We have some scheduled site maintenance to take care of, so our shopping cart will be down for about an hour starting at 6am PST on Wed. 10/17. You can still window shop...you just won't be able to buy anything until around 7am. Sorry for the trouble and thanks for your patience.
We have bought from this cooperative for 10 years now, including "Rebuild Chiapas" lots in the past where we paid a premium to help with hurricane recovery projects around Motozintla, where the headquarters for the coop are. Last year, I visited to try to seek out particular communities of farmers that might have coffee with unique cup character, despite the fact the co-op operates by pooling coffees into bulk lots from a wide range of farmer-groups. They agreed to produce some micro-regional lots, but frankly the results were just average. It proved to me that I can't take a cookie-cutter approach in dealing with producers, constantly preaching the benefits of separating micro-lots in search of cup quality, with a 2x or 3x premium for resulting coffees. It just may not work everywhere in terms of better cup quality or in the co-ops economic self-interest. So I went back to cupping all their pooled lots and I definitely feel the quality of the larger mixed lots is better than any micro-lot samples! I came up with this great coffee which has Fair Trade and Organic cert.s to boot. I like FTO from Mexico in particular - I think it's one of the origins where it matters most, whereas our base prices paid to farms in other areas far exceeds FT pricing, especially in our Farm Gate, direct trade lots. Immediately this lot jumped out at me for the fruited not in the dry fragrance, suggesting banana, married to nice cocoa with nuts. Not a bad start. I find a lot of sweetness in the wet aroma, syrupy, with praline character. The cup is mild, as Chiapas is bound to be, with fairly light body. But this year (a small crop in general) has really nice, brisk acidity with a lemony aspect. It has this same, sweetness as the aromatics, mildly rustic, like raw brown sugar. In fact, this reminds me of the traditional Mexican cone-shaped sugar cakes, Panela, in the aftertaste. There's a caramel apple quality in the cup, which has moderate brightness and is fairly short in the aftertaste. It's a simple cup perhaps, but what a nice antidote to over-the-top Yemens and Kenyas and such! It's drinkin' coffee.