One of the finest coffees in the world
Written by: Lorena Bleker
Edited and revised by Ailsa Naismith. Bristol, UK
Coffee is a personal taste, yet, there are ways to appreciate a good coffee.
Guatemalan coffee is rated by many experts as one of the best coffees in the world. The coffee varies from region to region and harvested from different altitudes and that is why the flavors of Guatemalan coffee are so special and complex.
The flavor of Guatemalan coffee is medium to full-bodied, it is perfectly balanced in its acidity and in most harvests, you can appreciate the individual tones; we could say in general that; a cup of Guatemalan coffee will carry the chocolate, smoky and spicy tones.
Some of the Guatemalan´s finest coffee is produced in the farms around Antigua Guatemala and the slopes of the volcanoes nearby. If you go to Antigua Guatemala you can visit a few farms like Philadelphia Coffee or la Azotea Farm, which also holds a Coffee Museum. Coffee from Cobán is a high-quality acidic coffee, due to its altitude. The most famous representative of Cobán coffee is Kaffee Dieseldorf. The Huehuetenango coffee is noted for its finest acidity and unique flavors and the best coffee of this area, according to experts, is the one coming from El Injerto Farm.
Guatemala still holds old species of trees such as bourbon, thanks to sponsored programs that are enabling coffee producers to continue cultivating high quality trees for the gourmet market.
How did the coffee boom start in Guatemala?
The Germans in the 19th century introduced coffee to Guatemala. Their immigration to Guatemala began with the socio-economic crisis in Germany, during the transition to the industrial era. The first Germans arrived at the Belgian colony which was settled in Santo Tomas, Puerto Barrios, Guatemala in the 1840s,
After their first arrival in Guatemala, the Germans also settled in the capital and in many other parts of the country and devoted themselves to their profession in crafts, business and commerce. This immigration increased significantly in the last decades of the 19th century due to the industrial and commercial expansion of the German Empire as well as the opportunities in Guatemala under the liberal regimes which favored concession of land to foreigners especially those from Europe and North America. The Germans introduced the cultivation of coffee and developed a big industry with trade and export. At the end of the century they controlled one third of the coffee production in Guatemala and exported two thirds of its production to Germany.
By the end of the 19th century about one thousand Germans lived in Guatemala, and by 1920s, the number grew to up to 3,000. The Germans founded associations, clubs, schools, a Protestant church and a German newspaper. Through these institutions they preserved the characteristics of their nationality, language and culture.
By 1940 the German community was a visible and influential force in Guatemalan society and its economy. During the World War II, under the strong economic and political pressure from the United States, the Guatemalan government confiscated all the assets and properties from them. Many Germans were deported back to Germany, just a few were left behind in Guatemala and kept their farms. It has been said that the ones left; claimed to be Jewish Germans, therefore they could stay. The Dieseldorff is one of the German families, allowed to stay, and their farms near Coban are still producing good quality coffee.
According to the German embassy, nowadays there are approx. 5000 Germans registered and living in Guatemala and an unknown number of descendants from the earlier immigration. Guatemala currently has a strong community of Germans who make up the majority of European immigrants in the country, and it is also the most populous German communities in all Central American countries.
Where to buy good coffee in Guatemala City?
There are a few places in zone 13 where you can buy good coffee to take home.
The coffee you enjoy at Dos Lunas, comes from Antigua Guatemala. We also sell coffee in portions of 200 grams. In beans or ground.
The Guatemalan coffee, ranked best worldwide, comes from the Finca el Injerto in Huehuetenango. You can enjoy a cup of their best harvest for Q30.00 (approx. USD4.00 cup) A pound of this coffee cost Q140.00 or approx. USD18.50
For more information visit their website: https://fincaelinjerto.com/
And their list of products: https://fincaelinjerto.com/collections/all
If you want more information about Dieseldorff Kaffee, find them at: https://www.facebook.com/DieseldorffKaffee
Between Dos Lunas and the airport there is one Coffee Roasting company called Godoy’s coffee. They also have a coffee tour and you can taste their coffee while there. For more information visit their website: www.godoyscoffee.com
A few more places are good options for a nice cup of coffee:
If you visit the Historic Center, these are a few places where you can enjoy a good cup of coffee:
- Café León”. 8a. ave. 9-15, zona 1. http://www.cafeleon.com/catalogo.html
- Café del Centro. 8ª- Avenida 9-12 zona, 1
- La Tacita de Plata. 11 calle 6-11 zona 1. @latacitadeplataguatemala
- Café de Imeri. 6ª calle 3-34, zona 1. @deimeri.caferestaurante
If you are interested in where some of the best coffee in the world comes from, this book is for you. “The history of coffee in Guatemala”, by Regina Wagner.
English version is available in Amazon.com