Guatemala is one of those countries that challenges my geographical knowledge. In my mind, it sits in the same, vaguely defined "South American" zone occupied by places like Guyana and Nicaragua – although my brain still refuses to believe that Suriname isn't in Asia somewhere.
In fact, Guatemala is in the middle of Central America – that relatively narrow ribbon that connects North and South, and divides the Caribbean from the Pacific. Unsurprising, then, that it's prime coffee-growing territory.
Cherizena's Fairtrade Guatamalan comes from their 'speciality' range of coffees – these are pricier than their standard offerings (£4.50 for a 115g pack, in this instance) so the question inevitably becomes, is it worth the premium?
The grounds have a rich and fruity aroma with red cherries, and a hint of over-ripened oranges with a touch of polished wood underneath.
Brewed, the aroma remains broadly the same, but a slightly more acidic character comes through.
Given the richness of the aroma, and the darkness of the grounds, the flavour is surprisingly mild and light-bodied; gently sweet and lightly fruity at the start, slowly joined by a delicate acidity and a softly tannic finish that makes for a very refreshing drink – there's something almost tea-like about it.
Beautifully balanced and refreshing, its worth every penny of that premium. Not, perhaps, one for the espresso junkie, but definitely one for my cupboard. 4 stars.
Many thanks to Cherizena for this sample.
This review was originally published 17th April, 2014. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.