Los 10 mejores cafés de Guatemala

Coffee, although for some it may seem like a product of little importance for export, in many places it is. For some countries, this crop was the one that many years ago put them on the international scene and became the basis for their economy. This is how today it represents for many nations a fundamental product that contributes to their development, both in social and economic terms. such is the case of guatemala, one of the most recognized coffee growing countries for its quality coffee.

guatemala is located in central america and has a varied economy. however, since coffee arrived in its territory more than 300 years ago, it has been one of the protagonists. so much so that the 22 departments that divide the country have coffee crops, this being the livelihood of more than 125,000 families. In addition, according to the National Coffee Association (ANACAFE), approximately 24.62% of the country’s agribusiness exports are coffee.

Reading: Cafe de guatemala marcas

That is why, since it is an important reference, this time we will introduce you to Guatemala. Discover with us everything about Guatemalan coffee, its characteristics, what makes it special and the 10 best options you will find on the market.

what is Guatemalan coffee like?

guatemala is one of the most recognized countries in central america for the quality of its coffee. and the economic and cultural importance of this crop for the country is reflected in the final product. As an exporting country, it produces green and roasted coffee with different characteristics.

The geographical variety that it has and the different microclimates allow various types of coffee to be grown. In general, depending on the altitude of the crops, there are 3 types:

  • between 764 and 1,066 m.a.s.l.: prime and extra prime (pm and epw).
  • between 1,066 and 1,370 m.a.s.l.: hard and semi-hard (hb and semi hb).
  • above 1,370 m.a.s.l.: strictly hard (shb).
  • as the height increases, the quality of the coffee increases. so that, the crops that are from 1,370 meters above sea level, begin to have much more body, aroma, acidity and a more particular flavor.

    tasting notes

    As we saw before, the characteristics of coffee depend a lot on the altitude and the growing climate. Since Guatemala is very diverse in this sense, the characteristics of its coffees are very varied. In general, it can be said that they are very balanced coffees. the balance they have in terms of body, aroma, sweetness and acidity characterizes them.

    Guatemalan coffee tasting notes are also very varied. you can find cups with fruity touches or more chocolaty ones. with notes of cocoa, honey, peach, and even some with hints of wine.

    How is coffee grown in Guatemala?

    Guatemala is another of the most privileged countries in geographical terms to grow coffee. It has different zones and a variety of climates that allow the coffee tree to be born and develop in the best way. the mountain ranges where they are grown are between 764 and 2,000 meters above sea level. This also makes Guatemala one of the most important benchmarks for excellent quality high altitude coffees.

    on the other hand, it is a generally warm country with constant temperatures ranging from 19 to 32°c, with an approximate average of 24°c. so it is perfect for the development of the coffee tree.

    Coffee production is mostly artisanal and the sector is made up of micro-producers. they are generally indigenous communities.

    The process begins with the planting of the coffee tree and, in this case, according to Anacafé, 98% is grown under shade. this is an important aspect because it is a type of crop with many benefits. On the one hand, it generates more organic matter that nourishes the soil and protects it from erosion. protects coffee plants from strong winds at high altitudes and from excess sun. on the other hand, it forms new ecosystems and small forests that help preserve the fauna and flora of the place.

    production process

    After the coffee planting and time has passed, the harvest time arrives. Generally, countries that produce large amounts of coffee use automated machinery to harvest the fruits. However, due to the topographical conditions of Guatemala, it is done manually there. One by one, the beans are carefully selected and harvested when they are ripe. this ensures that only the sweetest fruits and in the best condition are picked.

    Then comes the coffee processing process. guatemala grows both arabica and robusta varieties, so it uses two methods to process coffee. Let’s remember that in general, there are two ways to do it, the wet way and the dry way. The country uses the wet route, which is the best, to process Arabica coffee. this implies that the coffee must be pulped, the mucilage must be removed, washed, dried and finally threshed. the dry route is used for processing robusta coffee. At the end of this process, the green coffee is ready for export or to be roasted and distributed that way.

    coffee growing areas of guatemala

    guatemala is a small country in terms of territory. however, its 22 departments have coffee crops. which shows the importance of coffee for the country. its geographical diversity allows coffee to have special properties depending on the area in which it is grown.

