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The best cup of coffee

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

I sat at the computer, wondering what I would write about until Maria brought me my coffee.

We walk a lot here. We have been doing our best to explore every alley and sidestreet possible in our town of San Juan. It's been so fun not having a vehicle! It's safe, walking alone is not a problem for any of us, and it gives us the great opportunity of getting to know our town intimately.

Coffee enthusiasts will understand that moving to a new town always means a renewed personal quest for the best cup of coffee available. The combination of San Juan's altitude and tropical location dictated that the quest itself was one of few disappointments and many deliciousnesses. There are coffee trees everywhere here, including our yard!

A few weeks into the search, we found the gold medal winner. This cup of coffee is so good that I think I want to stay in San Juan for the rest of my life, never to have to go back to drinking anything else. I have always taken cream in my coffee, but this cup of coffee is at such a mind-blowing state of deliciousness and purity that I can no longer decimate my drink with lactates. And the smell??! Don't even get me started on how good it smells!!!

I have also never seen anyone so legitimately in love with their craft. For Maria, a mother of two daughters that live in a house that shares the kitchen with the coffee shop, roasting and serving coffee is as much of a daily habit as brushing her teeth or tucking in her girls. Small batches, always fresh, always served with love. Maria is a master at what she does, and we are proud to call her a friend.

If you ever get to San Juan, La Laguna, Guatemala, don't miss Las Marias for a quiet cup of the best coffee you've ever had and a breathtaking view. The coffee shop consists of two tables and three chairs in a tiny wooden and glass fort-like structure. It’s built above the neighboring tin roofs to showcase the shoreline vista.

By the way, this is NOT a paid advertisement! However, now that I've finished my coffee, I'll move to think about different things.

Edit: if you would like to support this beautiful woman and her family, please click here and check out this update, her roaster broke down and she could definitely use a boost!

We will soon be kicking off our website section of "Stories" with Maria's profile and personal journey. As we get to know her, we are inspired to share more about her with our readers and community. Thank you so much for following.


Owen Dargatz is an avid coffee drinker. He blogs about his family life in Guatemala and in this instance, just how much he loves Las Maria's coffee. If you or someone you know runs a coffee shop in Canada and would like to support this beautiful woman's very underrated business and boost your own sales by starting to serve the best cup of coffee, please get in touch. We can make it happen.

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