Mexico is one of the great coffee producing countries in the world...and yet its coffee gets little respect. Why? Partly because much of the coffee grown is lower quality. That's changing as international groups and importers are working with small farmers to improve the quality of their coffee along with the quality of their lives. The specialty grade coffee coming out of Mexico these days is fantastic! Here are some fun facts about the coffees of Mexico:
- Mexico produces about 5 million bags of coffee a year.
- Four states grow 90% of Mexico's coffee, Chiapas (35%), Oaxaca (13%), Puebla (15%) and Veracruz (25%).
- Of the coffee producing states, Chiapas has the most farmers' cooperatives.
- In many parts of Mexico, the only work available is on poppy fields. Coffee production, particularly specialty grade coffee production, offers options and hope to those living in a land torn apart by warring drug cartels.
- Specialty grade coffee from Mexico tends to be a great value. The costs of production are relatively low, and the beans travel a shorter distance to get to the US.
- Much of Mexico's coffee is grown at high altitude, resulting in beans that do well at any roast level. Want a smooth, easy drinking coffee that's lively and rich? Try a good Mexican at a light (City) roast level. Want a dark roasted coffee that is smooth and sweet? Mexican at a dark (northern Italian) roast level makes a wonderfully bold, sweet cup. It even makes good espresso!
- Unlike many origins, Mexico has fantastic coffee available year 'round.
We just got in a wonderful coffee from Coatepec in Veracruz, Mexico Baxtla SHG EP. Sixteen farmers got together in 2009 and formed the Grupo de Prdutores de Cafe Sustentable de Baxtlawas. You can learn about them here. For us the important thing is growing great coffee allows them to make a better life for themselves and their families.