Review: Atlas Coffee Club Guatemala

Written by:
Claire Iverson
Photography By:
Atlas Coffee Club

Around the world, over fifty countries grow coffee, and each has its own growing methods, varietals, and terroir. With its high altitude, mild, subtropical climate, and nutrient-dense volcanic soil, Guatemala produces some of the world’s most distinctive beans. And Atlas Coffee Club, with its focus on sourcing coffee from around the world, is one of the most effective ways to try them.

In the mid-1700s, Jesuit missionaries introduced coffee to Guatemala. The plant, with its glossy, rubbery leaves, and cardinal-red cherries, was primarily used for decorative purposes.

Around this time, indigo was one of Guatemala’s biggest exports. However, in the late 19th century, the secret of making indigo became known to the world, leaving Guatemala without its historic monopoly. At this point, coffee became a much more important export, and a solution to Guatemala’s economic woes.

Today, Guatemala is the tenth largest producer of coffee in the world. Although Central American neighbors Nicaragua and Costa Rica produce great coffee, most roasters prize the high-quality Guatemalan peaberries, which represent the top five percent of beans. The country produces some of the world’s highest-grade arabica beans, with moderate acidity and full-bodied flavor, as well as distinctive notes of orange, lemon, and milk chocolate.

Review: Atlas Coffee Club Guatemalan Coffee

Atlas Coffee Club Subscription Guatemala Coffee

Photo by Claire Iverson

Name: Guatemala: San Victor

Roaster: Atlas Coffee Club, Austin, TX
Roast: Medium
Region: Los Verdes
Process: Washed
Elevation: 1300-1600 Meters
Roasting Date: 8/3/2020
Consumption Date: 8/13/2020
Recommended Preparation Method: Drip Machine
Utilized Preparation Method: Single-Cup Dripper
Bag Design: Orange, blue, yellow, red, and green stripes are woven together in X and diamond shapes

Atlas Coffee Club’s Guatemalan Coffee: Aroma

Atlas Coffee Club Subscription Guatemala Coffee Postcard Photo by Claire Iverson[/caption]

My bag of Guatemalan coffee came in a mini-shoebox-sized box, decorated with the words ‘Travel The World Of Coffee.’

I wanted to go about the tasting session with patience and in an organized manner. But upon opening the box to retrieve my bag of coffee, my sweet tooth commandeered my body. I needed to get more than a whiff of that sweet, luxurious smelling coffee.

I quickly unrolled the bag and inhaled deeply. The beans smelled like banana foster and caramelized sugar. It was heavenly.

Upon grinding the beans with a Braun grinder, I got notes of chocolate and nuts.

I used my dad’s red plastic dripper and paper filters to hold the grounds. As I poured water over the grounds, I got baker’s chocolate. With my eyes closed, I felt like I was standing in a chocolate shop.

Atlas Coffee Club’s Guatemalan Coffee: Tasting Notes

Atlas Coffee Club Subscription Guatemala Coffee BagsPhoto by Claire Iverson[/caption]

Once my cup was filled to the brim with coffee, I tossed the filter paper and grounds into the compost, rinsed the dripper, and took to the couch to taste the coffee.

My first sip of coffee tasted like honey. Savory honey.

For my second sip, I swished the coffee around in my mouth, sent it to the back of my mouth, and pressed my tongue on the roof of my mouth, giving me notes of cherry and nectarine.

The coffee’s light mouthfeel — possibly because I ground the beans into coarse grounds — and sweet fruity flavor reminded me of eating a butter-based cookie; the flavors beautifully danced over the tongue but didn’t last after swallowing.

The Bottom Line on Atlas Coffee Club’s Guatemalan Coffee

Atlas Coffee Club Subscription Guatemala Coffee BoxPhoto by Claire Iverson[/caption]

I enjoyed my San Victor Guatemalan Coffee plain, free of milk or sweetener, and paired it with a double-chocolate muffin. It would also pair well with a fruity scone or toast-with-jam.

And take your time with this one. It’s meant to be light, bright, and candied, and it needs attention and care. Blend in batches, pour the water over the grounds slowly, and drink within the hour.

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