Guatemala

Guatemala is not only ranked #8 among coffee producers, but coffee 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 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.
  • It is mainly Arabica beans planted, 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 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 is balanced, the coffee has a full body and a very fine acidity.

Preparation

  • 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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