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December 29, 2023
Producer - Mazateca community
Varietal - Typica, bourbon
Process - Traditional fully washed
Origin - Mexico, Sierra Mazateca, Oaxaca
Ratio: 15.5g in / 240g out
Grind: EK 8
Water temp: 94
50g every 30 s exept the last 40 g pour
The Sierra Mazateca in northeastern Oaxaca, Mexico, is a region steeped in rich coffee farming traditions, largely sustained by small-scale indigenous farmers. This area is rapidly gaining recognition for its fruit-forward coffees, a result of the diligent work of these farmers, many of whom are part of the Mazateca community and speak one of the eight pre-Columbian languages native to this mountain range.
Coffee farming in Sierra Mazateca is characterised by its small-scale production. The region is home to about 503 small-scale producers who are members of the Organización Regional de Café Especial de la Mazateca (O.R.C.E. MAZATECA). These producers cultivate coffee in the region's varied ecosystems, which range from dry to wet areas with differing temperatures, at elevations between 1,500 and 1,800 metres above sea level. The indigenous language of Mazateca is predominantly spoken here, and the community maintains a close connection to their cultural roots, evident in their traditional clothing and the celebrated Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities.
The coffee production process in Sierra Mazateca follows a traditional fully washed method. Each farm operates its own micro-mill where coffee is fermented for 24 hours, depending on the weather. After fermentation, the coffee is sun-dried on straw mats or raised beds. The farms also benefit from the shade provided by Huajinicuil, Milenaria, Jonotes trees, and other native trees. This traditional approach to coffee farming, combined with the region's unique climate and soil conditions, contributes to the distinct flavour profile of Sierra Mazateca coffee, which includes notes of yellow fruits, mandarin, sweet honey, light floral hints, juicy aftertaste, and a creamy body.
In terms of logistics and quality, the Sierra Mazateca continues to be one of the most challenging places to work. The region is largely organic and grows coffee under full shade, contributing to the idyllic and sustainable nature of its coffee farming practices. However, there are challenges related to infrastructure and accessing resources, which impact the efficiency of moving dry parchment from farm to warehouse and warehouse to port.
Despite these challenges, the quality of coffee from the Sierra Mazateca is at an all-time high. This improvement in quality is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the local farmers, who continue to overcome obstacles to produce exceptional coffee. The region's potential for high-quality coffee production, coupled with the unique cultural aspects of the Mazateca community, makes Sierra Mazateca a notable and up-and-coming area in the world of specialty coffee.
The story of coffee farming in Sierra Mazateca is one of resilience, cultural richness, and commitment to sustainable, high-quality coffee production, deeply intertwined with the traditions and lifestyle of the Mazateca community.
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