    Guatemala has a total of 8 coffee-producing regions: Valle de Acatenango, Antigua, Atitlan, Coban, Fraijanes, Huehuetenango, Nuevo Oriente and San Marcos. Let us now see in more detail what characterizes each one.

    acatenango valley

    This region of Guatemala is one of the most important for coffee production. not only because it is the one with the most hectares of this crop, but it is also the only one with a designation of origin. this means that it has a seal that confirms that the quality of the product is due to the fact that it was planted and produced there. and it’s not for nothing. It is a mostly mountainous area, so there is an excellent high altitude coffee. In addition, its temperature and climatic conditions allow an adequate development of coffee.

    on the other hand, the region is located in a mountain range of volcanoes, the main one being the acatenango. this means that the soils are of volcanic origin and, therefore, have very good structure and fertilization. Let’s remember that these soils give coffee ideal properties and contribute to higher quality.

    old guatemala

    Antigua is another privileged region for growing coffee. It is in a mountain range surrounded by 3 volcanoes: Fuego, Agua and Acatenango. this makes it a fertile land, with volcanic soils and low humidity. In addition, this type of soil helps to retain more water, which is perfect to compensate for the low rainfall in Antigua. It is characterized by its regular mist, so, to also protect the crops, they are planted under shade.

    all 3 volcanoes are active, so occasionally fire produces a light ash fallout. It’s full of important plant nutrients, so in the right amounts it’s very beneficial.


    Like other regions, Atitlán is also located in an extensive chain of volcanic mountains. however, its soils are the richest and most nourished of all the coffee growing areas of the country. Coffee trees are grown in the vicinity of Lake Atitlán, which is connected to a volcano of the same name. so, the coffee grows in an ideal terrain, of volcanic origin, very fertile and nourished. that is why they have a more pronounced acidity than that of other areas.


    It is one of the coolest coffee regions, but rainy and cloudy. in fact, the well-known “chipi chipi”, a constant fog, is typical there. Thus, coffee is generally grown on the slopes of mountains that have more tropical influence than the Atlantic basin.


    The climatic conditions of this region are ideal for quality coffee. it is grown at high altitudes, there is good rainfall and humidity, and it is in a volcanic mountain range. one of the most active volcanoes in guatemala, the pacaya, provides fertile soils full of nutrients. In addition, the occasional ash rains that they cause give the land the perfect supply of minerals.


    This region is one of the best high-altitude coffee producers, as there are crops at altitudes of up to 2,000 m.a.s.l. As we have seen, most of the areas are colder and more humid. however, Huehuetenango tends to have a drier, more tropical climate. therefore, it is naturally protected from frost that can alter the quality and condition of the beans. It produces coffees of delicious flavor with very particular notes of wine as well.

    new east

    Coffee is one of the products that has brought more life and development to this region. Currently, almost all the farms that exist are coffee growers. It is located in an old volcanic zone, so its soils are full of minerals and very fertile. One of the special characteristics of its coffee are the chocolate notes and a low and pleasant acidity.

    san marcos

    It is another of the regions with the richest soils, being of volcanic origin. the volcano that bears the same name gives it that perfect load of nutrients. In addition, it is the warmest area and the one with the highest rainfall. Since the rain comes earlier than in other regions, the coffee trees bloom earlier. Because the rains are more unpredictable there, the drying of the coffee must be done in two parts: in the sun and then in a cylindrical dryer known as a guardiola.

    coffee varieties grown in guatemala

    Guatemala is one of the coffee-producing countries that plants both the Arabica and Robusta varieties. According to data from Anacafé, Arabica coffee represents 96.4% of crops, while Robusta coffee only 3.6%. This is a reality that had to be adopted, taking into account that robusta coffees are more resistant to pests and diseases. For this reason, they are much more profitable and help support the smallest producers. however, higher quality coffee continues to prevail.

    In Guatemala, there are many varieties of Arabica that are grown. the most prominent and planted in larger quantities are: catuaí, caturra, bourbon, mundo novo, typica, pache, pacamara, gesha, and castle, among others.

    what makes Guatemalan coffee special?

    One of the keys to quality coffee, balanced and with the best aroma, body and acidity, is the environment in which it grows.Guatemala is one of the most geographically privileged countries for growing coffee. most of its coffee growing areas have cool, constant climates and are located on volcanic mountain ranges. the multiple active volcanoes give the plants an extra dose of nutrients. not only through the soil, but also thanks to the occasional, but light, rain of ash that gives the coffee trees important minerals.

    on the other hand, although they have a great variety of altitudes, most of the coffee is high altitude. this allows them to produce grains with the ideal characteristics: hard and of premium quality. That is why Guatemala is one of the most prominent and internationally known coffee producing countries. Proof of this is the Denomination of Origin of the coffee harvested and produced in the Acatenango Valley region. This seal is also an incentive for coffee growers to always maintain the highest quality standards and to be in constant search of increasingly innovative processes.

