Atlas Coffee Guatemala Huehuetenango Blend

By

Bryan Huynh

on July 16, 2024

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Sticking to the same blend of coffee every morning can get repetitive and boring. To switch things up, it is important to test out other coffee blends from all around the world! To start, have you ever tried the Guatemala Huehuetenango blend? If not, put it at the top of your to-do list because the experience is divine. Honestly, we're baffled why more people aren't talking about this java amalgam — it is liquid ambrosia! 

Beans grown in Guatemala are full-bodied, robust, and moderately acidic. The Guatemala Huehuetenango blend has noticeable cherry and chocolate notes, making it both a vibrant morning pick-me-up and nighttime dessert beverage. Check out our Coffee Club page to compare and read reviews of our favorite coffee clubs!

Coffee Background 

Guatemala is the #9 largest coffee growing countries in the world. Guatemala Huehuetenango Blend coffee comes from the region of Huehuetenango, pronounced as "Way-Way-Ten-Nang-Go". It comes from carefully selected local growers such as Finca El Paternal and Finca Nueva Palmira in the mountains of San Pedro Necta and La Libertad in the Guatemalan province of Huehuetenango. This shade-grown coffee is picked and taken to the mill, where it is sun-dried on a patio and placed in guardiolas, then divided by color through computer and density/size mechanically, resulting in a superb bright cup.

Can you name a coffee blend that is more versatile than a good Guatemalan coffee? This coffee is delicious at virtually any roast level and can be brewed in almost any manner, including cold brews, French presses, espressos, americanas, cappuccinos, and lattes. Choose a medium roast or lighter if you want a mild yet sharp cup. Choose a full city roast level or darker if you desire more dark chocolate/spice tones.

About Guatemala Huehuetenango Blend

Cupping Profile

  • Roast: Full City 
  • Body: Medium
  • Brightness: Balanced
  • Flavor Notes: Orange, Chocolate, Honeysuckle, Pistachio, Spices, Apricot, and Molasses 

Origin Information

  • Grower: Various smallholder farmers
  • Altitude: 1500-1900 masl
  • Soil: Volcanic soil, clay minerals
  • Region: Huehuetenango
  • Process: Fully washed and dried in the sun
  • Harvest: October - April
  • Varietals: Borbon, Typica, Carurra, Catuai
  • Certification: Fair Trade, Organic, Kosher

Cupping Scores

Published by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the average cupping score was 86/100 for this blend.

The Cupping Form allows you to note the following coffee flavor qualities: Fragrance/Aroma, Flavor, Aftertaste, Acidity, Body, Balance, Uniformity, Clean Cup, Sweetness, Defects, and Overall. These are evaluated on a 16-point scale indicating quality levels in quarter-point increments ranging from 6 to 9. To score your coffee, go through each specific flavor attribute and mark the points based on your own personal appraisal. 

Quality Scale

  • Good: 6-6:75
  • Very good: 7 - 7.75
  • Excellent: 8 - 8.75
  • Outstanding: 9 - 9.75

The Final Score is calculated by adding the individual scores for each of the key criteria in the "Total Score" box. Defects are then subtracted from the “Total Score” to arrive at a “Final Score.” The Scoring Key below has shown to be an effective technique to represent the range of coffee quality for the Final Score.

Total Score Quality Classification

  • Outstanding: 90-100
  • Excellent: 85-89.99
  • Very Good: 80-84.99
  • Good: <80

(Outstanding, excellent, and very good are considered Specialty coffee, while anything below that is not.)

Description

Huehuetenango is far away and one of the most distant locations in the country. This location also happens to be the highest in the country and the driest due to hot winds blowing up from the valley underneath it, drying everything off. In addition, the location is guarded from frost, which would ordinarily destroy coffee plantations, ensuring that they live and develop well in the mineral-rich soil. Huehuetenango coffee beans provide a light, buttery, clean, delightful cup of coffee with lingering floral aromas.

Tasting Notes: The cup is clean, creamy, and semi-sweet, with a bit of new crop winy acidity upfront. Fruitiness reminiscent of grape skin with "before 2nd crack" roast levels. Crisper, lighter tones blend with a semi-sweet, malty dark tone. We believed it would be best served in the medium roast range, but it will take lighter or darker roasts perfectly. Light roasts will have more brightness up front, making the winy element more lemony and the malty tones a touch drier with a sweeter edge. Darker roasts enhance the bittersweet malt tones, resulting in a heavier cup with a smoky edge. Excellent balance in the middle.

Roasting Notes: Roasts that are slightly two-toned, trick lighter roasts if you want an incredibly clean cup, anything really pale colored. Roasting points ranging from medium to dark were rather simple to achieve. The top develops a little shine as it approaches medium roast. Low to medium chaff.

What Are The Pros of This Coffee?

This coffee blend is produced in best growing conditions on the planet.

What Makes the Guatemala Huehuetenango Blend Special?

Guatemala is the life and soul of the party. Guatemalan coffee is frequently produced at high altitudes, as is the case with the Guatemala Huehuetenango, which means the coffee is more dynamic in terms of acidity (brightness) and tastes such as stone fruit, chocolate, and spice. In comparison, the flavor of coffee cultivated at lower elevations is more complex and earthy.

Huehuetenango’s Ideal Coffee Growing Weather and Elevation

Huehuetenango's subtropical highland climate — with its warm summers and mild winters — is ideal for growing coffee plants. For 11 out of 12 months, the temperature rarely dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit; nor does it climb above 75. The one outlier is January, when the mercury occasionally drops to the high 40s at night. Ideal pluvial and soil conditions also contribute to Huehuetenango's perfect coffee cultivation conditions. And at 6,237 feet above sea level, Huehuetenango enjoys a fruitfully high elevation. Generally speaking, plants rooted above 5,000 feet thrive because they get the right amount of sun at the right times.

Smart Notes: A Bit of Guatemala Coffee Trivia

Interestingly, coffee plants are not native to Guatemala or any part of South, Central, or North America. In fact, all coffee plants are indigenous to tropical African regions, including Sudan and Ethiopia. Jesuit missionaries introduced the crop to Guatemala in the 1700s. Initially, they were brought in solely for aesthetic purposes. By the mid-1800s, however, the country needed a new export because its garment-dyeing industry had collapsed due to the invention of synthetic dyes. To make up for lost GDP, farmers began harvesting coffee plants. Today, Guatemala is one of the world's top 10 java-producing countries in terms of both quality and volume.

About Huehuetenango: The Ideal Place To Grow Coffee

Huehuetenango sits in Guatemala's western highlands — on terrain originally occupied by the Mam peoples. It's about 270 kilometers from Guatemala City, and locals call it "Huehue." Huehuetenango means "place of the ancestors" in the area's indigenous language, and many people of Mam descent still live in the region. Many coffee companies use beans from Huehuetenango. But in our travels, we've found that the Guatemala Huehuetenango blend ranks among the most delicious.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an organic certified coffee bean, look no further! The Guatemala Huehuetenango Coffee Blend will surely show you a taste of what Guatemala is really like. This balanced brew provides a subtle, deep-toned cup with flavors of date, almond, baking chocolate, and lemon verbena. It boasts a rich, velvety texture, moderate, smooth acidity, and a long, almondy finish.

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About the Author

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh is a determined Product Tester & Writer. Being a coffee addict, it is only right that he mainly tests and reviews different coffee from around the world and coffee subscription services.

Bryan Huynh is a determined Product Tester & Writer. Being a coffee addict, it is only right that he mainly tests and reviews different coffee from around the world and coffee subscription services.