Chiapas is the southernmost state in Mexico, at the Guatemalan border. The coffees are distinct from the Oaxaca Plumas and Coatepec coffees: they are a little brighter, sweeter, and bear some resemblance to the Huehuetenango coffees of Guatemala. In fact, in this year of a high and unstable market price for coffee, much Huehue coffee has been smuggled across the border to Mexico and sold as Mexican coffee, reversing a long trend in the other direction. Oaxaca is my other favorite Mexican origin, but the really good Chiapas coffees like this one have been consistently excellent, and offer a brighter and livelier cup. Many of the coffees from Chiapas are from small farms, cooperatively wet-milled and sold. We have offered the UDEPOM coop Chiapas for years. (UDEPOM, PROISH ... not the greatest names in the world. It's not the oddest coop name I have heard, or longest (Fedecocagua is up there for that award). Anyway, this Proish organic-certified Chiapas landed on the cupping table, and it was classic Chiapas cup character, and much more uniform in the roast than other Mexico coffees I have looked at this year.
This cup has a very attractive, clean-fruited character from start to finish. In the dry fragrance, there is a mild cherry-vanilla and hint of coffee flower scent, along with hazelnut roast tones (C+ roast). Adding the hot water to brew, wet aromatics reveal caramel and cane sugar with a touch of peach and nut. In the cup the fruit has ample stone fruit characteristics (peach and apricot), malic sweetness, nutty roast tones (C+ roast) and medium body. It's a mild cup overall, lightly fruited, very refined overall. The aftertaste is slightly drying, but sweet and pleasant. (Note: We have found some more defect beans than expected in some bags of the Proish. The cup is still very nice if you remove the part-black and black beans before roasting. It's disappointing to have bag-to-bag inconsistency, but not unexpected for a Organic cooperative coffee from South Mexico. -Tom)