La Limonada

  • Tasting Notes Physallis, red grape and toffee
  • Location Quimixtlán, Mexico
  • Elevation 1600 - 1900 M
  • Details Washed Typica

Limonada (Limontitla), means Land of Lemons in the Nahuatl indigenous language, is located in the municipality of Quimixtlán, on the border between the states of Puebla and Veracruz, and is one of the territories crossed by the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range. The elevation is between 1,600 and 2,000 masl, and coffee plots are typically less than one hectare.

During harvest seasons, producers transport their cherries on mules or on their backs to the collection centres, since the roads are not passable by vehicle. In addition, kidnappings and robberies that have occurred on the access roads and have sown fear in the community and in coffee buyers, who avoid traveling or visiting the area.

Farmers diversify production by planting other foods such as avocado, lemons, papaya, pepper, macadamia and pineapple, that are intended for sale and self-consumption, promoting the communities' food sovereignty.

Soil nutrition is often heard to be based on organic compost of ash, lime or eggshells.

Coffee cultivation is largely organic. Producers fabricate their own organic fertilisers and all farms feature shade-grown coffees. The farms maintain a culture of minimal intervention, producers are quite reluctant towards pruning, and are proud of their 2-3 meter high, 40 year old Typica trees.

Typica is a low yielding variety which means the per hectare production is low compared to similar size farms in Colombia for example. This is exacerbated by the lack of pruning and general farm renovation.

Our import partner Ensambles Cafes Mexicanos explained the reasoning for investigating coffees in this remote area:

"First because it has the perfect conditions for cup quality at 1700 masl, mostly old varietals such as Typica and Bourbon, combined with a cool climate and late harvest (March/April).

Second, we always look at buying coffees in areas where producers have no or limited access to market, so we can make an impact introducing specialty."

A characteristic of this area is that producers mostly sell cherries and not parchment. That’s due to a combination of history (5 wealthy families used to control all the processing and exporting during colonisation and after), and there are frequent droughts that make water scarce for wet milling.

This season was a trial one in Limontitla, and Ensamble bought some cherries and processed them at their farm El Equimite, about 3 hours drive from Limontitla. They chose washed process to get an idea of the potential, and were not disappointed. Luckily, nor are we.


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