Guatemalan Coffee Trivia

Double latté cup of Guatemalan Coffee

Here are some random facts, bits and trivia about Guatemalan coffee I have been collecting for a while:

  • The average price for high quality coffee in Guatemala is Q45/$5.50 per pound.
  • The average price of Q45/lb for high quality Guatemalan coffee is about 70% of a day’s minimum wage
  • Guatemala has several high altitude regions that produce high quality coffee; the best knowns regions are Antigua, Atitlán, Cobán and Huehuetenango.
  • Huehuetenango is the region in Guatemala is breaking new records of how much a pound of coffee should sell for.
  • Finca El Injerto, in Huehuetenango, won the Coffee Cup of Excellence in 2009.
  • Coffee was introduced around 1875 in Guatemala , to replace the cochineal dyes industry which succumbed to synthetic dyes of the industrial revolution.
  • Finca Filadelfia in La Antigua Guatemala was among the first coffee plantations in Guatemala.
  • Fernando, from Fernando’s Kaffee, pays over $2 per pound of coffee to be roasted to the coffee farmer, which is higher than the Fair Trade price. He even coins a new term: SmarTrade.
  • Small-production Guatemalan coffee growers can’t make ends meet, according to a post from AntiguaDailyPhoto’s guest contributor Laura McNamara.

There are plenty more facts and trivia about the Guatemalan Coffee for sure. Please, spill your coffee beans facts and trivia in the comment section. We want to know!

© 2009 – 2017, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Excellent info!! So wait, Kaffee Fernando’s pays $2 more per pound of coffee? Yet another reason to love my fav coffee shop in LAG!!

    • Fernando pays $2/lb or a little over that directly to the coffee farmer; that’s higher than the “Fair” Trade price.

  • Most interesting information!!! Love the picture too!!! Ok, craving coffee now, ;O) ;O) ;O)

  • Kathy

    Any advice on good places to buy real Fair Trade Guatemalan coffee in the US? Or any websites?

  • Delicious photo! I want some yummy coffee, too!

  • Eric

    @Rudy, I keep trying to inhale my computer screen. Stop this at once ! Ja-ja-ja-ja
    @ Kathy – usually, I stuff my backpack with coffee that I pick up in person from Santiago Atitlan (and, of course, Fernando). On the sad day that I run out, I order from Dean’s Beans here in the US – they have a blend of coffee (Birdwatchers’ blend, I think they call it) that is half from Santiago Atitlan, half from Chiapas, Mexico. They have a good website, and I think they pay a little more than the ‘fair trade’ price. I met Dean years ago, he is quite the character, and very sincere in his multitudinous efforts to help small farmers and their families. I have also just discovered, and they appear to be consistent in their efforts at fair prices, too, although I haven’t ordered anything from them yet.
    Anyone else have any ideas ? Anywhere better to order from ?
    Can Fernando send that delicious-looking cup to Boston, ahorita ?

  • Rudy, where did you get the price per pound for the premium quality stuff?


  • Now it worked… (the facebook button).
    “Inhale” “quality stuff” the google police might bust this joint soon (sorry, did I write “joint”?).

  • Guy

    Hi Rudy, here’s a few more for you…

    – As a private cultivator of coffee I could NEVER earn Fairtrade certification even if I paid my workers more than I paid myself. Only cooperatives qualify.
    – Fairtrade coffee is mainly ‘C’ (commodity) grade coffee, the kind whose price would otherwise be set by the London and New York markets. Guatemala produces very little C grade coffee as is evidenced by the average price in your first bullet.
    – Gourmet coffee usually attracts a higher price than Fairtrade, so many certified cooperatives in Central America sell as much as they can at the gourmet price and then bag up all the rubbish that’s left as ‘Fairtrade’. This is called hedging.
    – Others use the premium paid by Fairtrade to develop land that is at best marginal for coffee production and often thereby contribute to environmental damage.
    – I wonder whether the wages Fernando pays are as high RELATIVE to the price he can get for his coffee compared to those paid by Faitrade cooperatives. However, as I’ve said these are nearly irrelevant in Guatemala and I suspect that all consumer labelling which only takes into account the ethical dimension and not also the quality dimension is highly misleading.

    • @Guy, thanks for all the wonderful information regarding coffee. I learnt a lot today! 🙂

  • You lucky! It is 10 dollars per cup in Moscow!

  • And the sort of coffee called Guatemala Antigua in Coffee Bean in Moscow costs 6 USD per 100 gram

  • Guy

    I saw a Spanish TV programme a couple of years ago in which a Starbucks employee claimed that ‘Guatemala Antigua’ came from Antigua Guatemala…but this cannot be the case, at least not all of it, because Antigua simply doesn’t produce enough coffee annually to supply all of the branches over the world with this Guatemala own-brand coffee. This is one of the reasons that the authorities here wish to set up a ‘DOC’ style denomination system to protect the identity of specific coffee-growing regions in Guatemala.