Guatemala Santa Rosalia

July 2014

Coffee is to Guatemala as wine is to Australia. In Australia we all have our favourite wine regions such as the Barossa Valley, the Hunter, and McLaren Vale and most of us have a general understanding of which regions we tend to gravitate towards when looking over a wine list.


Over the last ten years, coffee has been heading in the same direction and today we are offering the Santa Rosalia as a chance for you to start making your own decisions on which coffee regions you prefer in Guatemala. 

There are eight coffee producing regions in Guatemala and most of the coffee being sold in Australia as a single origin has been from the Huehuetenango (pronounced way-way-te-nango) highlands. Last year’s Guatemalan Coffee of the Month was brought from Las Macadamias farm in this area. The coffee had a very high, pronounced acidity, which is common for Huehuetenago.

Santa Rosalia is from the region known as San Marcos, which is located on the North Pacific Coast of Guatemala. The coffee here tends to have a more rounded cup profile. The acidity is a little lower and the body is bigger to produce a very well balanced coffee. Over the last four years, the coffee from San Marcos has been punching much higher than its traditional weight and more and more specialty coffee roasters are adding San Marcos to their menus. We have a good feeling about San Marcos. The coffee’s body, balance, flavour and acidity are ideal for our espresso based Australian market and I am sure we will be seeing more and more San Marcos coffees on our shores in the years to come.

Santa Rosalia is a very important and remote subsection of a major farm in the area called Manila. This subsection is made up of the highest mountain peaks where coffee grows in San Marcos so we are certainly starting at the top on this one! The farm has very steep topography and the coffee only grows on the side of the slopes that receive the morning sunshine. The higher altitude delivers a greater amount of complexity of flavours as a result of the slower ripening process of the coffee cherry. Much attention is placed on pickingonly the ripe, very red cherries which deliver the finest results in the cup. As with wine, ripe fruit selection means the world in delivering the most sweetness and development in the cup.

So please enjoy this taste of San Marcos and see how you feel about this compared to the Huehuetenangotastes of before. Are you team San Marcos? Or team Huehuetenango?


Our Guest Taster:



of 'Kafeine' Balmain, Sydney

Here at Campos HQ we insist on training for all the baristas in our network. The sessions are primarily one on one, which means we can really get stuck into the details. Most sessions tend towards simple fine tuning of existing skills, but sometimes we have a borderline case where the barista’s skills are very basic and in need of serious focus and attention. During these sessions, things get pretty intense and the barista can either choose the easy way and bow out, or they can apply themselves 100% to the systems and techniques and work very very hard to bring themselves up to speed.

Lee showed up 5 years ago and did the latter. One day, he decided coffee was his passion. Coffee with Campos in particular was his passion. So he bought a cafe in Balmain with Campos Coffee trained baristas, left his day job in banking and began his life in specialty coffee. He applied himself totally to his new craft and spent hours behind the machine practicing and bringing himself up to speed. Now Lee and his team of dedicated baristas have one of the most consistent operations in our network. 

The recently renovated cafe is named Kafeine and is located at 260 Darling St in Balmain, Sydney. The design is fantastic, so is the coffee, so is the food, and so is Lee.

The Coffee

Country Of Origin Guatemala
Farmer Jose Fernando Valdes
Region San Marcos
Elevation 1515-1,666m
Varietal Bourbon, Caturra
Processing Washed
Dry Aroma Dark Chocolate, toffee, cherry, berries
Wet Aroma Malty, honey

The Cup

Acidity Rounded, grape and apple acidity
Body Thick and solid
Flavours Honey, nougat, buttery, milk chocolate molasses
Mouthfeel Velvety and smooth, long lasting, pleasant