Latest Posts

  1. Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea is often lumped in with Indonesian coffees. But it is distinct in nearly every way.

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  2. Flores

    Flores

    Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands.

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  3. Costa Rica

    Costa Rica

    If there is a problem with Costa Rica coffee, it's the fact that it can lack distinction; it is straightforward, clean, softly acidic, mild.

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  4. Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic

    Good news, Sammy Sosa ...the Dominican produces more than mild cigars. It has a tradition of coffee production that dates back several centuries now.

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  5. Mexico

    Mexico

    Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country.

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  6. Uganda

    Uganda

    he variety of wild Robusta coffee still growing today in Uganda's rain forests are thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world.

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  7. Nicaragua

    Nicaragua

    Nicaraguan coffees have a wide range of flavor attributes. Some cup like Mexican coffees from Oaxaca, others have a more pronounced acidity.

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  8. El Salvador

    El Salvador

    El Salvador coffee had a poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality within an unstable social climate.

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  9. Panama

    Panama

    Coffee from Panama was once overlooked and under-rated, but not any longer.

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  10. Ethiopia

    Ethiopia

    Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that Coffea Arabica grew wild.

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  11. Decaf

    Decaf

    Green coffee is decaffeinated before roasting. This process changes the color of the green coffee: it varies from light brown (Natural and CO-2) to green-brown (MC and Swiss Water Process -SWP- decafs).

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  12. Australia

    Australia

    Okay, it is a continent and an island. But how do you classify Australian coffee?

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Mexico

Mexico

Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country. For that reason, coffees from Coatepec and Veracruz are much different from Oaxacan Plumas, which are in turn much different from the southernmost region of Chiapas. Chiapas borders the Guatemalan coffee growing area of Huehuetenango, and you will find similarities between coffees grown in those regions. In general, you can expect Mexican coffee to be light-bodied and mild, with subtle flavors.

Mexico is one of the larger producers of certified organic coffees, and because of the US close proximity, we receive the majority of fine Mexican coffees in this market. Mexican coffees are worth exploring for the variety of cup characteristics they present, but the bulk of the coffee is poorly picked and processed, so valued flavors are masked by bad flavors from under-ripe coffee cherries and inconsistent processing. There are exceptions, but it seems that the financial rewards are not sufficient to interest estate farms or small cooperative groups to produce higher-quality small lots.

In general, it has become harder for me to find great Mexican coffees from Oaxaca and Chiapas. While other origins have improved their visibility and their specialty coffee production skills, Mexico remains quiet on the subject, having only staged a preliminary auction for quality lots in 2012 that netted very few entrants. Mexico has relied more on the Organic and Fair Trade model to attain better prices, rather than looking for a reward from higher quality coffee. That can work fine, and I support both efforts (as you see on our offer list), but they leave behind those dependent on private farms ... and I believe that part of the market has become more volume oriented.

Mexican coffees are moderately priced, lighter bodied, and wide-ranging in their cup character. For this reason, you need to explore coffee selections from each of the regions to get a good sense of the possibilities of Mexican coffee. Unfortunately, I rarely approve of the cup quality of coffees from Coatepec and Atoyac, and have never carried a Veracruz. Most of the impressive coffees I find are from Oaxaca and Chiapas.

I was in Chiapas for a brief trip which summed up frustrations from trying to work with a cooperative to separate special lots of coffee. Here are some comments and images from this short trip.

 

Mexico coffee offerings

 

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