Roaster’s tasting notes:
Another awesome coffee from Mexico, my favourite origin for decaf, using my preferred processing method for decaffeination.
Deep notes of smooth milk chocolate and cream filled wafer dominate the flavours. Brown sugar sweetness with a touch of nougat compliment the chocolate whilst the creamy coating mouthfeel ensures a delightful lingering after taste.
Representing roughly 2% of global coffee production, Mexico is well-known for its coffee grown in the Chiapas and Oaxacan regions situated in the southern reaches of the country.
Coffee first arrived in Mexico with the Spanish colonists in the 18th century. After independence from Spain, the country, although in turmoil, began to slowly cultivate coffee plantations in the southern states. Border disputes with Guatemala ensued as Europeans bought up large swathes of land, pushing indigenous populations into the mountains. The Mexican Revolution led to Agrarian Reforms redistributing land to local populations.
Small-scale coffee production exploded with the creation of the National Coffee Institute of Mexico (INMECAFE) in 1973 yet was dismantled in 1989 following the International Coffee Crisis. With the lack of support from a governing coffee body, producers were then forced to sell coffee at low prices to local coyotes. Thanks to the creation of cooperatives and other producer organizations, producers received more support and were provided with better access to international markets. Today, coffee production has stabilized and remained strong.
This lot is one example of how Mexican coffee has prospered. Chiapas is situated in the southern reaches of Mexico, with rich biodiversity and climbing altitudes – this region is known for its healthy soils and ideal climates for coffee production. As one of the five Mayan States in Mexico, Chiapas has a wealth of archaeological and cultural history. It is within this region that the Grupode Agricultores Positivos S.P.R. (GRAPOS) was founded in 2007.
Throughout the Chiapas region, specifically in the El Porvenir and Llano Grande municipalities, are collections of smallholder coffee producers growing coffee in the rich upper reaches of the mountains. The GRAPOS organization was initially comprised of 90 producers, growing to 300 the following year, and expanded to the 2,708 producers involved today,772 of which are females. El Porvenir translates to mean ‘the future,’ which is evident in its high altitudes, rich biodiversity, and potential to create a harmonious future with high quality coffee production and ecosystem preservation. The area also borders the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, which explains the biodiverse array of native flora and fauna in the area.
GRAPOS seeks to provide each of these producers with the necessary guidance to produce high quality coffee.This comes in the form of technical assistance, free seedlings to replace damaged trees, in addition to other educational programs.