Guatemalan Coban Coffee
Coban coffee beans make for a typical Central American coffee: It has a smooth taste, with a well-balanced body. Look for its rich, spicy flavour and light, fruity tang.
This is one of the first coffees that we roasted at Real Deal Roasters many years ago. It still remains a firm favourite with our customers. Guatemalan Coban coffee has stood the test of time and become a cornerstone of our business. It is an essential element in two of our most popular blends, Big Deal and the ubiquitous Morning Glory but it is also a great coffee on its own.
The Coban Region
Coban is a small city and region in north-central Guatemala. The area has been famous for its coffee plantations since the 19th century.
There are millions of acres of rain forest in Guatemala and their climatic influences give Cobán coffee an unmistakable and lovely acidity in its cup. (Of course in coffee descriptions “acidity” means that dry, bright, sometimes even sparkling sensation that a really high-quality coffee has. It does not mean something that will hurt your tummy!). Specialist coffee tasters describe Coban as being “marked by well balanced fresh fruit flavours in light roasts”. It also has a characteristic and well-defined chocolate taste when roasted dark. We like to roast it like this for our lovely Morning Glory coffee blend.
Coban displays typical Guatemalan coffee qualities which include an excellent body, usually full or medium, with a rich and spicy flavor and light fruity acidity, often floral,. it has a lively aroma with light winey notes. Complement with Costa Rican Tarrazu as in our delicious Big Deal blend.
Interesting….Coban, Coffee and the Germans
In the 1850s a German colony grew up in the Coban region of Guatemala, thanks to generous concessions granted by the government. The Germans had a very strong community and by far their most important commercial activity in was coffee plantations.
The Coban coffee industry flourished with the help of these German coffee growers towards the end of the 19th century. They built the Ferrocarril Verapaz railway which connected Coban city with Lake Izabal. This operated until 1963. and was a symbol of the wealth the coffee-growing region was generating.
By 1941 the Guatemalan government had expelled all Germans. This was due to pressure from the American government who saw them as enemies during WWII.
Today the once sizeable group of Germans has been assimilated into the general Guatemalan population, who now run the coffee plantations. Elements of German architecture can still be seen throughout Coban.
Old Coban in the 1890s