Producers are now experimenting with pretty much any varietal they can get their hands on
Our Head Roaster, Simon explores new trends in Guatemalan coffee production
Central America is a beautiful place blessed with a diverse array of coffee growing conditions. Luckily, as far as coffee buying goes, the region is also one of the most accessible allowing for relatively easy travel between farms, regions and countries.
After a week spent in El Salvador a bus ride north to Guatemala bought with it an entirely different range of coffees. Where our El Salvador selections highlighted heavier cup profiles and different processing methods, our Guatemalan showcase is made up of only washed coffees.
With a total of four lots this season, our final two Guatemalan coffee's come in the form of Finca La Cumbre (our newest Seasonal Espresso) and Finca La Esperanza, an on-going filter favourite.
My brief stint in Guatemala didn't allow enough time to visit each of our selected producers this year, instead cupping through most of the harvest samples at our partners labs and visiting some potential new farms to learn about pioneering new practices. The following photo's illustrate some of the change now in motion along with what we can expect from future harvests:
Drying on concrete patios is making way for more consistent and even drying on raised beds
Producers want to grow Geisha (and experiment with any other varietal they can get their hands on)
Leaf rust is an ongoing battle so producers are starting to get creative, using nature to help keep their farms healthy. The below is the parasite breeding lab at Finca San Geronimo
Climate change has actually allowed for some higher altitude coffee production which brings with it some slightly different challenges/everyone likes a volcano photo
Coffee production is still very much a hands on job and Senor Perez didn't think much of my technique