Guatemalan coffee has long been apart of our fabric as roasters and coffee drinkers in Australia. Its unique and contrasting cup profiles are why each year we eagerly await to see the new lots from our producing partners. With excitement surrounding the origin and its coffee producing regions, a few of our LCM team members experienced first-hand the coffee production lifecycle at our partnering farms, and reassured the excitement in our minds behind some of Guatemala's best producers and their coffees.
With coffee production being the largest industry in Guatemala, the range of climates, terrains and soils provides a myriad of coffee processing methods and flavour profiles. With such a plentiful amount of coffee-suited environments across the Guatemalan highlands, departments such as Atitlan, Coban, Huehuetenango and Antigua have flourished in providing some of the finest specialty coffee to LCM and the global coffee community. Despite this, Guatemala has had its fair share of barriers as a producing nation, being heavily affected by leaf rust in 2012 while also being mostly made up of small farms, with high costs. Through this we have seen coffee production stalling to around 3 million bags per year even though the amount of land dedicated to coffee production has increased.
One of the world's most well regarded specialty coffee producing regions, Huehuetenango sits in the western region of Guatemala, towards the Pacific ocean. Paying homage to its heritage, 'Huehuetenango' translates directly to 'Place of the Ancients', honouring the Mayan culture and history of the country. With Guatemala being the original home of chocolate, it is no surprise that Huehuetenango coffee also reflects its heritage, presenting sweet and chocolatey notes that result in a refined and enjoyable cup. Being a small remote department, the presence of smallholder family-owned farms is prevalent, and the coffee is noticeably benefiting from the extra attention that it receives from hand-picking and processing.
A great example of exceptional detail are our friends at Vides58, who we had the pleasure of visiting recently. Vides58 are a family-owned cooperative in La Libertad, Huehuetenango, and have been providing us with fine specialty coffee for several years now. With a large community presence, including providing coffee schooling to the future generations, their commitment to sustainability and producing some of the finest specialty coffee in the region, our visit solidified our fruitful relationship with Vides58, and excites us for the microlots to come.
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