The taste of Guatemala: Pastries from scratch, coffee fresh from a Belgian press at Rifle’s new Cafe Kape Panaderia

When it comes to coffee consumption, Guatemala adheres to tradition.

“You go there with a friend or family member at 4 p.m., knock on the door, and enter to drink coffee with bread,” said Erick Perez Sr., owner of the new Cafe Kape Panaderia in downtown Rifle. “That occurs frequently. It’s almost as if it’s a tradition.”

For Perez Sr. and his son, Erick Perez Jr., their coffee tradition has taken on a new form.

Rather than a late afternoon jolt at 4 p.m., the father-son team rises daily at 4 a.m. Dough must be prepared from scratch before rising in the oven for an hour. Once the liquid-forged flour has taken shape, the Perezes spend another hour or so shaping it into crispy, flaky pastries.

Whether sweet or savoury, the aroma of authentic Guatemalan delicacies such as quesadilla, cuernitos, and azucaradas fills this Rifle workshop. On a Saturday at 10 a.m., you’re lucky to find a crumb on the front racks.

“It’s been passed down from generation to generation, so the recipes have been passed down from my great-great-grandma, and that’s what we serve here,” Perez Jr. explained. “It’s truly comfort food.”

Among the family pastries tempting hungry morning rushes, Cafe Kape Panaderia emulates a more retail-style quality experience borne out of humble beginnings in Perez Srhometown .’s of Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

There are no tables in the front area. The front counter resembles a small kitchen table rather than a service counter. The back bakery is a small space with a few cupboards, portable stainless steel racks, and a dusty wooden table for kneading.

Boom. You’ve been admitted. You have been ejected. That is not the case, however, if you request that the Perezes stop and fix you a cup of pure, 100 percent Guatemalan whole bean roast that Perez’s sister had shipped in fresh — approximately 150 pounds, according to Perez Sr.

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