Guatemala Antigua is Guatemala’s finest coffee, grown in the central highlands west of the old capital, Antigua, from which it takes its name. According to the Guatemalan National Coffee Association, the coffee region of Antigua is an enclosed valley formed by three volcanoes: Agua, Acatenango and Fuego. Its terrain is flat and gently sloping, unlike the other volcanic coffee regions, which are more rugged. Most of the coffee trees are planted on the valley floor, already at 5,000 feet; and, some farmers also cultivate the slopes of the volcanoes up to 5,600 feet. The high pumice content in Antigua’s soil (from the active Fuego volcano) keeps the relative humidity steady at 65 percent year round, unlike the other coffee regions, where humidity varies significantly between dry and rainy seasons.
Like all of Guatemala’s specialty coffee, Antigua Coffee is cultivated under shade. In Antigua, shade is especially dense to protect the coffee trees from the region’s occasional frost during the chilly nights from December to February. The dense shade, combined with the region’s shallow water table, produces a distinct microclimate within the coffee fields.
At Armeno Coffee Roasters, we roast Guatemala Antigua coffee to a full city to bring out its sweet fruit notes and round balance. I spent some time this morning with Armeno Coffee Roaster, John Parks, as he roasted a batch of Guatemala Antigua. The pictures show the progression. The beans, green at first, and mostly uniform in size and shape were loaded into the roaster. We watched as they slowly roasted to a yellow, darkened to brown, reached first crack, and finished at a full city roast.
Guatemala Antigua is a perfect breakfast cup in a drip maker. If you prefer a fuller bodied coffee, the French press brings out more depth in this particular coffee.
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Armeno Coffee Roasters