    A very special aspect of Guatemalan coffee is that it is grown under shade. the different species of trees help the coffee tree to develop much better. On the one hand, they protect them from the constant rains and fog in Guatemala. on the other, they provide organic matter that nourishes the soil.

    the above, added to the tradition and dedication of the coffee growing communities, generally indigenous, makes the coffee even more special. the grains are chosen and picked by hand at their perfect point of maturation. Even in 2018, the coffee tradition was declared in Guatemala as an intangible heritage of the nation.

    the 10 best coffees in guatemala

    See also: Remembering the Bizarre History of New Yorks Fashion Café

    After having toured Guatemala through its coffee growing areas and cultivation process, it is time to find out which coffees come from this Central American country. That is why we have gathered the following 10 best Guatemalan coffees that you can find in the market. Let’s look at qualities son!

    1. coffee guatemala volcanic reserve coffee

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    tasting notes: chocolate, nutty and a sweet finish.

    degree of roasting: dark.

    type of coffee: beans.

    volcanica coffee is one of the most recognized and outstanding brands for the distribution of premium coffee beans. This one in particular comes from the fertile and volcanic soils of the Santa Bárbara farm, in the Antigua area. It was cultivated at more than 1,500 meters above sea level, so its cup quality is one of the best. you can enjoy a coffee with bright acidity, good body and an intense aroma. perfect for those who prefer a cup much more full of flavor thanks to its dark roast.

    comes in a 453g presentation. it was roasted just before packing to ensure the freshness of the beans.

    2. coffee guatemala huehuetenango organic coffee from volcanica

    coffee bean variety: arabica

    tasting notes: apricot, honey, pistachios, spices, molasses and honeysuckle.

    degree of roasting: medium.

    type of coffee: beans.

    This coffee comes from the star coffee region of Guatemala, Huehuetenango. It was grown, harvested and produced by small but excellent farms with rich volcanic soils. you can enjoy a 100% organic coffee, which results in a delicious balanced cup, with fruity touches, vibrant acidity and excellent body.

    It comes in a 453g presentation, and was roasted at the time of packaging to ensure its freshness.

    3. coffee peaberry guatemala from volcanica coffee

    coffee bean variety: arabica

    tasting notes: strawberries, clean, bright and balanced flavor.

    degree of roasting: medium.

    type of coffee: beans.

    Peaberry grains are among the most special, fine and with the best flavor. Generally, only 5% of the coffee from a crop is of this style, so you can enjoy an extra particular flavor. It was cultivated in the coffee zone of Antigua, at more than 1,500 meters above sea level. its volcanic soils also give this coffee an excellent body, a lot of aroma and a pleasant fragrance.

    comes in a 453g package. it was roasted and immediately packed to ensure the freshness of the beans.

    4. coffee guatemala huehuetenango fresh roasted coffee llc

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    tasting notes: chocolate, cherries and spices.

    degree of roasting: medium.

    type of coffee: beans.

    This coffee was grown and carefully processed in the privileged region of Huehuetenango. It is characterized by having a soft body, but with a lot of aroma and flavor. it is ideal if you prefer a more delicate and not so strong cup. It has a medium acidity, hints of cherry, chocolate and spices, and a very flavorful taste. In addition, these grains went through a particular process in which they were chosen and reviewed completely by hand. so only the best were really packed.

    It comes in a 907g presentation and was roasted at the time of packaging so that it does not lose its freshness.

    5. dark guatemalan coffee from fresh roasted coffee llc

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    tasting notes: wood and spices.

    degree of roasting: dark.

    type of coffee: beans.

    It is another of the star coffees from Huehuetenango. It was not only grown at the ideal altitude and in fertile volcanic soils, but also harvested and handpicked. this ensures that only the best grains were selected for sale and that they will have a cup of excellent quality. It is perfect for those who prefer stronger coffee. It has a clean flavor, great body, aroma of spices and very little acidity.

    It comes in a 907g package and the beans were roasted moments before packaging. in this way they guarantee its freshness.

