The Lab Report - Guatemala Huehuetenango

Welcome To The Lab Report! You can come here to find in-depth analysis's of our coffees, as well as other fun facts and information on preferred brewing methods, coffee history, and the science of coffee roasting. 


Producer: Volcafe Guatemala
Varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Typica
Process: Washed
Region: Huehuetenango
Altitude: 1500 - 1900 meters
Harvest Period: Jan - March

Meet the Terrain!

The Huehuetenango region is a high, mountainous region in Guatemala. The local geography creates the perfect environment for both growing and processing coffee. Nearby rivers and streams are used by farm and mill alike. 

As the wet season comes to an end, the area usually experiences warm dry winds that blow up into the mountains. This impacts the growth of coffee cherries and subsequently the flavor of the bean. Additionally, coffees grown at higher altitudes will be sweeter and more acidic, and this coffee is no exception. 

Why does a higher altitude make coffee sweeter?

This results from the wider range of temperatures the high altitude coffee tree will experience. A low altitude coffee tree will experience a temperature change each night as the sun goes down, but it will be nowhere as severe as the temperature drop felt by the high altitude tree. This change causes the coffee tree to produce more sugars, which it stores in the coffee cherry itself.

FUN FACT: Similar behavior has been identified in grapevines, and plays a role in the sweetness of the grape. The bigger the temperature drop, the sweeter the fruit!


How It's Roasted!

This bean is incredibly diverse, and that is why you can find it in both our medium and dark roast blends (The Backyard Blend & The Grandpa Blend). After roasting this bean countless different ways, it has shown itself to have strong chocolatey potential, alongside a soft plum-like fruitiness. This fruitiness is highlighted by a medium roast, whereas in a darker roast, the chocolate-like tones overpower it. However, both roast levels produce an incredibly pleasant and noticeably sweet tasting bean.

In our medium roast, look for an initial fruity vibrance that fades into a soft and rich aftertaste. Because of where the roast is stopped, the majority of this coffees acidity has been roasted out, allowing it a short punch that quickly fades into the background,

In our dark roast, you can expect a bold, dark flavor and a passive acidity that almost goes completely unnoticed. By the time this roast is stopped, all the sugars in the bean have begun to caramelize and the result is a satisfying flavor with a smooth finish. 

How To Brew!

When it comes to brewing, our Guatemalan bean has a lot of flavor potential that you don't want to miss out on! The sweetness in this bean is rich and syrupy, like brown sugar. This is much less noticeable in the dark roast, but still present. For this reason, you want to be cautious not to over extract your coffee grounds by brewing them too long. 

If using an espresso machine... Be extremely careful with your time. This bean has a medium acidity and will be quite sour if you are stop the shot too soon. On the other hand, going too long will immediately create an unpleasant aftertaste. For a double shot, aim for between 20-25 seconds of brew time.

If using a pour over or drip machine... Watch the relationship between your grind size and brew time. To do this, keep a consistent brew time and adjust your grind size until your cup of coffee is balanced. If it is too sour, grind the coffee finer. If it is too bitter, grind the coffee more coarsely. 

If using a french press... Before you brew your coffee, take a look at the metal filter on your french french. You want to grind your coffee as finely as you can without any getting through. Then for this coffee, I would use a 15/1 ratio of water to grounds. Brew for 4 minutes. If it is too sour, brew longer. If it is too bitter, brew for a shorter time period.

If you are using another type of brew method, please comment if you have any questions.

Thank you so much for your constant support and interest in the coffee community. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! 

You can buy our Guatemala Coffee Here: GUATEMALA HUEHUETENANGO




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