Situated just east of Guatemala City, the mountainous San Antonio region has been home to a robust coffee-growing tradition for a while now. This coffee has been a hidden gem, known only to discerning buyers for many years, but it is now being recognized more widely for its excellence. San Antonio is located in the mountain ranges of central Guatemala, and coffee is grown at altitudes between 1,500 and 1,800 meters. Rainfall is low, but the rich forests of the region help retain moisture and ensure good conditions for coffee growing, and the cold weather slows the maturation process. Producers in the region use modern agricultural practices “inherited” in many cases from the production of other crops, like tomatoes or chilies, in combination with farming techniques that have been family traditions for generations in San Antonio.*
Cooperative San Antonio is located in Guatemala’s rural mountainous north. They are a group of 40 indigenous producers who have banded together to pool equipment, resources and generations of knowledge. This coffee is the direct result of the San Antonio’s partnership with TG Lab; a research and development center in Guatemala City. TG Lab utilizes a scientific approach to track coffee crops year after year and helps farmers by implementing sustainable and repeatable techniques for farms all across Guatemala.**
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re cupping the Guatemala San Antonio, from Germack Coffee Roasting Company in Detroit, Michigan, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: San Antonio Huista, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Cooperative San Antonio
elevation: 900 – 1650 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Typica, Pache, Bourbon, Castilla, Anacafe14
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of the Guatemala San Antonio is that of a quintessential Guatemalan breakfast coffee. Citrus, red berries, cocoa powder, roasted nuts…
The flavor follows the nose – there are no surprises in the cup. This is a medium-bodied coffee with a a soft, but chewy mouthfeel. The dominant flavors are cocoa powder, molasses and earthy soil (the latter of which are the biggest contributors to its chewy mouthfeel). As the cup cools some light flavors of red berries and orange bitters appear, and roasted (burned) almonds mix with wood and earth through a bitter, astringent finish.
Overall, a pretty generic cup of coffee.
*content courtesy of Genuine Origin Coffee Project
**content courtesy of Germack Coffee Roasting Company
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.