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El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve Shade Grown Sustainable Coffee
Campesinos Ecologicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas (CESMACH)
The CESMACH Co-op comprises 478 members
Until recently, the country of Mexico had never been a player in the High-End Specialty Coffee world. The perception of many in the industry was that Mexican coffee is mediocre to say the least, but now those ideas are shifting as more and more exceptional Mexican coffee makes it to market. There is huge potential in Mexican coffee and things will only get better. We've been sourcing coffee from the south of Mexico in the state of Chiapas from a couple different cooperatives, Finca Triunfo Verde (FTV) and Campesinos Ecologicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas (CESMACH). The cup quality on these has been solid year after year. Both of these commercialize their coffee through a 3rd party allowing them to do what they do best, produce solid coffee. There is no reason why this area can't produce great coffee! They have all the conditions such as: heirloom coffee varieties (Bourbon, Typica), great altitude (1200-1750masl), and passionate coffee growers who want to produce high quality micro lots. The location is extremely close to the Guatemala border and Huehuetenango.
Cafe Imports, along with the cooperatives, invested in a quality control program. An assessment was made in different areas that impact cup quality such as: varieties, fertilization, picking, processing, and lot selection. They were already doing a great job but there are some areas that could use some tweaking. The cooperatives were extremely excited to be part in this program. The plan is to have a certified Q Grader from each cooperative and have a centralized cupping lab to aid in lot selection in order to increase the overall quality of the coffee they are producing and give feedback to the producers on their quality.
Some members of the cooperatives were excited about being able to produce micro lots which are farm and variety specific. This year we will be bringing a couple of these to complement our full container lots.
About the the farms and El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve:
Farms are located in the buffer zone of El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve. The biosphere is located in the highlands of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve is one of the world's most diverse forest reserves. This reserve contains Meso-America's largest continuous cloud forest, and it serves as a refuge to thousands of plant and animal species. El Triunfo is a rare and valuable sanctuary that requires continued protection. All the coffee they produce is shade grown, and biological corridors are created in order to facilitate bird and animal migration.