Coffees from Chiapas, Mexico have been a staple in our offerings since we began roasting three years ago. From a sustainability standpoint, Mexico is the nearest coffee growing region to us in Arizona, which in theory should result in at least some small reduction of the energy use associated with transporting the coffee to our small town roastery. Equally important, however, is a widespread emphasis on certified organic agricultural practices in Chiapas, which we believe is healthier approach for both the environment and coffee producers, and also allows for a higher compensation for participating farmers. Mexican coffees seem to be real crowd-pleasers when it comes to the cup profile - rarely too extreme in any one category, coffees grown in Chiapas seem to be well-rounded and versatile.
Our latest selection comes to us from a cooperative called Unión Ramal Santa Cruz, which was founded in 2001 by a professor with the goal of improving the livelihoods and quality of production of small coffee famers in the municipality of La Concordia. Facing historically low prices and sketchy transactions with "coyote" coffee buyers, Professors Cruz José Arguillo Miceli's cooperative helped build community and opportunity for this remote farming region. The lot we have sourced is both certified Fair Trade and Organic.
Farmers within the cooperative also have the good fortune of being situated within the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, one of the most diverse evergreen cloud forests in Mexico. The high elevation, rich soil, and abundant rainfall offer an ideal environment for coffee cultivation. Many producers plant their coffee under the shade of the forest canopy, and in conjunction with a dozen other types of vegetation. This approach maintains the integrity of the rainforest as well as the biodiversity that it supports.
In our cup, we are tasting notes of almond and milk chocolate, with a gentle apple-like acidity. We are roasting it to a true medium level and find it compatible with many different brewing techniques. If you're the type of coffee drinker that enjoys a sturdy, dependable cup without too many quirky tasting notes, we think you'll enjoy Ramal Santa Cruz!
Region: La Concordia, Chiapas
Producer: Union Ramal Santa Cruz
Varieties: Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, Mondo Novo
Elevation: 1000-1800 meters above sea level
Certifications: Fair Trade, Organically Grown