Its harvest time in Central America.
From Mexico to Panama, coffee farmers are hard at work harvesting their crops. Some have had great seasons some are still recovering from leaf rust blighting their trees and others have had too much heat. In Guatemala just south of Mexico farmers are in full swing picking their coffee. Guatemala is home to many volcanoes and large rainforests. Just west of the capital Antigua contains preserved Spanish Colonial buildings. Lake Atitlan formed in a massive volcanic crater is surrounded by coffee fields and villages. Last year many of these coffee farms were inundated with volcanic ash due to huge eruptions in the area. However as you can see from the photos here much of the area is still displaying its natural beauty.
Most farms are learning to break their crop into lots which are kept separate during processing to see if each lot yields a distinctive flavour. Thus can be due to receiving more or less sun, the soil or shade conditions being different. Some roasters will enjoy one lot over another and will come back for that lot each year. This means the farmer can often achieve more return on the lot.
The sun is rising over young coffee trees in fields as we pass by in our vehicle. Here shade trees have been especially planted and kept pruned.
At La Esperanza Antigua Guatemala coffee is carefully laid out for drying.
Not all coffee cherries are red. Here is a lovely sack of yellow bourbon cherry
Lake Atitlan’s volcanoes can be seen in the background with coffee already being raked out onto the patio for drying.