Antigua has rich volcanic soil with plenty of sunlight, high altitudes, low humidity and cool nights, which together help make the ideal conditions for cultivating sweet, dense cherry.
- COFFEE GRADE:
- SHG EP
- Bourbon, Catuaí, Caturra, Maragogype, Pacamara, Pache, Typica
- Fully washed
- 1,500 to 1,600 meters above sea level
- FARM SIZE:
- 1 to 5 hectares on average
- Apple, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Lemon, White Grape
ABOUT THIS COFFEE.
This coffee is produced by smallholder farmers in Guatemala’s Antigua region. Antigua has rich volcanic soil with plenty of sunlight, high altitudes, low humidity and cool nights, which together help make the ideal conditions for cultivating sweet, dense cherry. Agua, Fuego and Acatenango are Antigua’s three volcanoes and Fuego is still active, occasionally contributing a fresh layer of mineral-rich volcanic ash to the already-rich soil.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
Most farms are small, about 1 to 5 hectares each, and most labor is done by the family. Some producers may hire additional labor during the harvest season to ensure only ripe, red cherry is picked. Cherry is typically handpicked and processed on individual farms. Producers use small mechanized or hand-crank pulpers to pulp cherry and then place it in tanks to ferment. Following fermentation coffee is washed in clean water and laid to dry on patios or raised beds.
Antigua has historically been Guatemala’s best-known coffee growing region. The climate and land are perfect for growing coffee. The soil is volcanic, with frequent eruptions from the nearby Volan Fuego adding a dust of mineral-ash from time to time. Humidity is relatively low, but constant. Finally, the region gets lots of sun, year-round, but has those cool nights that assist slow cherry development so important to specialty coffee.
Antiguan growers can fetch astronomical prices due the fame of the region's coffee. Nonetheless, more and more farms have found it difficult to continue farming, particularly when land in the region is at a premium. Antigua lies not far from the capital city of Guatemala, making it particularly attractive for second homes or even for commuters. Many farms have diminished greatly in size over the last two decades or disappeared altogether, eaten away by golf courses and housing developments.
Nonetheless, Antigua persists and still produces exquisite coffees along with great blend components.
Average harvest season: January – mid-March
Altitude: 1,500+ meters above sea level, on average
Strictly High Grown (SHG) specifies the altitude at which the coffee was grown. A coffee must be grown at 1,200 meters above sea level or higher to be considered SHG. The higher altitude and lower temperatures mean that the coffee fruit matures more slowly, creating a denser bean.
European Preparation (EP)
EP stands for European Preparation. EP beans are Screen 15+ with a low defect tolerance.