Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bogus Beans

Anacafe, Guatemala's coffee growers' association, is to produce a Coffee Atlas, which will use satellite mapping, soil analysis and weather records to establish stricter regional 'appellations'.

This may put an end to the practice of farmers from the high valleys between Acatenango and Fuego of selling their ripe green beans as 'gourmet' grade coffee from Antigua. Some 100,000 60-kg bags of coffee were sold as 'Antigua' last year, about double the 50,000 bags actually produced there. (Starbucks sells bags of 'Antigua' in the UK, so you have to wonder...)

Whatever the rights and wrongs of labelling, there's no particular reason that beans grown on the skirts of the Acatenango volcano should be inferior to those cultivated down in the Panchoy, although Antigua's coffee is justly famous for its chocolatey flavour.

1 comment:

scott said...

I've often wondered how accurate/honest those labels are. The irony is, that while trading on the well-known Antigua brand, coffees from Huehue, the Ixil triangle, and Coban frequently rate higher than those from Antigua--at least in the last few years.