La Mazateca is located in the northern part of La Canada, a region in the state of Oaxaca, famous for its coffee. La Canada benefits from an incredible diversity of climates, receiving currents from both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. La Mazateca is the highest part of La Canada, with coffee farms located between 1500 and 1900m.
This altitude and cold climate results in a much later harvest (Feb to April) compared to other parts of Mexico. Cherries in La Mazateca take longer to mature, resulting in a high potential for very sweet and complex coffees.
Coffee is the main agricultural product of the region, but low prices and poor business perspectives have drastically reduced the numbers of producers in the past 20 years. Nowadays the main income stream in La Mazateca comes from the government through the salaries of the many teachers employed in the area, and subsidies to the farmers
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 have produced a nice video of the La Canada de Tejao project here: