Guatemala’s Finest: The Story of Single Varietal Coffee

In the heart of Guatemala’s rich volcanic soils lies a world-class coffee that captivates the senses and delights the palate. This rare gem grows nearly wild, cherished for its distinct flavor and treasured by coffee connoisseurs worldwide. At the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie we’re proud to offer this exceptional single varietal coffee: Guatemalan Reserve.

Directly sourced through our commitment to direct trade via the Vashon Island Coffee Foundation, this coffee embodies the essence of Guatemala’s coffee-growing traditions. With a buttery texture and a rich red color, it exudes warmth and character, much like the resilient people who nurture it. But beyond its sensory appeal, this coffee carries a deeper story—a story of empowerment, sustainability, and resilience.

In 1982, our founder, Jim Stewart, established the Vashon Island Coffee Foundation—a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting small coffee farmers and communities around the world. From the highlands of Guatemala to the tiniest farms and largest plantations across the globe, Jim has witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by coffee farmers and the impact of modern agricultural practices on the land.

One of the foundation’s earliest projects was in Santiago Atitlán, a municipality nestled between three volcanoes—a region scarred by violence and turmoil during the Guatemalan Civil War. Here, amidst rugged mountains and wild landscapes, coffee farmers toil tirelessly to produce some of the finest coffees in the world.

Partnering with coffee exporter Alvarro DeSola, Jim embarked on a journey to empower these farmers, building lasting relationships based on trust and support. Through the foundation’s initiatives, farmers are encouraged to preserve old-growth trees, practice sustainable land stewardship, and uphold traditional methods of cultivation and processing.

By adhering to these principles, farmers to this day, not only produce coffee of the highest quality but also contribute to the preservation of Guatemala’s rich biodiversity. They are spared the ravages of slash-and-burn agriculture, embracing sustainable farming practices that ensure the long-term health of the land.

Jim is committed to offering just compensation to these farmers, enabling them to maintain their independence and livelihoods. Through Direct Trade, we ensure that farmers receive fair prices for their exceptional coffee, empowering them to invest in their communities and pursue a better future for themselves and their families.

In a world often dominated by headline-grabbing media and marketing hype, Jim’s quiet dedication to the coffee industry has made a profound impact on countless individuals across North America and beyond. His commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainable practices continues to shape the landscape of specialty coffee, ensuring that each cup tells a story of resilience, integrity, and unparalleled quality.

Experience Guatemala’s finest with our Guatemalan Reserve—a testament to the enduring legacy of tradition, craftsmanship, and the unwavering spirit of those who call these lands home.

The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie—where every sip is a journey.