3 HALF POUND BAGS. FREE SHIPPING
NOTE: We offer the choice of ground coffee, however strongly believe our coffee is best enjoyed freshly ground before brewing. Good coffee grinders can be inexpensive and convenient.
TOOTSIE ROLL, APRICOT, PEACH
SAN PEDRO, SOCHIAPAM
TYPICA, CATURRA, YELLOW CATURRA
SUN DRIED ON PATIOS
WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK
CHINATEC COFFEE FROM OAXACA
The northwest corner of Oaxaca is mountains and not easily accessible. The people here are Chinatec, a group of people that numbered over 150,000 as recently as 2000.
Travel for two days down tough roads and you’ll arrive at the town of San Pedro Sochiapam. This it the central market, and home to 6500. At 4000 feet this town is carved out of a valley within a semi-arid, semi-tropical cloud forest.
Walk the streets and you won’t hear a lick of Spanish. Rather, you’ll hear the tonal, whistling language that Chinatec is known for. Listen to a conversation to learn how to talk about weeding a coffee garden.
The coffee here is excellent. The land is arid, but the severe mountains trap in clouds, providing the moisture necessary to support a vibrant semi-tropical forest at such high altitudes. This same biome stresses and supports excellent coffee, but it also keeps farms small. With an average of 200 trees, farmers in this area harvest 10 – 20 kilos at a time, and rely on a network of Spanish-speaking coyotes to get this coffee to market.
The challenge in Oaxaca is not finding excellent coffee. Almost every region of Oaxaca contains a different example of excellent. In Oaxaca, the challenge is getting enough good coffee together, and getting it out to export.
If a community is organized they may have a central bodega to store coffee during the harvest. More often than not this is done at home. Either way, buyers will come through the town throughout the season, buying 2-10 bag at a time.
The only solution is to become one of these buyers, to go bodega to bodega to find the best coffees as they come in that season. More, you need to build quality controls at town, and at the mill to provide the lab and logistical support needed to get this coffee to market.
And so our strategy in Oaxaca is to find buyers who know the small villages all around Oaxaca. Coffee professionals with decade-long relationships that let them to know the best farmers within the best regions. Then we need to pair this buyer with a Q-cupper who can help us to provide better feedback and correct course during the harvest. Lastly we need a mill through which we can arrange the financing, transportation, processing and export of this coffee.
We found our buyer in Ramon Ruiz – who has been buying from this area for over twenty years. He goes bodega to bodega, shoulder-tapping his favorite farmers to hold their coffee on our behalf. Samples are delivered to our man in Oaxaca, Clemente Paz, a Q-cupper and quality character. Building points of aggregation and managing these quality checks is not a passive undertaking. It requires active handling before, after and throughout each harvest. And it is for this that Oaxaca is such a fun place to work for coffee buyers looking work that has challenge worthy of the reward.