Sierra Azul is a small cooperative that brings together just over 200 small holder farmers living within Southern Mexico’s El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve. Named for the bluish hue of the tree covered mountains of the Reserve.
A look at the specs
Varietal(s): Typica, Bourbon, Mundo Novo
Processing: Fully washed & dried on patios
Altitude: 1 000 to 1 900 metres above sea level
Owner: 200 small holder farmers
Town: El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Ejido Capitan Luis A. Vidal
Region: Siltepec, Chiapas
Average farm size: 3 hectares
Certification: NOP, COR, EU & JAS Organic
Siltepec, Chiapas is an excellent coffee growing area with plentiful water, fertile soil and high altitudes. Each small holder member processes and dries his/her own coffee, instead of taking it to a central processing unit.
The vast majority of producers have their own nursery, or share one with a neighbour or family member. Seedlings are grown using the very best cherries from each harvest, which are reserved and set aside. A selection of the best for future generations.
Since all farms are managed organically, all the farmers do weeding by hand, using a machete( https://media.giphy.com/media/tJYRAoBBGi7xS/giphy.gif). For this arduos work, some farmers hire temporary workers, but most still rely on family.
Each producer has his/her own wet-mill. Coffee is always pulped on the same day that it is picked and is then fermented in cement tanks for about 24 hours. The day after, the coffee is fully washed to remove all traces of residual mucilage. All water used in the pulping and processing is filtered so as to prevent water contamination down stream, and all the remaining pulp is used as compost. Drying patios are usually small but are well kept.
In my opinion, Mexican coffees have become more appealing over the last few years, and I suspect the Coffee leaf rust epidemic which swept across Central America, strating around 2012 had a part to play, among other factors. Mexico has come a long way since then, the result of which seems to be sweeter and cleaner cup profiles.
In the cup expect- Honeycomb, Gooseberry and Cumin with a tart, berry-like acidity. Great in Siphon, Plunger, Mokapot and Epresso. Wet processed traditional varieties, grown organically- Need I say more.
Enjoy the brews.