Meet Prisma Coffee

We have worked directly with many producers in Guatemala, and we also partner with Prisma Coffee Origins, a progressive, family-owned company dedicated to sourcing and exporting exceptional Guatemalan coffee.

Prisma was founded in 2013 by Eduardo Ambrocio, along with his wife Lusia and his brother Edwin. The name was inspired by the many bright colours (flavours) of coffee. Today, the trio is focused on sourcing and representing the very best coffees that Guatemala has to offer – with a particular emphasis on supporting small producers from more remote areas of Guatemala, and connecting them with quality-focused buyers who are willing to pay a premium for quality.

We first met Eduardo in 2010 during a Cup of Excellence competition. He is softly spoken and incredibly passionate; we fell in love with the way he described coffees with infectious enthusiasm, and shared stories of the people behind them, demonstrating his respect and admiration for their hard work and expertise. Eduardo has a wealth of knowledge – he worked at Anacafe for two decades as head of Quality Control, and had a pivotal role in setting up the Cup of Excellence in Guatemala in 2001.

During his time at Anacafe, Eduardo built relationships with the very best coffee producers in the country. Some of these producers became very well-known and established. Others were smaller, often based in remote places, and many were at the beginning of their specialty coffee journey. These relatively ‘undiscovered’ producers needed better access to specialty buyers and/or advice on how to realise their potential. Eduardo wanted to help these producers, and so Prisma was born.

“I was lucky to meet a lot of producers and fabulous people committed to quality and doing something different. I wanted to help them, offer them personalised and customised advice, and work with these wonderful people directly” – Eduardo Ambrocio

Initially, the business model for Prisma was to provide consulting services and QC insights to the producers, but this proved to be tough. Prisma was providing advice and charging fees at the most challenging point in the harvest for producers – their coffee was being picked and processed, but was not yet sold and, as a result, they were very cash poor. The Prisma trio quickly discovered that, in fact, the best way they could help the producers grow was to connect them with specialty-focused buyers. “We still provide a lot of technical and QC support, but now we are like a business partner with our producers, helping them to market and sell their coffees,” Eduardo explains.

Melbourne Coffee Merchants has been working with Eduardo since 2019. We have begun to establish long-term relationships with some fantastic small producers in more remote areas of Guatemala, including Baja Verapaz and Huehuetenango.

When we asked Eduardo what he likes most about what he does, he told us that it’s seeing the joy that producing great coffee can bring. “It is wonderful to hear and see the producers’ satisfaction when they are producing something that is highly valued by the market,” he said. One example of this was El Calagual, a farm MCM has been lucky to work with since 2019. “We encouraged them to produce one bag of coffee for us. It was delicious. The next year they produced five. This year, it was 15 bags. The owner is so happy; he has been producing coffee for 20 years, but this is the first time he has produced a micro-lot and put his name on a bag. It’s special.”

Today, Prisma works with 40–50 producers. Their dream is to continue to add value for their coffee-producing partners and buyers, and they hope to one day open their own dry mill to allow for more control and efficiency.

We feel incredibly privileged to work with Eduardo and his family. Their values and mission align very closely with ours, and we are proud to support the team in their pursuit of elevating Guatemalan specialty coffee, and building a more sustainable supply chain for quality-focused producers.

To read more about how we source coffee in Guatemala, click here.