The Coffee Buyer’s Guide to Guatemala

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CBG Production

CBG 2.07 Recap and Glossary


  • The vast majority of Guatemalan coffee comes from smallholder farmers, growing coffee at high altitudes under shade
  • Most farmers sell their cherry to co-operatives or private wet mills for processing, often via intermediaries called ‘coyotes. In more remote areas, processing on the farm is more common.
  • Most farmers in Guatemala grow the traditional varieties Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, and Pache.
  • Guatemala was hit hard by leaf rust in 2012, and modern rust-resistant varieties have become more common since then, but many farmers can’t afford to plant new seedlings and so rely on older trees.
  • Typica and Bourbon are prized for their cup quality but are susceptible to disease and produce low yields
  • Dwarf varieties derived from Typica and Bourbon grown in Guatemala include Caturra, Catuai, Pacas, and two variants of Pache, which originated in Guatemala. Dwarf varieties produce higher yields and are less prone to wind damage.
  • Modern rust-resistant hybrids found in Guatemala include Catimors, Sarchimors, and Castillo. The Catimor variety Anacafé 14 was created in Guatemala in 2014.
  • Guatemala also took part in a program with other Central American countries to develop F1 hybrids. These hybrids perform well in Guatemala but uptake is low so far because of the expense of planting them.
  • A small amount of Robusta is grown in Guatemala, but Robusta rootstock is widely used for grafting, to give plants resistance to nematodes.


New Words

Agroforestry  The intentional integration of trees and shrubs into a farming system. On coffee farms, trees in an agroforestry system may be used to provide shade, fix nitrogen in the soil, or to produce other products such as timber or fruit.

Beneficio  A term used in Latin America to mean the wet mill

Grafting  The practice of attaching the stem of one plant (called the scion) onto the roots of another (called the rootstock),