About This Coffee
La Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG) was created in 2006 in response to the coffee crisis at the start of the century. The aim of the organization is to develop programs with more impact on the coffee producing communities, to get better access to the international coffee market and to consolidate export logistics. The organization supports its member organizations and producers with technical support, crop diversification programs, education about integrated farming and support with Organic and Fairtrade certification.
COMAL (Asociación Civil Comercializadora Maya Alternativa) has been at the forefront of gender equity in coffee production. Nearly 1/2 of COMAL's members are women and the cooperative has created a number of programs to support female producers. One such program is behind our Café de Mujeres Fully washed Organic coffee.
While coffee is the main cash crop for these producers, they also cultivate honey, fruit trees and subsistence crops like maize and beans. They also plant trees to preserve biodiversity and protect reserves of groundwater as well as a variety of flowers and plants that attract bees and increase their honey production.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
Each producer processes and dries their own coffee on small patios. They all have their own small pulpers, fermentation tanks and washing systems. COMAL organizes the collection of dried parchment from members and delivers it to the FECCEG dry mill in Quetzaltenango. Here, the quality team analyzes each lot. Depending on the quality, it will either be kept separate and sold as a microlot or blended with other coffees from the same producer organization and quality group.
Strictly High Grown (SHG) specifies the altitude at which the coffee was grown. A coffee must be grown at 1,200 meters above sea level or higher to be considered SHG. The higher altitude and lower temperatures mean that the coffee fruit matures more slowly, creating a denser bean.
European Preparation (EP)
EP stands for European Preparation. EP beans are Screen 15+ with a low defect tolerance.
Coffee in Guatemala
Guatemala boasts a variety of growing regions and conditions that produce spectacular coffees. Today, the country is revered as a producer of some of the most flavorful and nuanced cups worldwide. We are proud to work with several exceptional in-country partners to bring these coffees to market.
The Guatemalan coffee industry experienced a major setback with the 2010 appearance of Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) in Latin America. The epidemic peaked in severity in 2012, and though CLR continues to affect some farms, Guatemala continues to produce high-quality, record-breaking coffees. In 2017, new and varied processing methods pushed prices at the Guatemalan Cup of Excellence contest to record highs.
The quality of coffee being produced in Guatemala is increasing, overall, due to the diversity of the industry’s producers. There are more and more small holder farmers producing exceptional coffee at high altitudes. Cooperatives are becoming more appealing to so many smallholders because they often offer farmers financing and other support for improving their farming and processing and are frequently able to offer higher prices for cherry than middlemen. Many cooperatives have initiated quality improvement training for farmer members and are becoming more adept at helping members market their coffee as specialty.