We are delighted to share with you this beautiful lot of washed typica, mundo novo and bourbon, grown in the hills surrounding San Mateo Yoloxochitlán in the remote Sierra Mazateca region of Oaxaca, Mexico.
In the cup it is incredibly clean, sweet and subtly complex, with notes of clementine, honeycomb and panna cotta.
Tom has long had an obsession with Oaxaca as one of the world’s centres of food biodiversity. The Sierra Mazateca is a mountain range located to the north of Oaxaca City. The region is very remote, hard to access, and is marked by its steep and dramatic topography. It takes its name from the indigenous Mazatec, a Nahualt name that translates as “the deer people”. In their own language, however, the Mazatec refer to themselves as Ha shuta Enima, which means “those who work the hills”.
The Mazateca is also known for its more mystic elements, with a strong culture of shamanism and psychoactive mushroom use. It became an unlikely centre for alternative tourism in the 1960s and 70s after a local healer called María Sabina allowed Westerners to participate in the velada healing ritual.
Today the region is rarely visited, and even in the coffee world it is often neglected due to its remote location, challenging conditions, and small production. Even by Oaxaca’s standards, production yields are tiny, in part due to the cool temperatures. Coffee is generally grown at 1,500 MASL and above, and at this latitude, these altitudes experience very low temperatures making frost damage a real issue for producers.
On the other hand, the climate and altitude contribute positively to the cup profile, and in general, coffees from the Mazateca are amongst the most complex and high quality in all of Mexico.
We hope you enjoy this, our initial offering from Mazateca, and we look forward to bringing you more coffees and stories from this region in the months and years to come.