Guatemala Cobán Santa Isabel Caturra
The emergence of beautiful coffees from Cobán is as unlikely as an ugly duckling becoming a swan. Until a few years ago, in the eyes of Guatemala’s coffee establishment, the mountainous region never even made a mark on the map. But farms like Santa Isabel, led by the intrepid Luis “Wicho” Valdes, are harnessing the very conditions thought to bar quality coffee production. Wicho and his workers calibrate processing styles in a veritable rainforest to make coffees bursting with tropical fruit. In making the best of what nature gave them, they have—like a fairy tale—reshaped our imagination. Digression The orderly rows of lush Caturra flourishing despite endless rain composes a landscape worthy of a modernist master: A multitude of shapes and colors foregrounded by a mesmerizing field of green.