Their Coffee Is World-Renowned. Now More Guatemalans Are Actually Drinking It

Via Anna-Catherine Brigida


On the rise of independent coffee shops in Guatemala…

The El Injerto coffee shop, with its silver stools, brick-and-chalkboard walls and The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming” playing softly in the background, resembles many cafes in Brooklyn or Los Angeles. But it is in Guatemala City, where paying $5 for a cup of coffee has not always been so common.

Coffee has been one of Guatemala’s most important export crops since at least the early 1800s. Only in the past few years have Guatemalans started to consume their own world-renowned product on a larger scale.

“The growth has been exponential in the last five to eight years,” says Evelio Francisco Alvarado, general manager of Guatemala’s National Coffee Association, known by its Spanish acronym, Anacafe. “This growth has stemmed from the increase in coffee shops not only in the capital, but also in other parts of the country.”

Read on at The Salt.

Rust Devastates Guatemala’s Prime Coffee Crop and Its Farmers

The fungus has spread through Central America at an alarming rate, causing crop losses of more than a billion dollars. And it is leaving hundreds of thousands unemployed in its wake.

In El Salvador, nearly three quarters of all coffee trees are infected with the fungus; in Costa Rica more than 60 percent are infected. And in Guatemala, coffee rust now covers 70 percent of the crop, resulting in the loss of at least 100,000 jobs and a 15 percent drop in coffee output over the last two years…

It’s due to climate change, Anzueto says. Temperatures are up and the fungus thrives in hot weather. It attacks the leaves of coffee trees, eventually choking off nutrients to the cherries that encase the beans. And now that it’s hotter, the rust has spread to higher altitudes, where it had rarely ventured before and where and Guatemala’s finest beans are grown.

To read the full article please visit The Salt.