There are many challenges facing Mexico’s Specialty coffee production, which is unfortunate as the country has agreeable climates and altitudes capable of generating some great coffees along with a passionate and experienced collective of around 490,000 farmers involved in coffee production, 70% of which are smallholders with less than 10 hectares of land. One serious problem for Mexican coffee producers is governmental resistance to the concentration of coffee as a commodity export, as Mexico’s vast landscape is also capable of generating revenue from alternative means, such as oil and tourism. This has developed into an industry that is controlled and directed by multi-national private companies who do little in the way of education and support for the small hold farmers, generating an increasing gap between growing and the market.
That being said, however, awareness of the current global industry has increased quality in the country and the first Mexican Cup of Excellence was introduced in 2012. Coffee cultivation here dates back to the late 18th century and today 90% of coffee grown is limited to the four Southern states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz, most of which is Fair Trade and Organic. The majority of the coffee produced by Veracruz and Peubla has good body, chocolate and nutty flavours, with smooth, gentle acidity and subtle cup profiles. For more interesting and complex coffees roasteries tend to look more at the high altitudes of Chiapas and Oaxaca, where the coffees are brighter, crisper and wineier.
Growing Regions: Chiapas, Oaxaxa, Puebla, Veracruz (800 – 1,800 masl)
Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica, Mundo Novo, Maragogype, Catimor, Catuai
Processes: Washed and Natural
Harvest: November - March
World Ranking: 8th Largest Coffee Producer in the World
Tasting Notes: Light in body, clean and subtle acidity; praline nuttiness, green caramel sweetness, toffee and chocolates