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Guatemalan Coffee

Guatemalan Coffees are some of the world's finest and most distinctive coffees. The most sought-after of these are made from Guatemala coffee beans grown in the highland regions. In the Antigua Valley, Guatemalan coffee bean plantations produce an especially popular "highland coffee" know as Guatemala Antigua. Guatemala Antigua is a superb coffee which is nuanced with a smoky, spicy taste with a strong but smooth acidity.

While the Guatemalan highland coffees are probably the best, there are many great Guatemala coffee exports which do not come from the highlands. Cobán is one of these gourmet Guatemalan coffees which are grown closer to the coast than those grown in the highlands. The Huehuetenango region is also worth mentioning. Cobán, Huehuetenango and most non-highland gourmet coffee which come from Guatemala (like San Marcos) are often described as a softer, more well-rounded version of the Guatemalan highland coffees. They are typically full bodied, brighter and very easy to drink.

There are just way too many excellent Guatemalan coffee estates to name but, here is a short list of Guatemalan coffee exporters; If you want "Guatemala Antigua" then look for the Guatemalan coffee estates of La Tacita, Pastores, Valley San Sebastián, San Rafael Urias, and Las Nubes. Some other great Guatemalan gourmet coffee exports are; Los Alpes, El Coyegual, Santa Cecilia, Dos Marias, Huixoc, Yaxbatz, and El Recreo.

Guatemala coffee beans are graded are graded by hardness. Coffee beans from Costa Rica are also graded by hardness. Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) coffee beans are the hardest and thus the highest quality beans. The Guatemalan coffee association is especially strict in its grading of coffee beans. They collect samples from the different Guatemala coffee farms in each region (Antigua, Cobán, Huehuetenango, etc.) and sample them. Those coffees that do not meet the "flavor profile" of the region are only allowed to be sold as Strictly Hard Bean without its regional designation.

Because Guatemala is so close, the United States gets much of the finest Guatemalan coffees on the market. In general, any gourmet Guatemalan coffee you find at a specialty coffee shop is going to be a superb coffee. Guatemalan coffees are uniquely complex, flavorful and often stern. So, don't be afraid to experiment with different varieties of gourmet coffee from Guatemala. Just stay away from the lower-grade, low-grown cheap coffees produced and sold in huge volumes through the giant Guatemalan coffee exporters and you will most likely end up with a with an excellent gourmet coffee selection.

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