Guatemala is not only ranked #8 among coffee producers, but coffee in Guatemala is also one of the best in the world.
- As early as the 18th century, Spanish Jesuits brought the first coffee plants from Yemen to Guatemala.
- In the 1850s and 1860s the coffee industry began to develop.
- During the colonial period, the indigenous population of the Maya was expropriated and turned into “Colonos”.
- They were still allowed to live in the land but had to work for it.
- Unfortunately, some fincas still work today according to the colonial era.
- However, the trend is clearly away from a few families controlling the cultivation, the ANACAFE (the national coffeeboard) – to local agricultural cooperatives, which are committed to the needs of small farmers.
- At that time, as today, coffee in Guatemala is the country’s most important export product.
- Areas of cultivation on 500 – 1,200 m are: Fraijanes, Antigua, Huehuetenango, Coban, San Marcos, Nuevo Oriente and Atitlan.
- Coffee in Guatemala is mainly Arabica, to a small extent Robusta varieties.
- The quality class SHB (Strictly Hard Bean) gets coffees from high cultivation areas, where they grow slower and thus to a high-quality coffee in Guatemala with a fine aroma.
- The coffee is mostly hand-picked and sun-dried.
- The active volcanoes make the soil very fertile and give the coffee a very spicy aroma with a slightly smoky note.
- The taste of coffee in Guatemala is balanced, the coffee in Guatemala has a full body and a very fine acidity.
- Just a decade ago almost 100% of Guatemalan coffee was exported to countries like the US, Europe and Japan.
- Today, 10 % of the coffee produced in Guatemala stays in the country.
- Only in recent years have Guatemalans started consuming their own world-renowned product on a larger scale.
- Cafes like El Injerto have opened since 2009. Meanwhile, the Cuatro Grados Norte neighborhood in Guatemala City has the highest number of independent cafes.
- Most Guatemalans brew rather weak coffee and drink it with lots of sugar.
- For this, the coffee is simply boiled in a normal pot and then filled into cups.
- The share of instant coffee grows in Guatemala – in 2015 it was already 8% of coffee consumption.
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