STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 10, Number 3

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32 STiR coffee and tea / Issue 3, 2021 (June / July) By Maja Wallengren F Malinal coffee grower Lucio Miranda inspects his crop. By Maja Wallengren The first main flowering this year in Mexico's Chiapas covers the state like a carpet of snow. By Maja Wallengren rom the rugged mountain highlands of the east-central state of Hidalgo, named after one of Mexico's most beloved Independence heroes, to the dense pine forests of the bioreserves of the Huichol Indians in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, some of the tiniest Mexican coffee producing states are earning new acclaim for growing quality beans. The secret, industry officials agree, is thanks to a number of facts, including the presence of many highly diverse microclimates, the careful attention to cultivation practices in these states exclusively managed by tiny smallholder family-owned farms not dependent on hiring manual labor, and the existence of old heirloom varieties. This is all good news to the coffee industry as a whole, because as Mexico's top four growing states of Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, and Oaxaca struggle to recover from erratic climate and years of below-cost prices, the smaller states help keep the name of Mexican coffee alive with roasters and importers abroad, said Arturo Hernandez Fujigaki of Etrusca Coffee Company, speaking to STIR in an exclusive interview. "We still have a lot of small areas with coffee production in Mexico, which because they have been isolated from the main growing regions for so long, have a lot of farms where we can still find truly unique quality microlots because the farmers have a very high share of the old varieties like typica and bourbon," said Hernandez. "These va- rieties are very popular with roasters not only because they are famous for their cup quality, but also because these varieties are disappearing very fast from many parts of the world, more so now with the rust," he said. For most of the last 20 years up until the latest outbreak of rust – which started in Central America in mid-2012 – the typica, bourbon, and caturra varieties were among the most desired beans for roasters and formed a big part of increasing the knowledge Mexico's Tiny Coffee Mexico's Tiny Coffee States Emerge States Emerge One of the world's 10 largest coffee producing countries, North American coffee producer Mexico has been growing coffee for close to 280 years. But multiple issues, from persisting low global prices to the onset of the massive attack of the rust pest, have caused a lingering crisis that has proven difficult for the country's growers to overcome. In the midst of crisis, it is Mexico's many tiny and mostly unknown coffee-growing states that have started to emerge as exciting and exotic new sources of quality beans for coffee lovers across the specialty markets.

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