Peña Colorada 2021
Sierra Mazateca, Oaxaca
Typica, Mundo Novo, Bourbon
Coffee has been grown in Oaxaca for many generations, though the state is perhaps better known for its unique culture and cuisine than for its coffee. The region is topographically unique, with steep mountain ranges that fall abruptly into the sea, between which are narrow valleys and ravines where indigenous peoples have lived for centuries. The remote mountains of the Sierra Mazateca, a small range in the northern part of the state, are one of the hardest places to grow coffee in all of Latin America. The weather conditions of the mountains – cold, moist, and unpredictable – mean that farmers risk frost, mould, and over-fermentation when producing coffee. However, when not causing damage, these same conditions also allow for slow and steady cherry ripening, leading to delicious results.
The people of the Sierra Mazateca are primarily indigenous, with few native Spanish speakers. This makes doing business in the region harder for international buyers, with the result that most farmers sell to local middlemen who pay cut rate prices. Felipe Palacios, a retired schoolteacher from the Mazateca, now works on organising coffee producers in the area in order to gain access to higher quality markets. He works primarily in and around the towns of Peña Colorada, Eloxochitlán, and Agua Iglesias. Finding quality-based prices, as opposed to middlemen, means that the average farmer in the region can earn many times their normal income from coffee. This is exactly what Felipe and our partners, Raw Material, have been trying to do.
Raw Material began working in the region only a few years ago, but have set up a method of working in the area that is already having an positive effect on the farmers they work with. Not only are they applying a transparent, fixed price buying model to all their purchases, but in recognition of the issues above, they have made their focus on raising yields, improving quality, and connecting producers with roasters who are commited to seeing a better future for coffee producers in Oaxaca.
Caravan Coffee Roasters are proud members of 1% for the Planet. For more information please visit https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
Profiled on our Loring Peregrine S70 roaster for sweetness and balance, this coffee is great drunk both black and with milk. We recommend a starting ratio of 60g per litre water used, adjusted for size.