In many places in the world, coffee grows in volcanic soil. Here in the Huehuetenango region in the western highlands of Guatemala, that is not the case. Located near Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America, currents of hot air sweep up from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, intercepting the colder air flowing down the mountain and protecting the region from frost. This phenomenon, along with natural shade from the highland jungles, provides the perfect growing environment, allowing coffee cultivation as high as 2,000 meters.
Coffees from Huehuetenango (pronounced “way-way-ten-an-go”) present a fruitier profile than other most other Guatemalan regions. Some speculate that this is due to how high producers stack their beans on the drying patios. This common practice may not be the most efficient way to dry the coffees, but the Huehue profile is distinctive.