In many countries, roasting coffee has become somewhat of an art, with coffee shops on nearly every corner boasting about their special roasts. In Guatemala, the traditional way to roast coffee in home is on a comal, or hot cooking plate, over a fire and then grind it with a stone. Thankfully, two of the cooperatives with whom we work (San Miguel and Huehuetenango) also have access to larger roasting machines. These roasters were purchased through the help of donations to De la Gente. Selling roasted coffee opens up more sources of income for the farmers/cooperatives and has higher margins, increasing the profits they earn.
The San Miguel Cooperative sells roasted coffee in many stores in Antigua. De la Gente also contracts with roasters in the US and Canada, allowing for increased sales and income for the farmers through online coffee sales. Typical roasts include medium, full city, dark, espresso and French.