Huehuetenango/Guatemala (Bags of Coffee)
Medium body and acidity, with hints of brown sugar, vanilla, stonefruit, with a clean finish, from western Guatemala. The coffee beans are organically grown and fairly traded, and air roasted in small batches in Lancaster, Pa.
Grade: SHB EP Fancy
Altitude: 1,600 to 2,200 M above sea level
Processing: Fully washed and sun dried
Varietal: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Pache
Guatemala is the northernmost Central American country, just south of Mexico. The varied landscape of this country stretches from just south of the Yucatan peninsula all the way to the Pacific (with a stretch of Carribean oceanfront, many mountains, rainforests and cloud forests, and a string of 27 volcanoes in between). Springlike temperatures year ‘round allow for long growing seasons, and the people do not let the mountainous landscape stop them from farming! The many mountains and hills make travelling from place to place in Guatemala more challenging than in flat parts of the world.
It is uncertain when coffee came to Guatemala (it is suspected that it arrived with Jesuit missionaries). Records show coffee being grown in Guatemala in the mid 1700s. By the late 1800s, large coffee estates (fincas) began to grow and export coffee. Many of them are still growing and exporting their coffees. Coffee is grown in 20 of Guatemala’s 22 departments, producing eight distinct regions of coffee. The Huehuetenango region, in west-central Guatemala, boasts high altitudes, but the hot (and dry) winds that blow in from Mexico keep the frost away, so coffee can grow well in the area. The coffee in this region is harvested December to May.
Asociación de Productores de Café Diferenciados y Especiales de Guatemala (ASPROCDEGUA), is an organization that has approximately 660 producing members who own small farms, about 2 hectares each, in several different municipalities. About 400 farms have organic certification. Coffee as well as other crops are planted, including bananas, citrus fruit, avocado, and guava. ASPROCDEGUA offers its members services such as soil analysis, test farms, and social projects based on food security, education, and nutrition.