Spring 2017 Guatemala Coffee Buying Trip

Day 3 is a travel day.

We were up at 5:00 to leave for Guatemala. Our 2017 Guatemala coffee buying trip began as we drove to Unitrade, a very nice mill that takes coffees from 800 different producers. The operators shared a detailed tour of the facility, and then we cupped. We cupped many heavy body coffees with nice cocoa and mild acidity. These Guatemalan coffees are much different than the Costas we’d been cupping.

Unitrade 2017 Guatemala Coffee Buying Cupping

We grabbed sandwiches and drive to Antigua. Here we visited Finca Bella Vista. Luis Pedro Zelaya greeted us with a big smile and showed us around. Then we toured and cupped, again😉!

Bella-Vista-Drying-patio 2017 Guatemala Coffee Buying Trip for Ladro Roasting

This was a marathon cupping session with huge tables of coffees to try. We came out 4 hours later after 4 tables with 40 samples on each!

coffee cupping table on 2017 Guatemala Coffee buying trip

This is the hard work that no one sees. It is really exhausting! By then it was 7:45 pm  and we headed to the beautiful city of Antigua and our hotel, Casa Santa Domingo.


OMG! This hotel is a renovated monastery from the 1500’s. It has sprawling grounds with gardens, an art gallery, a pool and a crypt! Words can’t describe the beauty here! After a 5 star dinner and wine, we crash in luxurious beds! I wish it was always this good at origin!

Guatemala Hotel Grounds and view


Day 4

We got up early to travel to San Martin. Nicholas Hammond is the owner of Finca Catalan. He is building a home on the farm for guests to stay at while visiting. His farm starts at 1850 meters and goes up to 2250 meters! Altitude creates opportunity for great coffees!

We hike the farm for hours and enjoy getting some needed exercise while seeing pickers harvesting amazing cherry. We meet many pickers and enjoy learning their stories.

Miguel, coffee picker at Finca Catalan on 2017 Guatemala coffee buying trip

Miguel, Finca Catalan.

Juan Carlos, coffee picker at Finca Catalan from 2017 Guatemala coffee buying trip for Ladro Roasting

Juan Carlos, Finca Catalan.

David, coffee picker at Finca Catalan on 2017 Guatemala coffee buying trip

David, Finca Catalan says coffee picking keeps him young. He was born in 1937.


After, we traveled three hours back to Guatemala City. Traffic–yuck!  –Jack Kelly