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.

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