Subscription – Mini (FREE SHIPPING) - JUNE 2024: MEXICO

250 kr

Inklusiv moms. Fragt beregnes ved kassen.

With the Mini Plan you receive:

  • A single-origin coffee each month in the following size: 2x250g.
  • We recommend buying your coffee whole bean in order to preserve it as fresh as possible.

The coffees are suitable for filter and espresso brews. Follow the instructions on our package for a close-to-perfect cup.  

This month we take you to MEXICO 


San Mateo 

 

 

Flavor notes: Green Grape, Milk Chocolate, Plum 

Roast degree: Light

Recommended for: Filter and modern espresso

    The Context

    The Mazateca is located in the state of Oaxaca, one of the most diverse states in México, both biologically and culturally. The Mazateca gets its name from the presence of the indigenous group, the Mazatec, which is a Nahualt name that translates to “the deer people”. However, in their own language, Mazateco, the group is called Ha Shuta Enima, which means “those who work the hills”.

    The land is found between the regions from La Cañada and the Papaloapán Valley, at the northern tip of the state of Oaxaca. As part of the Sierra Madre Sur and the Sierra Oriental, the land is surrounded by high mountains, cliffs, and hills of mainly mesophile forest, bathed by constant rains, and the intermittent presence of mist.

     The Mazateca is an important indigenous region where 92% of the population speaks an indigenous language, mostly Mazateco, with a few Nahuatl and Mixtec speakers also. The locals show a connection to their ancestry through their celebrations and traditions, such as celebrations for each town patron, day of the dead, local seed sowing traditions, and many others.

     The region is also one of the most lacking in health and education coverage of the country with an alarming poverty and illiteracy level. It is made up of small and isolated communities where the main economic activity is small-scale agriculture, since few people own more than a couple hectares of land.

    There is an important tradition of coffee growing in this region. The steep landscape makes for hard work but is also the reason for the outstanding cup quality, which for a long time got lost in huge blends

    Separating the blends into smaller lots allows to pay a premioum to those producers who strives to produce superior coffees. Especially as the average price in the region was MX$35 (US$1.70) / kg of parchment coffee for many years. Even with the high market prices of 2021, the local price only reached MX$45.

     The average price paid in 2023 by Raw Material was MX$80, almost a 100% increase compared to the local price. However,  many producers received a lot more due to that being just the average.

    Most of the producers continue the coffee production of their parents and grandparents and often the whole family works together at harvest time. Sadly, this is being threatened due to a mixture of low coffee prices, coffee leaf rust, ageing plants and lack of resources and assistance from private or public sectors. This has led to a drop in yields, as low as 100 kg per hectare. As reference, the average in Colombia is 2,400 kg per hectare, and in Brazil up to 5,200 kg.

     For the past twenty years, this has contributed to an alarming increase in migration of young people to major cities in Mexico and to the United States. The rise in the abandonment of land and coffee crops by the young has also left the very heavy handed and labour-intensive coffee work to the elderly producers, many of whom we work with are above the age of 70 and even older than 80 years old.

    The weather, the land, and the producers together generate extraordinary coffees in this region. The varieties mainly cultivated are Typica, Mundo Novo and Caturra. Most of these plants tend to be over 40 years old which is a major contributing factor for the low yields.

     The average amount of coffee processed by each producer per harvest can be as low as 100 kg,  This means we all too often buy lots of 20 kg from each producer (the smallest lot we have received was 4kg). The large amount of work for gathering and cupping samples and the microlots turns out to be absolutely worth the effort due to the complexity of the coffees that this region produces. This is undeniably one of the most impressive coffee producing regions we work in, in Mexico. In the Mazateca most producers may harvest around 100 kilos, but the greater majority is kept for consumption. For this reason, some blends come from numerous producers.

     Most coffee producers in the Mazateca have between 0.5 to 5 hectares of land with the average producer working on less than one hectare. This means that, as in much of Oaxaca, production is very small and yields are lower here than in other areas of the state. The Sierra Mazateca mountain range is located to the north of Oaxaca city and forms much of the state’s border with Veracruz. The region is very remote, hard to access, with many in Oaxaca not even knowing of its existence.

     Today the region is rarely visited, and even in the coffee world it is often neglected due to the challenging conditions, remote locations and small production.  Even by Oaxaca’s low standards production yields are tiny here in part due to the cool temperatures.  Coffee is generally grown at 1500 metres and above in the Mazateca and at this latitude, these altitudes experience very low temperatures making frost damage a real issue for producers.

     This climate and these altitudes also contribute positively to the cup profile and in general, coffees from the Mazateca are among the most complex and highest quality in all of Mexico. Many producers here do not speak Spanish, and Mazateco is the first language for the vast majority of people in the region. This can make organisation and coordination a little tough, but the quality and potential make the Mazateca one of the main focuses of our work in Mexico.

     Working closely with Red Beetle and their associates in the community, we are aiming to open up access to the specialty market for producers in the Mazateca, and to provide a sustainable and profitable supply chain for their coffees. Doing this will provide a long term, stable, and profitable alternative to simply selling to local intermediaries at a market-based price- currently the only option for many producers. In time this supply chain can help to generate capital and investment to help improve yields, production volumes and quality in the Mazateca.




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