Coffee for Good: How Ethically Sourced Coffee Supports Growing Communities Around the World.

Coffee for Good: How Ethically Sourced Coffee Supports Growing Communities Around the World.

We're happy to introduce our first new coffee of 2024, Guatemala, Lake Atitlan. What makes this whole bean coffee from Guatemala so special? Of course, it makes a delicious cup of coffee but, it also supports a wonderful, growing cooperative community developing in the Lake Atitlan region.

Let’s chat about the coffee first. I find this coffee to be a beautiful representation of what makes Guatemalan coffee special! Like many Central American coffees, Guat's are known for their sweet, milk chocolate body, balanced with an earthy aroma and nuttiness.

This coffee delivers exactly that - a milk chocolate base, with a sweetness like honey. I taste a bright and complex citrus flavour, like grapefruit. I also detect some orange (subtle, more mandarin orange than big orange citrus). This is all balanced with an almond, nougat-like flavour. It could work as an espresso, but I highly recommend this one for drip or filter coffee to help tease out those subtle flavours. Check out our brew guide if you’re new to whole bean coffee. It’s fairly light so the extraction will be lower on espresso. If you do want to give it a try, I recommend grinding it a bit finer than usual to increase solubility.

This coffee is the work of a cooperative of farmers, meaning it's not just from one producer, but the result of many small producers (67, farming 165 hectares of land). Cooperatives are wonderful, as most of these small farmers do not have the resources to process their own product, and, because of the coop, have access to a centralized processing facility/washing station. We sourced it through our pals at Root 86 Coffee. At Smoking Gun Coffee, we love working with this style of producer!

Working with our importers, our financial investment goes directly into this cooperative, enabling all 67 of these farmers to improve, develop, and retain more value for their coffee. This is our first year working with this cooperative, and my intention is for this to be an ongoing relationship, investing in this program year after year. Aside from the delightful coffee, I also love what naturally trickles out from this cooperative - because so many producers are accessing this centralized facility, it has become its own community (like a little town), and the co-op is working with its members to address the needs of the individuals working with it, including building schools, providing healthcare, and focusing on training opportunities specifically targeted toward women who have become single mothers due to their partners migrating to the US seeking higher paying jobs.

It’s a beautiful coffee that I truly think anyone could enjoy. AND it has a positive impact on a growing community. This is the perfect example of what Smoking Gun Coffee is all about.

I sincerely hope you enjoy Guatemala, Lake Atitlan Organic, our first seasonal roast of 2024. If you've had a chance to try it, drop your feedback in the comments or feel free to email me directly at

Enjoy every sip!

Brandon Litun, Founder and Head Roaster

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