Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Few Coffees of Guatemala

One of the most profitable exports of Guatemala is coffee. In fact, I've read that Guatemaltecos don't drink real coffee here, and instead drink instant coffee, because it's more profitable for them to sell the real stuff and suffer with the instant. I think I get it. I mean, if you could sell a pound of coffee for $10, you could buy a lot more instant coffee with that!

We have been trying various local coffees since we got here, searching for one we love. This is not only in the cafes, but also at home in our percolator. There are sooooooo many coffees to choose from! Not only are there dozens of ground and whole bean coffees in the grocery stores, but also sold by vendors on Santander, sold by traveling coffee guys who carry small stoppered glass jars of their beans, and sold by the coffee shops too.

Here are the results of our first four ground coffee samplings!

The first bag we bought was from Chalo's. It cost Q39.25 for 350 grams, or about $6.38 Canadian. It wasn't the cheapest nor the most expensive on the shelf. I thought it was a bit skunky at first but I got used to it. Bert didn't like it but when we bought a second different bag when this bag was done, he preferred this one.
Our first sample of Guatemalan coffee. Not good. :(
The second bag we purchased was Q50 for 460 grams, or about $8.09 Canadian. I thought it had an undertone of molasses. It was a bit stronger than the first, but I  liked the first one better. Bert -- not impressed. Made a nasty face.

The third bag was another one from Chalo's grocery. I went down in price to see if cheaper might be better. It only got Q26.25 ($4.25 Cdn) for 350 grams. It actually had a nice smell and tasted pretty good, but like a lot of Guatemalan coffees was very weak.

Not sure if I've been spoiled by Tim Hortons' Dark Roast, but I find a lot of coffee here is not strong enough for me. I need some kick! The plus side to mild coffee is that it tastes okay without milk or cream. In fact, Bert has stopped taking milk in his coffee altogether. It's a good thing, as most restaurants here charge an extra Q2 for milk.

Our fourth bag we bought at the coffee shop that serves the best coffee in town -- Cafe Loco! (Although Crossroads Cafe is a close second.) This was the clear winner! We paid Q60 for 1 pound. That's about $9.75 Canadian. It was freshly ground on the spot by the lovely, friendly Korean boys at Cafe Loco. It's perfect: dark, rich, strong, and smooth.
Most awesome coffee we've found... so far. Thanks, Cafe Loco!
We've only been here two months now, so I know we have many more coffees to try. I think I may have a hard time getting Bert to agree to something new now that we've found one we like though!

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