Mexico Oaxaca Colima Cofradia
In the West of Mexico Mt. Colima, or the Volcan de Fuego, shoots out above the Sierra Madre Occidental Range. The volcano is still active, and within its eruption zone live 856 coffee farmers whose small associations or ejidos work together to export coffee under a single cooperative Integradora. This Integradora is made up of member organizations from communities around Colima. If names such as Yerbabuena, Naranjal, Remudadero, and Arrayenal don’t ring a bell then just wait, because they are earning a name for themselves.
We are proud to be the first and only international buyer of coffee from Colima. Farmers sell to local roasters, or to coyotes who then sell into Mexico City. The coffee, the capacity and the will are all there to make this a premium destination for specialty coffee buyers, but the going has not been easy. In the years since working with them to form an exporting organization, the new integradora has been faced with every problem imaginable. While we can’t help with the volcano, or the roya, we do what we can to ensure year over year monetary stability and pre-crop financing. Plus, micro-lots. Each year we select top performing lots to receive top dollar, encouraging the entire community to play along with specialty.
Colima, Volcan de Fuego
Intregadora de Colimense – Cofradia
CUPPING NOTES UPON ARRIVAL
85 – Balanced raisin toffee, brown sugar, caramel, lemon, milk chocolate, orange
Mexico Oaxaca Pluma Lachao
Oaxacan coffee is grown on small plots spread over a large, diverse range. Well, three ranges actually. Oaxaca is where the Sierra Madre del Sur and Sierra Mixteca ranges come together to form the Sierra Madre Occidental as it heads north. If you follow these ranges south of Oaxaca city towards the coast you find a unique climate – soft, pine-filled forested mountains that give way to steep, craggy coffee fields as you head into the heart of La Pluma. This is the district of Sierra Sur, and home to the coffee that made Mexico famous. La Pluma Hidalgo is a region within Sierra Sur, and the namesake for the La Pluma varietal (a type of typica). Before La Roya hit, this region was filled with buyers. With easy access to buyers and premiums, most farmers did not organize – and those that did had a hard time surviving the crash that came. The result is a mountain full of independants knit together by family relationships. Strong farmers in the region collect from their neighbors, separate tops out for us, and help us to get from 6 bags per family up to truck-load levels. Yet Joaquin Santana bucks this trend, andnd many other conventions, in the face. He is head of UNECAFE – Unidad Ecogica para El Sector Cafe Oaxaquenos. This 48 member group is held together by Joaquin’s will, appeal to the benefits of cooperation, and incessant cell use. While the group only meets a few times a year, Joaqin tours the different stations once a month to drink coffee with members, trade tips and talk shop. He is one of the few Spanish speakers in the group, and one with a phone, a car, and enough space in his house to stage coffee for pickup during harvest. But, aside from his personality, the proof is in the pudding.
The group’s success is apparent – since forming in the early 90s, members have grown to have an average of 5 hectares per person, each hectare of which produces 800-1200 pounds of export grade coffee (3-4 times the average). This is due to aggressive organic practices, constant pruning, and the continual investment in new trees. This is the heart of La Pluma, and there is pride that comes with planting this specific varietal.
All in all we see why they refer to themselves as a toda madre.
Oaxaca, Sierra Sur
CUPPING NOTES UPON ARRIVAL
85.25 – White Peach, Mandarin orange, milk chocolate with almonds
1700 – 1900 MASL
Typica la Pluma and Mundo Novo (less than 10%)