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Guatemala Coffee

Updated on October 14, 2014

Guatemala Coffee

Guatemala Coffee

If you are a coffee coinsurer like I am then you need to try Guatemala Coffee. When ever I go to Guatemala I always bring back for me and my friends several pounds of roasted coffee. I have had coffee from all over the world but there is something that sets off Guatemala coffee above all the others. I just came back to the office from my favorite coffee shop and they are now selling one pound bags of Guatemala coffee.

There are 8 different coffee regions through out Guatemala; the reason for this is all the different microclimates that Guatemala has. The country is not that large but the terrain is so different within a short drive of each other. At one time of the day you could be high up in the mountains, and a few hours later you could be in the tropical rain forest of the country. With so many different climates, types of rich soil conditions, the amount of rainfall, each one of these regions have depends greatly on the taste of the coffee.

The coffee that I prefer and I purchase is from the Antigua coffee region. For me the coffee from Antigua is less acidic and it does not bother my stomach as bad. The full body with a hint of sweetness plus the pleasant aroma makes this coffee one of everyone’s favorite coffees.

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Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Lake Atitlan Region

One of the regions for having wonderful coffee is the Lake Atitlan region. This area is surrounded by mountains and three volcanoes. The coffee is grown on plantations that are located either at the lakes edge or the side of the mountains. The area is classified as a high altitude area, I know that when driving along the Pan-American Highway and you get to the top on of some of these mountains you are above the clouds. The nice thing about growing coffee in this area with the high altitudes is that the coffee plants are lest apt to get any sort of insect infestations or diseases.

The Atitlan area also receives heavy amounts of precipitation; there is hardly a month that the area does not receive rain. With the heavy amounts of precipitation the humidity levels are in the 70 -80%. With high level of humidity and rainfall, high altitudes, very limited amount of chemical usage, and the volcanic rich soil, all these factors together makes for a perfect environment for producing and harvesting some of the world’s best coffee.

Guatemala Coffee Plantation

Coban Rainforest Coffee

The tropical area of the Coban Rainforest has some of the world’s best coffee to offer. With the tropical conditions of cloudy, rainy, and cool all year long. The area consist of rolling hills not mountains like most of the regions in Guatemala, also sits in the tropical Atlantic Basin which regulates the weather and has soil that is made up of limestone and clay. When it is not raining in the region there is a heavy mist in the air from the dense cloud cover.

The area of Coban of several small coffee plantations in this very rural part of the country. Many of the coffee plantations offer guided tours of their plantations. The city itself is not that charming but the area offers a lot of charm that dates back to the Mayan culture.

Guatemala organic coffee farmers

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala Cofee

Antigua is noted for it beauty and charm, but it is also known for being a leader in the industry of coffee growing. Antigua is an old colonial city with cobble stone streets and beautiful architecture that once was the capital city for Guatemala. But back many years ago the city was rocked by a devastating earthquake and the capital was relocated to Guatemala City. The city of Antigua is in a valley surrounded by three volcanoes, Fuego, Agua, and Acatenango. The tallest of the volcanos is Acatenango which is roughly 13,000 feet tall. The volcano Fuego is active from time to time even today, most days you can see a nice puff of steam and gas coming from the top. With the activity of this volcano it leaves a nice rich ash that helps the soil conditions here stay nice and rich.

The evaluation of this area is roughly 4,600 feet above sea level with a constant humidity of 65%, the average daytime temperatures in the high 70’s to the low 80’s makes this a perfect environment for producing award winning coffee beans.

I have traveled around Antigua a lot over the past fifteen years, seeing first hand the coffee industry at work. The area around Antigua is loaded with small to medium size coffee plantations that are in operation year around. The climate in this region is constant; the only difference is that there are two seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. The nice thing here is that even during the dry season the soil is still good and rich and moist because the humidity is the same year around.

Guatemala Coffee Plantation

San Marcos Coffee

The warmest and wettest region of the coffee growing regions of Guatemala is the Volcanic San Marcos region. San Marcos has an average rainfall of up to 200 inches, with the seasonal rains coming earlier than any of the other regions. Like many of the other regions the humidity ranges in San Marcos between 70 – 80% which again helps tremendously during the dry season of the year. The soil conditions are rich volcanic soil which adds to favorable growing conditions of the area. As is with most of the regions in Guatemala the San Marcos region grow their coffee in small plantations around the mountains. The regions is roughly 4,000 to 6,500 feet above sea level and from the middle of April till the middle of November it rains constantly and in the later months of September – November the rains can be torrential. So when it comes to harvesting the coffee much of the coffee is pre-dried in the sun and then finished in a Guardiola dryer.

Coffee Plantation Worker

Most people when they wake up in the morning and brew that first pot of coffee or when they stop at their favorite coffee shop in the morning I am sure that they never think about where their coffee came from or the person that picked the coffee bean off the tree. One never thinks of these things until you have visited one of these countries that produce coffee and see the poverty that these people live in that grow and harvest the coffee we take for granted.


Guatemala is a country that is still much undeveloped and extremely poor. I have witnessed the poverty and the malnourished people that live and work in Guatemala that go out daily and pick the coffee beans and work in the fields harvesting the coffee that we enjoy every day. Something needs to be done in the industry to help these indigenous farm workers be able to make a better living so they can provide better food and housing for their families. Next time you take a drink of your coffee try to imagine how the person that harvested the coffee bean that made your coffee is sleeping tonight.

Living conditions in Guateamala

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