A Great Batch of Guatemala Todos Santos at the Coffee Company

Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews

Hats off to the women farmers of Todos Santos

If you’re looking for a special cup of coffee to grace your cup this month, the Coffee Company has a great one on feature. Guatemala Todos Santos is super terrific! Swing by and try it soon!

In the northwest corner of the country, not far from the border with the Mexican region of Chiapas, a bit north of the famous coffee capital of Huehuetenango, are the San Martin Cuchumatanes highlands of Guatemala. There, a group of nearly 300 women coffee farmers created the collective Mujeres Luchando por un Mejor Futuro, or “Women Fighting for a Better Future.” Thanks to the diligent work of Zingerman’s Coffee Company’s managing partner Steve Mangigian, and our broker in Guatemala, the farmers are getting a great deal of support to help them continually improve varietal cultivation, nursery care, fertilization, soil health, and processing. 

The coffee is grown at about 5000 feet above sea level, making for a cool, cloudy climate that enables a much later harvest than would happen at lower altitudes. You really can taste the difference! The Coffee Company crew says: It’s a supremely balanced and smooth coffee. It has a nice foundation of approachable flavors that remind us of toasted almond and cocoa plus a pop of jammy, apricot-like fruit.Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried the Todos Santos coffee in pretty much all the brew methods we offer at the Coffee Company. As an espresso (ask for it by name) it’s awesome—tart, bright, sweet, nutty, and, surprisingly, not a small bit savory. Brewed in the Syphon, it’s super smooth. The Chemex comes out bright, smooth, and chocolatey. My favorite is probably the Iced Pour Over, perfect for our newly arrived warmer weather!

Guatemala has an ancient history that goes back to the highly advanced Mayan civilization dating to about 2000 BC. Coffee is a relatively recent arrival—serious commercial planting started in the middle of the 19th century, primarily with German immigrant planters. A century and a half down the road of history, Guatemala consistently produces some of the most flavorful coffee one can find anywhere. And some of the best of the best comes from these farms in the northern part of the country. It has what architect and author Christopher Alexander was referencing when he wrote, “In our lives, this quality without a name is the most precious thing we ever have.”