The Famous Guatemala Antigua Coffee
By Chris Cornel
In the high altitudes of lies the origin of Antigua Coffee. This perfectly situated growing land is 3000 feet above sea level and located between three volcanoes. These volcanoes have indirectly contributed to the minerals and nutrients of the land around them, making them the ideal place to cultivate coffee plants. The taste of the coffee is smooth, mild and the flavor is balanced by the chocolaty touch present in the coffee. Some of the coffee lovers find the bitterness of this coffee a bit too high but most of them are fascinated by the fragrance of cocoa in it.
The coffee plants are grown in shades on high altitude in the Guatemalan Highlands. Large trees provide shade to the coffee plants and prolong the period of growth. The plants will slowly mature underneath the natural shade and it adds flavor and richness to the coffee beans produced. The climate greatly affects the harvesting and production as the harvesters are still implementing traditional farming methods. The price of this coffee fluctuates depending on the weather and quality of the beans. Farmers are dedicated and they will not compromise their quality for quantity.
After hand picking out the matured beans from the estates,
they are roasted to full flavor perfection according to the right temperature for different roasts. Roasted coffee is available in medium to dark roasts. The processes of making coffee are carefully controlled in order to produce high graded beans and people in are still dedicated to their traditional ways to produce coffee. Due to superb quality control, Antigua Coffee is considered as very rare in the market because their production is limited.
They best way to brew this coffee is by using the coffee press method, accompanied by biscotti or croissants to further bring out the cocoa flavor in it. It ends with a smoky flavor with a hint of spiciness, making it so special yet perfect for rainy days. This coffee has a velvety color and is said to be one of the best coffees in the world. It is also commonly used in espresso blends for those who prefer a thicker texture.
In a nutshell, the traditional farming methods, ideal climate and location, as well as fertile soil have contributed to the making of the famous Antigua Coffee. It has been acclaimed by large prominent companies and Starbucks is one of them. Give this coffee a try, and let the strong, bold flavor surprise your taste buds!
Publicado por Jack en 08:12
Top-5 Hotels In Guatemala
By Timothy Scott
By Timothy Scott, Editor of Luxury Latin America
Guatemala has long been a favorite destination for intrepid adventurers and students looking to improve their Spanish. A few notable luxury hotels have opened up in the past few years, however, and some existing hotels have brought their operations up a few notches. Upscale travelers now have somewhere fancy to lay their head in the four main Guatemalan destinations.
Located on a steep hillside on the shores of Lake Peten, this is the best hotel near the Maya ruins of Tikal. As a part of director Francis Ford Coppola's triumvirate of hotels (the other two are in Belize), La Lancha is a stylish and comfortable set of bungalows with calming views and a sideshow of toucans and howler monkeys. The restaurant here far exceeds any other in the area and the choices of excursions can keep any budding explorer busy for days.
With a panoramic view of dramatic Lake Atitlan, ringed by extinct volcanoes, Casa Palopo is the kind of hotel that makes you want to sit in one spot for hours, the scenery washing away all your cares. The level of artistic sophistication in this intimate hideaway is far beyond the norm for and the architecture takes full advantage of the vistas. The owner also oversees two of the best restaurants in the capital city, so guests enjoy cuisine that goes far beyond tortillas and beans. The outstanding service, impeccable attention to detail, and "room with a view" location all combine to make for a true luxury experience.
Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
For many years this was the only upscale hotel in the country aimed at leisure travelers and it is still the premier address in Antigua. With part of it built upon a convent founded in 1542, sections range from atmospheric ruins to gilded gold finery. Religious artifacts are around every turn, from the grand walkway entrance to the hallways leading
to guestrooms. A saint statue here, and alter there, and angels smiling down from the heavy rafters above. Suites are far superior to the regular rooms, and are a good value, but all rooms have a fireplace. The cuisine, which goes from basic steaks to foie gras and truffles, gets high marks from guests and local socialites and it's hard to top the historic ambiance by candlelight at night. With a large pool and two bars, this is the spot for guests looking for a big hotel experience.
El Convento Boutique Hotel
This inviting small hotel is the newest luxury offering in the center of colonial city Antigua. Six junior suites, six suites and two master suites have similar views: carved wooden doors face the inner courtyard while glass doors open to a private outside garden. All the suites have conical fireplaces and duvets on comfortable mattresses. The long list of amenities includes soft robes, a towel heater, L'Occitane toiletries, a flat screen TV, music that can be piped into the bedroom and bath, and an iPod dock. A rectangular lap pool is in a central courtyard, near the upscale Sitz restaurant. For those put off by the size and crowds of Casa Santo Domingo, this is the top choice in Antiqua.
Vista Real City
Nestled on a hillside overlooking City, the Vista Real stands above the competition in more ways than one. Although the location is removed from the center, this allows it to be a quiet and calm retreat with upscale service and amenities. From the sitdown reception with moist washcloth to the recently renovated suites with plush mattresses and duvets, this hotel piles on the pampering. The continually groomed grounds provide plenty of green walking space outside, a crescent pool is surrounded by gardens, and La Ventana restaurant is one of the most elegant spaces in town. With its strong sense of place and the feel of a hillside retreat, this is the best choice in the capital.
Timothy Scott is editor of Luxury Latin America, a guide to the best hotels and tours in Mexico, Central America, and South America. To see full reviews, go to the Guatemala Luxury Section
Publicado por Jack en 08:11
Country Diary: Tikal, Guatemala
It's the sound of the howler monkeys that first strikes you. Even before the low clouds relinquish their hold on the enormous limestone pyramids for which Tikal is famous, the monkeys roar a salutation to the day. The males' song is a formidable coarse howl that seems way out of proportion to the child-sized, black primate itself and suggests to me the imminent arrival of a Tyrannosaurus rex, or some other primeval monster.
It was a sound that made it difficult to appreciate that you were also in a place where human ingenuity has achieved worldwide celebrity. The ruins at Tikal date from as early as 900BC, but the site is best known for structures originating at the time of Christ, and which subsequently flourished into one of the largest, most impressive human settlements in the Americas.
At its height, in the mid-eighth century AD, Tikal was a city of 100,000 spread across 30 sq km. From the summit of a building erected in that period known
as Temple IV, a towering stone pyramid rising 65 meters towards the heavens, you can easily imagine its extent. At least you are not distracted by the clutter of the modern world, because as far as the eye can see the only structures visible are pre-Columbian and the rest is rain forest.
Tikal is one of those unforgettable locations where breathtaking human riches converge with nature's own. I have to confess I was as awed by the flocks of parrots, toucans and dazzling eye spots in the tails of wild turkeys as I was by Mayan glyphs or elaborately carved stelae of a royal dynasty memorably known as Jaguar's Paw. Yet simultaneous with a sense of biodiversity run wild, you cannot help but reflect that Tikal is also a monument to environmental ruin. Deforestation and - even more compelling - climate change laid waste to Mayan agriculture, forcing Tikal's abandonment 11 centuries ago. With its passing, the rain forest rose once more to engulf it.
Publicado por Jack en 08:11