Founded in 1967
Comprised of 210 members
1500-1800 meters above sea level
Arabica – Typica, Bourbon, Caturra,Márago
Bright acidity, full body, w/ dark chocolate, sweet berry and citric flavors
Located in the remote western Guatemalan town of Jacaltenango, Coop Rio Azul has 210 members, 43 of whom are women. All members of the cooperative are of the Mayan group Jacaltec, also commonly called Pobp’ al Ti’ or Popti people. Founded in 1967, the cooperative has a long history of producing some of the best coffee exported under the famed “Huehuetenango” mark. The members of Rio Azul all live no more than a 1.5 hour walk to the wet mill in Jacaltenango. This allows the cooperative complete control over several stages of the quality process. Coffee is picked by members until early afternoon and then delivered in cherry form to the mill each afternoon. The coffee is de-pulped, fermented and washed at the centralized wet-mill and then spread out to sun-dry on the adjacent patios. The parchment is stored in their warehouse awaiting export. As the shipping day approaches the coffee is transferred to Guatemala City for final processing and export preparation in an organic dry mill. Due to the careful attention given each step of the way – from farmer to final processing – and the excellent growing conditions in this area, Rio Azul coffee comes in consistently pungent dark chocolate aromas, sweet, citric acidity and a long, lingering finish of delicately balanced flavors. Rio Azul farmers work hard to maintain these high standards. Collectively – they strive to become more financially sustainable and self-sufficient as a cooperative and to provide members with greater technical assistance to improve yields and improve coffee and shade tree management. Coop Coffee first “discovered” Rio Azul following a roaster / producer exchange in Quetzaltenango in 2005. Timing was perfect as Rio Azul was undergoing its own organizational restructuring and looking for commercial clients interested in trading fair and direct. We imported our first container of Rio Azul coffee in 2006 and have been savoring our allocated, annual container-loads of their fine coffee ever since!