One 12 oz. compostable Biotre bag.
The landscape becomes more magical and mystical when you get closer to the clouds. At nearly 2000 masl, there are only small, quiet villages overlooking vast valleys of greenery. Up until extremely recently (the 1990s!) when roads were finally built in this area of Mexico, these places were hidden to the world. All of the farmers throughout the area, mostly of Mayan descent, have historically grown and sold coffee through the local market. This consists of ‘coyotes’ driving around with pickup trucks and buying all of your product (defects, under ripe, over ripe, everything) for very cheap, often even below the market price. We’re happy to be involved with pushing farmers away from this model and supporting better farming practices through much higher pay incentives for quality coffees. We truly believe there are coffee gems within Chiapas, and we are humbled to visit each year and continue furthering our relationships. Within each village/home/farm we visit we are able to directly observe and hear explanations surrounding each farmers’ different growing, processing, and drying practices that make their coffees unique. A big ‘thank you’ is in order to Jesús Salazar and his entire team at Cafeología - these folks do a mass amount of work year round educating farmers, exploring new regions, processing coffees themselves, and continually pushing for excellence. They are to thank for introducing us to Mexican coffees and showing us just how much potential and beauty there is in Chiapas. We are extremely excited and honored to be sharing what we have selected this season and will be highlighting a total of four farmers throughout the year. With some logistical help from InterAmerican Coffee, we were able to import these coffees to the United States once again, now for the second time ever!
Our first offering this year was one of our favorite coffees from the 2017 season, our unofficial tour guide of San Pedro - Hilario Sántiz. In addition to producing coffee, Hilario and his wife own a small convenience store in the middle of town. Don Hilario ferments/washes and dries his coffee using a concrete fermentation tank and drying patio, respectively, just behind the store. Never dropping a smile, Don Hilario was kind enough to show us around his property and escort us around town in 2017. This year we were fortunate enough to spend time in his kitchen, share a meal, share our trading cards with his photo, and share stories of how his coffee was being served in the United States. Slow and steady growth is the name of the game for Don Hilario. We’re huge supporters of this mentality - he is focused heavily on quality and willing to fully trust Jesús. Most notably, Don Hilario sees his coffee through from growing to fully processing. Unlike most others in the area, he sells his coffee in its green, exportable form instead of as parchment or cherries. Down the road from his home is the small huller that he shares with his father-in-law, Víctor López (which you might remember as our first coffee released in the series last year). Machines like this are very expensive investments for small farmers; thus, it is kept protected in a locked concrete building at the edge of town. We fell in love with how balanced and juicy Don Hilario’s coffee is, and we’re excited to be sharing it with you for the second year in a row! This coffee, along with the other three to come, flips the stereotype of Mexico coffees (generally lighter bodied, mild acidity, mild chocolate/nutty flavors) upside down. The body of this coffee is silky and guaranteed to please. The acidity is subtly fruit forward and tangy, pairing nicely with the overall feel of the coffee - think molasses, tamarind, white grapes, vanilla, apples, florals, plums, marshmallows, and a heavy chocolate-driven sweetness.
For more info about our latest trip to Chiapas -