Global coffee is one of the worlds most important and traded commodity today, it is worth around $60 billion us dollars a year and Guatemalan coffee is one of the most recognized and preferred by the coffee lovers.
Coffee exports in Guatemala is a key factor for the economy, yet less than 10% of the coffee earnings in the world end up in countries where the coffee is grown and produced.
The coffee was brought by a Jesuit priest to Guatemala in the early 1700’s, and it was thought to be an ornamental plant for the gardens of convents in the country, and in particular in Antigua Guatemala city, it took over 50 years for the plant to be cultivated. In the mid 1800’s, Guatemala began exporting just a few hundreds of 120 pound sacks. All exported to the Europe.
The president of those years (Justo Rufino Barrios) enacted policies aimed to make coffee the a primary commodity in the Guatemala’s economy, by the 1880, coffee industry had 90% of all exports for Guatemala, behind it was sugar, bananas and other fruits.
The coffee produced in Guatemala is classified as ‘Arabica’, having almost 10% of the world wide production of this type of coffee, just behind Mexico(12%) and Colombia (35%). The Arabica coffee is known to have more taste and has more body.
Thanks to its micro-climate environments, variety of altitudes and volcanic soils, different coffee flavors are grown in many regions in the country. If you are traveling to Guatemala and if you are a coffee lover, perhaps you should start your ‘coffee taster journey’ in Antigua Guatemala, then taste Acatenango, Lake Atitlan Coffee and Huehuetenango coffee region.