Guatemala – Monte Rosa – “Laurina”

Volcan de Fuego erupted on the 3rd June 2018 causing immense devastation in the south west of Guatemala, a major coffee growing region famous for Antigua coffee.  As with typhoon Hudhud in south-eastern India a few years back, devastation occurs overnight. Livelihoods as well as life is lost in these immense natural disasters.

One thing led to another and we’ve now importing what has turned out to be some very fancy coffee from Guatemala, the proceeds of which will go towards a burns charity in Guatemala.

I say very fancy because it was completely unexpected. My friend Priscilla at DR Wakefield mentioned something about the coffee being Guatemala – Laurina. Now I see a lot of names in this business and didn’t give a second thought to the significance of what Priscilla had said.

It was only when we came to roast the coffee that I realised there was something different. The bean is more akin to a grain of rice. It transpires that the varietal is Bourbon Pointu, a coffee that originally came from La Reunion.

There are lots of other facts I didn’t know. It’s naturally low in caffeine, 0.6% v 1.2%  for other Arabicas. It was discovered circa 1771 and by 1800  Laurina coffee had reached its highest production of 4,000 tons. However by 1942 records show that only 200kg had been exported to France. Due to its low yield the world appeared to forget this coffee. It was however “re-discovered” in the 1980’s and today is grown by just a handful of connoisseur growers.

I was blown away by the fact that I’d never heard of this varietal in all the years I’ve been in this business and it makes you appreciate that you never stop learning in the coffee industry.

As for the coffee, we roasted it to a full medium colour which has resulted in a soft but full bodied and smooth coffee. Guatemala is one of our 6 featured countries as we celebrate 6 years of trading at our Castle Quay outlet on the Waterfront here in Jersey.

Purchase a 250g bag of Guatemalan coffee from our website here .

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