    6. organic coffee guatemala huehuetenango fresh roasted coffee llc

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    See also: ¿El café te provoca dolor de estómago? Descubre qué puedes hacer

    tasting notes: chocolate milk, orange and good balance.

    degree of roasting: medium.

    type of coffee: beans.

    In addition to being a balanced coffee with a rich flavor and pleasant aroma, it is 100% organic. It was grown in Huehuetenango with sustainable and much more natural methods. proof of this is its usda organic seal and fair trade certification. In this way, it helps to preserve the ecosystem and provides the most favorable environment for the development of coffee. Thanks to this, you will be able to enjoy a balanced cup, which begins with delicate notes of chocolate milk and ends with citrus orange touches. Its medium roast degree is ideal for those who prefer a softer, but aromatic coffee.

    It comes in a 907g presentation and the beans were roasted before packaging to ensure they maintain their freshness.

    7. organic coffee from guatemala from java planet

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    tasting notes: chocolate, caramel and light fruity touches.

    degree of roasting: medium.

    type of coffee: beans.

    If you are a lover of coffee with a good flavor and a lot of aroma, but organic, this will be one of your favorites. It comes from the Huehuetenango region and was cultivated under the shade of different trees such as guava and banana. Thanks to this, you will taste a cup with delicious chocolate notes with a soft fruity final flavor. In addition, it has a bird-friendly certification and was grown without pesticides or chemicals. It is definitely a totally delicious and much more natural option.

    Comes in a 453g pack and the beans were roasted before packaging to maintain freshness.

    8. old guatemala coffee from the rooftop coffee brand

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    tasting notes: smoky, fruity and light cognac aftertaste.

    degree of roasting: dark.

    type of coffee: beans.

    It is grown and produced by Café Terraza, a coffee farm-museum with more than 100 years of experience. It is located in Antigua, at more than 1,500 meters above sea level, a privileged area for its volcanic soil and stable microclimates. you will enjoy a coffee with an intense flavor, with a deep aroma and a slight sweet touch. It is all the tradition and quality of Guatemala in a cup.

    comes in a 793g presentation. The coffee is roasted and immediately packed in bags that are sealed with triple-deck laminated valves. this provides greater protection and ensures the freshness of the coffee. In addition, it is then packed in a typical craft bag from the country, so it is perfect as a gift too.

    9. Guatemalan coffee from the rooftop coffee brand

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    tasting notes: fruity, intense flavor, sweet touches and fine aroma.

    degree of roasting: medium.

    type of coffee: beans.

    This is another of the coffees in the line of the traditional rooftop coffee brand that deserves to be among the best coffees in Guatemala. It was grown at the ideal altitude and in nutritious volcanic soils. This one has a medium roast level, so it has a good body, fine aroma and is generally much more balanced. It is perfect for those who prefer a softer coffee, with fruity touches and a lot of aroma.

    It comes in a 793g presentation, and the beans were roasted immediately before packaging. The inside packaging is a laminated triple-deck valve-sealed bag. on the outside, it has a typical handmade bag of the country. so it’s cute and also cool.

    10. Coffee Guatemala Pacayalito from Good As Gold Coffeee.

    coffee bean variety: arabica.

    tasting notes: chocolate and fruit.

    degree of roasting: medium.

    type of coffee: bean.

    It is a coffee with all the Guatemalan quality. you will enjoy a cup with delicious chocolate notes, a fine aroma and a smooth body. Good As Gold Coffee’s advanced air roasting technology ensures that you’ll get a bean with a perfect medium roast point. this also gives it a brighter flavor and makes the roast much more even, without burning it.

    comes in a 340g presentation.


    the coffee tradition in guatemala was not declared intangible heritage of the nation for nothing. Coffee is a fundamental part of their culture, which is why they have managed to establish and maintain a great reputation internationally. This, added to its topography, stable climates and volcanic soils, make Guatemala one of the cradles of the best coffee.

    This is definitely a mug to try. so, after this journey through guatemalan coffee, we hope you will be inspired to see for yourself why guatemalan coffee is so good. it will surely be on your favorites list.

    and if you are not satisfied with trying coffee from just one country, we have more recommendations:

    See also: Men&39s Cafe Racer Jackets

    • Brazilian coffees
    • Coffee from Colombia
    • coffee from Costa Rica
    • coffee from ethiopia
    • Indonesian coffees
    • Jamaica coffees
    • kenyan coffees
    • Panama coffees

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