|Product Name:||Guatemala Antigua||Body:||4|
Guatemalan coffee at a glance
There are 125,000 family coffee farms in Guatemala, some of which are over 100 years old. Guatemala is ranked as the ninth largest coffee growing country in the world, supplying 3,400,000 bags of coffee annually.
A significant reason for Guatemala to be recognized for their smooth and rich tasting coffee is its geographical regions and cultivation by farmers in the growing process.
There is volcanic soil that is known to be rich for growing as well as high altitude (5000 feet, 1500 meters above sea level) that make up the landscape of the farming locations. This, combined with a consistent rainfall (1000 mm average/year) and sunshine mix provide the ideal coffee growing habitat.
Cultivation of the coffee plants are done at a slower pace by the families of Guatemala. These plants are grown in the shade of other plants and trees and the result is a longer growth process of the coffee cherry, also protecting the plant from the occasional frost.
The duration factors into the hardness of the cherry seed (the coffee bean) so the end result is what Guatemala’s coffee is known for – a rich vibrant taste.
What is ANACAFE (Asociación Nacional de Café)?
ANACAFE is the national coffee association of Guatemala with the objective to serve as a representative of it’s coffee growers. More specifically, to improve and strengthen the economy of Guatemala through the producing and exporting aspects of their coffee industry.
Part of ANACAFE’s mandate is to provide “Services to achieve sustainable, competitive and quality coffee growing” (ANACAFE, 2018). Within this, part of the consistent quality of Guatemalan coffee derives from their strict observance to the Guatemalan flavor profile. Among the grades of coffee is the highest quality in which they refer to as “Strictly Hard Bean (SHB).
Once the farmers coffee has been designated as meeting the approved criteria for SHB, the producer can then begin to sell their coffee under one of the approved regional names. Such names are Acatenango, Antigua, Atitlán, and Cobán to name a few out of the 8 regions.
If a farmers coffee doesn’t reach the quality standards set out by ANACAFE, then they are restricted to only label their coffee as SHB. Guatemalan coffee’s competitive industry is displayed here, as regionally labelled coffee results in higher revenue due in part to the strict standards set forth by ANACAFE.
Avid consumers of coffee from around the world understand that sometimes the marketing of coffee from different companies varies from what they are actually purchasing.
And this is seen in Kona coffee, where regulation deems coffee as ‘Kona’ if there is only 10% real Kona beans in the bag. This ‘blend’ is deceptive and can make it difficult for certified 100% Kona bean farmers to gain the economic return they deserve.
So, given these marketing deceptions, this is why ANACAFE is so vital in Guatemala’s coffee production and export efforts.
What is Guatemalan Antiguan Coffee?
Antigua is one of the 8 regions defined by ANACAFE, located in the southern highlands of Guatemala. In this area there are large volcanoes (Acatenango, Agua & Fuego), supplying coffee plants with the ideal soil condition for growth. The Fuego volcano has recent activity, adding new minerals into the soil in the Antigua region.
Adding to the Antigua regions perfect coffee growing characteristics is temperature ranging from 66-72 °F (19-22 °C) and a humidity of 65% on average.
Volcanica Guatemala Antigua Review
I used the pour over method for this cupping. Water temperature was 200 °F and I pre-wet the filter. Using a circular pour method I started from the outside in for 10-15 seconds, and let bloom for 30 seconds. I repeated this format for 4 times while alternating the pour direction each time.
Aroma – 5/5
As I poured the first and second amounts of water on this coffee I noticed the fresh floral notes I expected. Upon immediate scent, I wouldn’t say this is the aroma I would want back in college preparing for a late night of studying, but more of the aroma you would want waking up in the morning preparing breakfast. Perfect tint of citrus, perfect score.
Acidity – 3/5
This part of the review is based on expectations of the coffee beans, a high profile acidity level isn’t common in Antigua produced beans so this is more of a gauge for those individuals on what to expect. The acidity is medium but vibrant in this cup, but the rest of the review sections embodies what a true Guatemala Antigua coffee is supposed to represent.
Body – 4/5
Body is the strength of Volcanicas version of Guatemala Antigua, it is a strong, full-bodied cup of coffee and that is part of the reason I chose to use the pour over method, to really see how heavy it could be. I prefer stronger, heavier coffee’s so a job well done by Volcanica.
Flavor – 4.5/5
This part is easy, with Guatemala Antigua coffee there is always a distinct taste and in this particular cup notes are spicy with a chocolate to nut blend. I’ve heard that there is some velvety hints so I’m not sure why I missed this but overall the flavor that I did pick up on was excellent.
Aftertaste – 5/5
The aftertaste was extensive in duration but was sweet and carried through with the fresh citrus vibrancy and to the point. If I had more concern on duration I might give this a different rating but I prefer exactly what was offered by this cup.
The Bottom Line
So this is where I have to say that I can be bought easily if a coffee has 2 main features, that being a strong heavy weighted cup of coffee while being smooth at the same time. This Antigua version by Volcanica hits the spot, and a fair price as well I might add.
Purchase Volcanica Guatemala Antigua Coffee here.
Volcanica Awards & Recognition
- Volcanica coffee has a trust score of 4.7/5 on Trustpilot out of a whopping 856 reviews.
- They also state on their website that 1% of sales are devoted to an organization called Charity: Water. Charity water’s mission is to provide sustainable, clean and safe drinking water to all individuals – specifically those in developing countries.