Coffee atlas: Guatemala

Capital: Guatemala City

Population: 15.2 million

Area: 109 thousand square km

Guatemala’s production of coffee first grew in the 1860s on the back of a declining indigo trade, which had previously existed as it’s main export. Up until 2011 Guatemala was in the top 5 highest producing coffees nations in the world, before being overtaken by Honduras.

The majority of coffee farmers in Guatemala are small holders and a large percentage of them, along with the general population of Guatemala, associate with the 20 officially recognised indigenous communities of Guatemala. Guatemala’s national coffee institute, Anacafé, has been an important figure in helping Guatemala combat the outbreak of leaf rust in the country. Since 2012, the outbreak of this disease has reduced crop out-put by up to 25% and has forced farmers to move away from traditional varieties such as bourbon and caturra and instead move towards newer, more disease resistant varietals.

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Coffee regions in Guatemala

Acatenango

Grown amongst the Fuego the Acatenango volcanoes, the Acatenango valley is a high altitude growing region with rich volcanic soil

Common varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai

Typical altitude: 1300–2000 m above sea level


Antigua

Antigua is a region defined by rich volcanic soil, low rainfall and lots of sunshine. It is situated in the shadow of Fuego, one of Guatemala’s three active volcanoes

Common varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Typica, Maragogype, Pache & Pacamara

Typical altitude: 1300–1600 m above sea level


Huehuetenango

A non-volcanic region of Guatemala characterised by high altitude and predictable climate. Often considered to produce the highest quality coffee in Guatemala

Common varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai

Typical altitude: 1400–2000 m above sea level


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