As part of a continuing mission to showcase coffees that taste “true to place” while offering outstanding quality and providing a springboard for excellence, our Waykan offerings are selected to highlight the dynamic character and profile of coffees from Huehuetenango. One of the most famous coffee-growing regions in Guatemala, Huehuetenango is considered a “coffee economy,” and producers have told us that around 80% of the population makes its living from coffee either directly or indirectly.
We work closely with our partners to create our Waykan lots through marathon cuppings, meticulous record-keeping, and the promise of higher premiums for better quality. Producers who own farms of any size are invited to bring their coffee to be cupped, and whether they bring 2 or 200 bags their coffee is sampled and scored: Coffees that score 85–86 with the clean and crisp Huehuetenango profile are blended into the Regional Select lot, while coffees scoring 87 and above are kept separate and offered as microlots, with price incentives attached to reward that quality.
In the Maya Q’qnjobal dialect from Huehuetenango, waykan means “star (or light) that shines in the sky at night.” (And for the record, the region’s name is commonly pronounced “way-way-teh-NAN-go.”)
The producers of Waykan are situated in the municipalities of Chajul, Quiche, Cotzal, and Nebaj.