Great weather, warm and friendly people, and excellent food. Can I just stay and live here in Guatemala? What could make coffee farming so difficult? Actually, a lot. While, coffee grows in some of the most beautiful and tropical places on earth, look a bit closer and you'll find many sources of stress in managing a coffee farm. Coffee farming is a delicate art that takes years to master. I've witnessed the rush to transport freshly picked coffee cherries from the fields to the processing station with only a 24-hour time limit before fermentation starts. It takes a massive supply of water to wash coffee, separate the heavy (higher quality) beans from the lighter beans, and physically move the coffee beans throughout the processing station. What follows is the hand selection of the best beans while removing defective beans throughout the final processes.
It's important that buyers appreciate the effort that goes into producing great coffee and move beyond the idea that coffee is just a commodity. Coffee farming requires hard work with years of skill and knowledge often passed down through generations. So the next time you sit down to enjoy a great cup of coffee, think about the people who work diligently to grow and harvest the beans that you so deeply appreciate!