Everything You Need To Know About Mexican Coffee
At Coffee 1936, we think it’s important to explain to our customers why we are so passionate about Mexican coffee and loyal to these wonderful beans.
A FERTILE LAND
Since the 18th century when coffee arrived in the country, Mexico became an incredible coffee producer thanks to its fertile land.
At the end of the 20th century, coffee consumption in Mexico was linked more to the intellectual class. Mexican coffee used to be roasted very dark, and this denoted bitter notes, as it was closely related to the consumption of cigar and tobacco.
If Mexico seduces with its landscapes and its Latin culture, it is also its agriculture and, in particular, its coffee farms that make it so successful. In Mexico, mostly of the coffee produced is Arabica, famous for its quality.
SMALL FARMS AND MEXICAN COFFEE
Despite agriculture facing fierce competition, coffee production in Mexico is still in the worldwide top 10 producers. The strength of their production is that it relies on a multitude of small farmers grouped into strong cooperatives. On the Mexican territory, there are about 500,000 small producers of the so loved “black gold”.
These farms allow the sector to be competitive while maintaining quality. The work on the Mexican coffee trees is so meticulous that it requires skilled labor and much of the work is done by hand. Small farms are not necessarily less profitable than large ones.
THE THREE PRODUCING REGIONS
It is in the south and south-east of the country, in the regions of Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas that these small berries are cultivated for the much-loved brew.
These territories have excellent climatic and geographical conditions:
- a humid subtropical climate (south of Mexico only);
- a mountain range of medium altitude (the southern Sierra Madre);
- fertile soils (in the extension of the volcanic cordillera);
- powerful essences (flowers, citrus fruits, nuts, vanilla, sugar cane).
The three regions cover 75% of the Mexican coffee production, where nearly 120 varieties of coffee are grown. When we know that there are 200 varieties of Arabica in the world; that says a lot about the diversity and richness of Mexican productions.
THE MAIN VARIETIES OF COFFEE IN MEXICO
Produced in the mountains, Altura varieties are the most common in the country. Among them:
- the Jaltenango variety cultivated in Chiapas (sour coffee, with a light body and aromas of chocolate, pineapple and passion fruit);
- the Coatepec variety developed in Veracruz (acidic coffee, with a light body and aromas of chocolate and hazelnut);
- the Pluma variety produced in Oaxaca (low acid coffee, with a subtle body and aromas of chocolate and caramel).
Other varieties which are cultivated to a lesser extent are Bourbon, Maragogype, Garnica, Catimores, and Mondo Nuevo varieties. Some of these varieties are hybrids and particularly resistant to climatic hazards and infectious diseases.
MEXICAN COFFEE AROMAS
Coffee produced in Mexico is known to be particularly tasty and refined on the palate. Beans grown over there are specifically lighter in body and have nutty flavors. Mexican coffee beans have an intense, very aromatic taste and a slight fragrant acidity which shows their character. Strength is the sensation of persistent coffee taste in the mouth. Coffee has several specificities, such as the aroma. It tastes best in the mouth and in the throat. The Mexican coffee identifies with the aromatic flavors, namely the dominant fruity, sweet, spicy, woody, floral and vegetal flavors that are noticed during tasting.
A UNIQUE WAY OF PREPARING COFFEE
While in the USA, coffee is better enjoyed with a good dose of milk, in France, greatest amateurs only appreciate it dark. Mexicans, on the other hand, have a very unique way of preparing this drink.
It is best known as Cafe de Olla. It is greatly appreciated and widely consumed by all Mexicans on the Day of the Dead, el Día de los Muertos, an equivalent to All Saints’ Day for Catholics. As a reminder, the Day of the Dead in Mexico is a celebration that has existed for more than 3,000 years now. During three whole days, they celebrate not only the dead but also the living.
THE SECRET OF THE DELICIOUS MEXICAN COFFEE?
We can conclude by saying Mexican coffee is, without a doubt, a complex specialty coffee with subtle aromas, produced with respect for traditions and nature, on extensive farms on a human scale. Thanks to its history, its land and its people, Mexican coffee is still up to this date among the most qualitative we can find worldwide and that’s why, at Coffee 1936, we chose the best Arabica to please our “café aficionados”.