This year in Mexico: A story of resilience, relationships, and unprecedented quality.

Posted on June 16th, 2022

Before the Coffee Leaf Rust outbreak, we were finding 85+ point containers. We’ve seen the potential of Mexico before. Since the outbreak in 2012, quality has come down and Mexico’s coffee sector has been slow to rebuild. This year, though, is cupping better than we’ve seen in 8-10 years.”

-Piero Cristiani, Green Buyer

The outbreak of Coffee Leaf Rust in 2012, along with climate change and the coffee bore beetle, began a crisis that would cause a 50% decline in coffee production over the next four years. In the aftermath, producers received little to no support from their government, putting immense pressure on individuals and communities while delaying the rebuilding of the coffee sector.

It is thanks to the resilience and determination of producers throughout Mexico that we are seeing quality like never before from the 2021/2022 harvest.

Mexico has long been underappreciated for its specialty coffees, but there is no better time to become an advocate for our neighboring producers. Unique regional and farm-specific offerings are beginning to arrive at our warehouse from both long-standing and new-found relationships. Producers of all generations are growing rust-resistant hybrids and applying alternative processing techniques, ultimately defining a new era of specialty coffee in Mexico.

Cafe Imports has been sourcing from cooperatives in Chiapas near the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve since 2003. Producers in this area are passionate about caring for the land and each other by farming organically and working together for representation in the coffee market. Our first relationships were CESMACH and Triunfo Verde, with whom we still work. In the years since, we have continued to grow our relationships, building partnerships with Comon Yaj Noptic, Sierra Azul, and Finca Nueva Linda.

These cooperatives provide us with Microlots, Fair Trade Organic lots, and Women Producer lots. Producers exploring new varieties like Anacafe-14, Pacamara, and Java in the area, as well as new processes with anaerobic fermentation growing in popularity.
If you’re looking for certified or women-produced coffees at microlot quality, look to the Chiapas coffees in our offerings list.

This year, we’ve focused our efforts on casting a wider net to regions of Mexico that are brand new to our offerings. As Mexico rebuilds from the ecological crisis, producers are proving that with careful growing and processing, rust-resistant hybrids are capable of exceeding standards. The regions of Guerrero, Puebla, Veracruz, and Oaxaca are showing promise for the future of specialty coffee in Mexico. From the Guerrero region, we’re purchasing natural and anaerobic microlots and Aces lots for the second year from Marco Cadena. Through our relationship with AMSA, we’ve placed a buying center in Puebla to seek out single-farm, single-variety lots. We’ve also found Veracruz producers growing Mundo Maya and Anacafe-14. All of these are starting to reach the warehouse, and we encourage you to sample them.

In Piero’s words, Mexico is the most up-and-coming producing country. We are devoted to sourcing coffees from producers and cooperatives that have worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges of the past decade, placing Mexico as a premier specialty Origin.