02 March, 2010


My appreciation for the coffees of Guatemala has grown immensely over the past 4 years. I have had the luxury of cupping some amazing coffees...mostly from Huehuetenango and Antigua. I'm inspired to do a cupping spree of Guats...and I recently have purchased a couple of Guats from two different area roasters. I'm not going to 'score' these coffees, but would like to publish cupping notes. And hopefully others will try them as well and share their thoughts. I think Guatemala is an extremely important origin on a roasters menu, not just because it's usually a prime component of their espresso blend, but because it is usually a good representative coffee for a roasters profile, their quality/philosophy in sourcing and a good overall 'control' coffee.

My perspective on tasting has shifted a bit in the past 6 months since not working for a roaster. I have almost exclusively been employed by a roaster over the past 15 years. I have found that this has limited(via my own laziness) my tasting of available origins... I'm not necessarily looking at that as a bad thing, but now that I make a pretty willful choice about who sourced & roasted (hopefully the same person) my coffee I'm excited by the myriad of options I actually have. I intend on ordering some coffees from Europe as well, and I have been told that transport can affect quality...I'll bear that in mind, but I'd like to get a taste for what the world has to offer as they translate what is being produced by Guatemalan coffee farmers on small estates and cooperatives.

Here is what I would like to taste (if I can get it mailed to me!) in no particular order:

Verve, Blue Bottle, Counter Culture, Lighthouse, Anodyne, Brown, La Boheme, Square Mile, Ancora, Terroir, Kickapoo, Metropolis, Stumptown, Herkimer, Peace...


  1. Another fun tasting experiment may be to cup Kickapoo, Peace, and Just Coffee guat's side by side. All should be of the same co-op origin as the are all members of cooperative coffees. Should be a great way to compare roast profile and roasting practices. (Kickapoo and Peace are drum and Just Coffee is Fluid air roasted.)

  2. Yah that would be cool...I'm also tempted to keep some variables static...like estate coffee, drum roaster, washed...

    The more likely end is that my list of roasters will grow and I'll keep tasting Guat until nucrop is available...

  3. i may have a chance to go to guatemala this summer with tj from kickapoo...

  4. Ryan,
    A question??
    Stumptown,Herkimer and Lighthouse are all roasted in the greater Seattle area I think??
    Are these the coffee brands that you are referencing or are you talking about something on a whole different "coffee connoisseur" language that I am not understanding??
    If it is the Seattle coffees let me know specifically the kind that you are interested in and I'll get some to send along with Jasper's belated B'day gift.
    Love, Mom

  5. They are the Seattle ones you are thinking about and not mystery jargon! I'm looking for each roasters Guatemala offering. If they offer more than one estate or coop from Gutemala ask the barista which one they recommend...thanks Mom!! (If you want to grab some from Javasti, that would be cool too, they use Batdof & Bronson, but I'm not sure that they sell whole bean... thank you!

  6. What do you think about the fact that Yemen is featured by both Lighthouse and Blue Bottle? Hasn't that been a non-contender for a while?

  7. I'll post some thoughts on Yemen soon! It is the birthplace of coffee but is it very good coffee??

  8. I was gonna offer what Mom already offered...though realistically I could probably only send Stumptown right now...if you don't see it in the mail soon let me know and i'll pick some up.