Belize: Central American High Mountain Coffee Culture Arrives!
The Guava Limb Cafe brings Central American High Mountain Coffee Culture to Belize!
The young country of Belize has slowly been coming into its own as we mature as a society and Micro-enterprises have been popping up in some of the far-flung, less trafficked areas of The Jewel. Slowly building a name around Chocolate, Belizean entrepreneurs have recently begun producing commercial grade organic coffee.
Despite having retail variety ground coffee for quite a while, it's just something that as a culture we haven't embraced. Luckily for us, our neighbors in Guatemala have been in the business for quite a long time and a cool little company known as 12 Onzas recently came to our very own Guava Limb Cafe to impart some caffeinated wisdom and train our very own upcoming Belizean baristas.
What is a BARISTA you say? According to The Spruce it's defined as;
Definition: A barista is a person who prepares and (also, generally) serves espresso-based coffee drinks. The term barista is also often applied to coffee shop employees who prepare both espresso and coffee drinks. Although the term barista technically applies to someone who has been professionally trained in preparing espresso, it may also be used to describe anyone with a high level of skill in making espresso shots and espresso drinks (such as lattes and cappuccinos).
12 Onzas was founded in 2016 by a 4th generation Coffee Farmer. That's 4 generations of mastering the art of growing, picking, roasting, grinding and preparing coffee, which science tells us is about 100 years of experience. Based out of Guatemala's capital city, the small team of five - originally just two - grow, roast, pack and prepare their own coffee in the traditional way. Their farm, Finca Concepcion Buena Vista in Chimaltenango Guatemala grows highland coffee, which is much sought after, for the higher the altitude the coffee is grown, the more flavorful the bean, and in turn, the cup will be.
12 Onzas aims to preserve the quality of coffee and coffee shops, and is what we like to call a cool company; cool because they value sustainability and community just as we do. They are part of FUNCAFE, which holds an annual event where each participating coffee shop donates an amount for each cup of coffee it sells. 12 Onzas decided to donate Q12 and FUNCAFÉ collects the total donations for schools and teaching material in the different coffee regions in Guatemala. 12 Onzas also made a generous contribution to the community that Finca Concepcion Buena Vista resides in, by giving a part of their farmland so a community school and clinic could be built.
The training at Guava Limb included everything from identifying quality beans to the precise science behind getting the milk to foam just right. They were taught how to grind the espresso beans precisely and exactly how long to brew a cup so the flavor profile is just right.
Could some of that coffee culture be brewing in Belize? It'd certainly be cool if it were! 😉
The Guava Limb Cafe has certainly caught a case of coffee fever, and we're sure many others will be soon to follow!