Found in a valley north of the Antigua region and south of Huehuetenango, Chimaltenango is a relatively new coffee growing region. In fact, in some places such as Finca Concepcion Buena Vista, coffee is the first crop to be cultivated. Rich in nutrients, the soil has lime and clay content, lending it a slightly acidic pH, giving rise to some outstanding coffee profiles. Unlike most coffee regions, Chimaltenango is quite dry. However, the area has abundant natural springs and coffee-friendly microclimates where the trees not only survive but thrive.
The Guatemalan coffee grading system “defines the Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) grade to include coffee beans grown at elevations higher than 4,500 feet [1350 meters] above sea level, while the Hard Bean (HB) grade includes coffee beans grown between 4,000 feet and 5,000 feet [1300-1500 meters] above sea level.” The higher the elevation, the slower the growth and ripening, thus the denser the bean, rendering it of higher quality. The Chimaltenango region ranges between 1300-1700 MASL (4265-5578 feet above sea level), placing most of its coffees solidly in the SHB grade.