Cold Grinds, Cool Beans...Mas Mocha

Mexico Jewels of Chiapas now in and some history...

by badbeard2 15. January 2022 12:39

'Tis the season for Mexican coffees, so delighted to introduce another fine Chiapas offering we're calling "Joyas" ("jewels"), as it defies the "light-bodied" attribution tagged to many coffees from our Southern neighbor. The community of farmers in the Amatenango de la Frontera have enjoyed an economic and marketing boost by pairing with Grupo Enjambre Cafetalero and Impacto Transformador
Community spirit hit me the first time I visited Chiapas and spent some time in San Cristobal de las Casas, which is quite a long and rugged ride away from Amatenango, which is right at the border of Guatemala and shares a lot of history and geography with the neighboring country. Many will remember the rebel uprising on Jan. 1, 1994, led by "Subcomandante Marcos", who smoked a pipe and appeared publically masked. At the time I was playing in the Mexico State Symphony
in Toluca, and our state governor sent the orchestra to play some concerts to help smooth the incredibly tense standoff between the rebels and the government. While this preceded my coffee roasting life by 6 years, there were sad reports coming out of the principal coffee growing the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz...of farmers feeling great financial betrayal (no pricing support at a time when the world commodity pricing index had bottomed out and it was a money-losing proposition to grow and process coffee) and even burning their crops (some 8 million pounds if I recall correctly) since they were getting a negative return. I do recall having some transcendentally amazing food, especially the savory tamales with hoja santa, and some great local coffee. Eventually this would lead to a short stay at a hotel in the middle of a coffee plantation in Coatepec, Veracruz and even greater fascination. I was guided by a couple who hailed from Veracruz and its vibrant coffee and cafe culture...they roasted across the street from our concert hall and even roasted 5 kilos of green I had bought on my excursion. I had met one of the individual farmers while I wandered the finca and he took me to his humble hut where his coffee was drying on a tarp and assured me it was the best. What did I know?? It was actually quite good after Edith Martinez roasted it on her Diedrich, though she wasn't a fan and preferred her sources.
So yes, Chiapas....visit if you can, truly stunning country and the nicest people!


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