has fervently immersed himself in the world of coffee, mastering its preparation, understanding its societal impact, and uncovering its cultural significance. Starting as a barista at the young age of 15 and later managing a coffee roastery, this journey led him to work as a quality control manager for a green coffee importer. Traveling across countries in Central and North America, Jorge has explored various coffee traditions and honed his skills through Specialty Coffee Association courses. As a QC Cupping coffee connoisseur and sensory skills enthusiast, Jorge is a true expert in the art of brewing and savoring the perfect cup. Consider him your trusted Fika expert.