Guatemalan coffee hasn’t always been as sought-out as it is nowadays. It has gone from no one even knowing that this country grew coffee to everyone wanting to get their hands on some of these tasty, tasty beans in less than two decades.
This is quite an impressive feat, seeing as though most of the world’s largest or more important coffee countries have remained the same for more than a century.
Unlike other countries in the region, Guatemala did not even think about introducing coffee as a cash crop — they already had one. The high class favored the Indigo plant to make dye out of, creating incredibly colorful clothes.
Unfortunately, chemists figured how to make artificial dye in the late 19th century (science ruins everything!). It was so cheap and easy to make that the market for Indigo vanished overnight, forcing farmers to make the change to coffee quickly. And we’re thankful they did.
What Makes Guatemalan Coffee so Special?
Though you may not know this, Guatemala was the epicenter of the ancient Maya civilization. They were incredibly famous, most of all, for achieving independence when it came to food. Farmers of the Maya civilization were crucial to society, and it is said that some of their secrets still live on in their descendants.
And a vast majority of Guatemalan coffee farmers are of Mayan heritage. Some of them don’t even speak Spanish! They live in commune with nature, living off it, and we get to taste the delicious coffee that is born out of their unique farming techniques.
But that’s not all. Guatemala, just south of Mexico, is one of the most biodiverse countries in the whole world. Its land is wealthy, and the climate is just right for coffee farming. It is believed that the natural advantage combined with the quality farming is what gives Guatemalan coffee its edge.
Best Guatemalan Coffee Brands
Flavor Profile: Nutty
Body: Rich, Smooth and Mild
A blonde roast that yields a characteristically smooth and creamy coffee. This one is perfect for those who like their coffee mild, without either sugar or cream.
Flavor Profile: Baking Spice, Woody, Smooth
These are the coffee beans from Guatemala when you want to make espresso. Perfect for bold, intense espresso.
Flavor Profile: Milk chocolate, Orange, Caramel
An excellent choice for breakfast coffee and for making sweet coffee beverages. 100% arabica, 100% organic.
Flavor Profile: Honey, Apple, Tea, Floral Brown Sugar
The Guatemalan coffee that never disappoints. This Volcanica blend showcases all the best in Guatemalan coffee, from its sweet fruit flavor notes to its heavy, smooth body.
Flavor Profile: Red Fruit, Dark Chocolate, Plum, Candied Pecan
Incredibly unique and one of the best coffees you’ll ever taste. It is aged in wine containers, giving it a taste that no other Guatemalan coffee can offer.
Decisions, decisions. Choosing one coffee over the other can be a little stressful. What if you end up buying a coffee that doesn’t live up to your expectations? Too bitter? Too pricey?!
Relax. Take a sip of freshly brewed coffee. Let us help you consider what’s essential when making this decision.
When it comes to taste, the most important thing is the roast. If you’re a fan of bitter coffee, you’ll be better off with dark roasts. This is also highly recommended for brewing methods like the Moka pot, Aeropress, or an espresso machine.
If you’d instead go for a milder flavor, we recommend you go for medium or lower. These roasts go great with brewing methods like the French press and the Aeropress, too. Any other filtering methods like the V60 are also ideal for medium and light roasts.
Price is probably one of the most important things we have to take into account when buying coffee. Ironically, almost all items on this list go for roughly the same price, with a few exceptions. It is mostly because all Guatemalan coffee is of high quality, making it very competitive. In other words, it’s tough to find cheap Guatemalan coffee or expensive Guatemalan coffee, for that matter.
In the end, it all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend. There is no right or wrong answer in this department.
Beans vs. Grounds
Ground coffee is incredibly convenient. That is just a fact. There’s nothing better than merely taking ground coffee and pouring it directly into your espresso machine -or preferred brewing method- and watching the whole thing unfold.
A wise man once said: “Good things require effort.” And this applies perfectly here when it comes to buying either ground or whole beans.
Ground coffee is great, sure. Especially if it’s Guatemalan coffee— it will be delicious without a doubt. But freshly ground Guatemalan coffee? Mind-blowing. It’s hard to imagine so many flavors being the product of just one ingredient.
To put it simply: ground coffee is fine and more convenient. Whole bean needs grinding but tastes much better.
This will be determined mostly by what brewing methods you already use the most. After all, Guatemalan coffee is most famous for home consumption: French press, V60, Chemex, and even drip coffee machines. Ideally, you’d use something like the Hario V60, the Clever Dripper, or any similar brewing methods that are best suited for milder coffee instead of darker roasts.
According to your brewing method of choice, there might be another thing to consider, which is how much coffee you’re going to need. This will prove vital if you’re a fan of either cold brew or espresso. In these cases, buy as much as double what you’d usually buy.
Guatemalan coffee is always a great choice. We can’t recommend it enough, no matter what kind of coffee you already drink. Try any of these, and you’ll understand why we love it so much!