New Single-Origin Coffee from Guatemala

A beautiful brew from the coffee-growing “star” of Central America

Ari Weinzweig, CEO & Co-Founder of Zingerman’s 

Guatemala has an ancient and highly esteemed history that goes back to the advanced Mayan civilization dating to about 2000 BC. Coffee is a relatively recent arrival—serious commercial planting started in the middle of the 19th century, primarily with German immigrant planters, about a decade after the demise of a nation-state that almost no one around these parts will have heard of. The Federal Republic of Central America was founded in 1823—less that 50 years after the Declaration of Independence of the United States. The Federal Republic of Central America included what’s now Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Chiapas and Guatemala. It started with much the same spirit as the U.S., as a democratic nation state, but came apart in the course of its own Civil War in 1938.

A century and a half down the road of history, Guatemala consistently produces some of the most flavorful coffee one can find anywhere. And some of the best of the best comes from an estate in the northern part of the country called “Los Dos Socios.” Here’s what the crew at the Coffee Company said:

The name was selected by Don Concepcion Villatoro Matias to refer to “the two associates” involved in producing coffee at his farm: himself and God. His approach has been a simple one since purchasing the farm in 1990: plant bourbon and caturra varietals under shade trees, tend them well, and keep parcels separated to maintain unique lots. His farm in Huehuetenango is up high with a view of the mountains, making for a lovely place to live and work. Huehuetenango is one of Guatemala’s prized coffee-growing regions, and with coffees as vibrant and exciting as this one, it’s easy to see why.

The flavor profile we’re getting out of Los Dos Socios is a thing of beauty: juicy blackberry notes, some really rich caramel smoothness, and a zing of bright papaya all working together. It reminds us of the coffee cherries we snacked on while visiting farms in Guatemala last year—the juicy, sweet, and tangy combination of flavors is a great way to describe the taste of the fruit surrounding a coffee bean. As long days of farm visits wore on, it was neat to see farmers picking a few cherries and snacking – even before it’s processed, roasted, and brewed, coffee can provide small moments to enjoy. We hope you appreciate all the hard work that went into these beans, and that you enjoy your brews of Los Dos Socios all the more for it!

I’ve been loving the coffee for the last few weeks. It’s got… a wonderful combination of depth and delicacy, substance and subtlety, softness and strength. It is, as per what I wrote above about vision, a positive and sustainable testament to the work of Don Concepcion and his team. There is something special, hard to pin down, that makes it so eminently calming, comforting and enjoyable. It has what Christopher Alexander wrote in The Timeless Way of Building: “In our lives, this quality without a name is the most precious thing we ever have.”

Come by the Coffee Company, the Deli, or Roadhouse and grab a bag of beans or a cup to go. Or let us ship—you won’t see it on the site, but email [email protected] and let us know what you’d like. Better still, sign up for a Mail Order Coffee Subscription!

P.S. If you’re at the Roadshow getting coffee, say hi to Celia who is from Guatemala, and proudly thanked me for carrying “her coffee.” I thank her for her great work and for bringing our vision and values alive every day in such beautiful ways!

Excerpt from Ari’s weekly Top 5 E-Newsletter. To stay in-the-know about things that Ari is excited about in the Zingerman’s family, sign up here