with superb acidity and pleasant sweetness. Today there are nearly 400 members each cultivating on average 1-5 hectares of coffee. The associations’ Fairtrade and Organic certifications help producers add value to their coffees. They also help producers improve their agro-ecosystems, increase biodiversity and manage their farms in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Ripe, red cherry is selectively handpicked by producers. Since farms are small, most labor is done by the family, but some seasonal laborers may be hired to help harvest only ripe cherry. Coffee is typically processed on the farm. Ripe cherry is pulped, typically on a drum pulper, and placed in bags or buckets to ferment. Fermentation time varies according to temperature and altitude but producers typically ferment coffee until mucilage can be easily removed. Parchment is then washed in clean water and laid on patios or parabolic beds to sun-dry. Parchment is turned frequently to ensure even drying.
Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) 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 SHB. The higher altitude and lower temperatures mean that the coffee fruit matures more slowly, creating a denser bean. EP stands for European Preparation. EP beans are Screen 15+ with a low defect tolerance. Guatemala boasts a variety of growing regions and conditions that produce spectacular coffees. Today, the country is revered as a producer of some of the most flavorful and nuanced cups worldwide.