Fresh Crop Exclusive! Guatemala Guadalupe Bautista

Our Fresh Crop coffee this fortnight is from Guatemalan coffee producer, Guadalupe Bautista. Continue reading to find out more about Guatemalan coffee and our featured producer!

Guatemala sits firmly in the top ten coffee-producing countries in the world, with an estimated 125,000 famers across the country. These farmers, mostly smallholders, operate, cultivate and export their coffee independently or collaborate with formal cooperative associations. The country itself has several key coffee-growing regions, each with their own range of microclimates and unique geographical influences (the presence of volcanoes, the average yearly rainfall, and the proximity to both the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean). 

Most Guatemalan coffee is cultivated in shade-grown environments. The shade trees offer vital nutrients, prevent erosion, and enrich the soil through organic matter from decomposing leaves. The shade trees also play a crucial role in moderating sunlight, safeguarding roots and coffee cherries, allowing for slower maturation that enhances sweetness and complexity in the final brew.

Our coffee hails from the prolific coffee growing region on Huehuetenango in the west of Guatemala near the border of Mexico. This region stands as a testament to the centrality of coffee cultivation in the local economy, where the majority of livelihoods revolve around coffee production. It’s home to some of the most complex coffees in Guatemala, thanks to the incredibly high altitude and the hot winds that blow into the mountains from the desert. 

Guadalupe Bautista is a smallholder producer in the Huehuetenango region. Her farm, Finca Alejandrina, is 14 hectares in size, with the large majority of the farmable land planted with coffee trees. Bautista meticulously tends to a range of of coffee varietals, including Bourbon, Caturra, Green, and Red Pache, each with its distinct characteristics. Harvesting only ripe cherries, Bautista ensures prompt depulping, followed by a meticulous sun-drying process lasting 6 to 10 days, dependent on weather conditions. This precise methodology yields coffee of exceptional quality, showcasing the region's distinctive terroir.

The coffee is a complex cup that presents a juicy acidity and a lingering candy-like sweetness, with tasting notes of stewed apple, honey and lime. Guadalupe Bautista stands as a shining example of the dedication and expertise of Guatemala's smallholder farmers.

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