El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve Shade-Grown Sustainable Coffee
The farms contributing to Triunfo Verde Co-op 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 Mesoamerica’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 whichrequires continued protection. All the coffee they produce is shade-grown, and biological corridors are created in order to facilitate bird and animal migration.
Triunfo Verde Co-op comprises 346 members.
The country of Mexico has never been a player in the high-end specialty-coffee world until recently. The perception of many in the industry is that Mexican coffee is mediocre, to say the least. This is not entirely true, by any means. There is huge potential in Mexican coffee, and things will only get better. We’ve been sourcing coffee from a couple different cooperatives in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas: Triunfo Verde and Campesinos Ecologicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas (CESMACH). The cup quality on these has been solid year after year. Both of these organizations commercialize their coffee through a third party, allowing them to do what they do best: produce good, strong 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 (1200–1750 masl), and passionate coffee growers who want to produce high quality microlots. The location is extremely close to the Guatemala border and Huehuetenango.
Café Imports, along with these cooperatives, invested in a quality-control program. An assessment was made in different areas impacting cup quality, such as: varieties, fertilization, picking, processing, and lot selection. They were already doing a great job, but there were 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 microlots which are farm and variety specific. We are glad to bring in a couple of these to complement our full container lots.
— Piero Cristiani