Back for the third year in a row, this is an amazing community lot from a difficult to access area near Oaxaca which produces incredible coffees. This is a super easy drinking and moreish lot from a group of producers who each contribute their tiny volumes. We taste pear, caramel and honey.
CULTIVAR: Typica, Mundo Novo, Bourbon
LOCATION: Sierra Mazateca, Oaxaca
ALTITUDE: 1,600m – 1,800 masl
PRICE PAID: £11.21/kg
The Sierra Mazateca mountain range is located to the north of Oaxaca city and forms much of the state’s border with Veracruz. The region is very remote and hard to access and marked by its steep and dramatic topography. Even by Oaxaca’s low standards production yields are tiny here, in part due to the cool temperatures. The climate and altitude also contribute positively to the cup profile and in general, coffees from the Mazateca are among the most complex and highest quality in all of Mexico.
Today the region is rarely visited, and even in the coffee world it is often neglected due to the challenging conditions, remote locations and small production. Even by Oaxaca’s low standards production yields are tiny here, in part due to the cool temperatures. Coffee is generally grown at 1,500 metres and above in the Mazateca. At this latitude these altitudes can experience very low temperatures, making frost damage a real issue for producers.
Many producers here do not speak Spanish and Mazateco is the first language for the vast majority of people in the region. This can make organisation and coordination a little tougher, but the quality and potential make the Mazateca one of the main focuses of the work Raw Material is doing in Mexico.
The Peña Colorada group is not a formal co-op or association but rather a community led producer group that is co-ordinated by Felipe Palacios. Felipe is a retired teacher from the Mazateca who now works to co-ordinate coffee producers in the region.
All the coffee is pulped, often with hand pulpers then fermented for around 48 hours, typically in wooden tanks before being dried on petates, traditional hand-woven mats.