Oaxaca (pronounced waa-HA-kuh) is a predominantly small-lot coffee growing region in southern Mexico, with a few large cooperatives throughout. In Oaxaca, the same cultivation processes utilized in the 1940s are still favored across the region today, such as patio drying, dry pulpers, and traditional washing. Oaxacan coffee production is a real-time look to coffee’s past as it continues steadfast and proud into the future.
Red 5 de Diciembre
This cooperative, translated as “The 5 December Network,” hit the ground running in 2014 with just over 1,000 member producers. That number has bloomed to 2,519 today, featuring 44% female and 56% male producers. Red 5 de Diciembre’s success throughout Oaxaca’s subregions has fostered two offshoot organizations: CORO and Café Memorial Organico, which focus on international markets and local sales, respectively.
Washing and Drying
Dry pulpers are used to remove the skin, pulp, and pectin layers without the use of water, which saves money and valuable resources. All of Red 5 Diciembre’s members wash their yields, just as Mexican growers have done for decades. Washed coffee is all about the seed, not the cherry. Most specialty coffees are washed because this process gives the most true-to-origin experience, as the mucilage can impart syrupy flavors if left intact during processing. After the coffee is fermented and washed, it’s dried on patios in the sun. Washed coffee dried on cement patios takes about 6 - 7 days until it’s ready. The beans are spread out thin in layers in rows and shifted every 30 - 40 minutes.
The benefits of organic certification for the producers and the roasters are huge. Certification gives you access to markets you wouldn’t have otherwise, premium pricing, eligibility for grants and financial assistance, and the ability to purchase organic products and market them as such, among many other things.
Fresh Roasted Coffee Highlights Flavor
Coffees grown in Mexico are on the sweeter side, sporting notes of citrus, vanilla, berries, and caramel, flavors imparted thanks in part to their higher growing elevation. Our Organic Mexican is medium roasted to showcase its origin notes of pear and nuts and we balance it by adding a little depth with brown sugar notes. Fresh Roasted Coffee also roasts a Dark Mexican which intensifies the caramel flavors and adds a smoky, chocolatey finish.
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