||Mexico Las Cotorras Washed Maragogype 2019
When did we last have coffee from Mexico? Well, it’s been a while – 2011!!! We’ve been on the look out ever since then. The good news is that the quantity of high quality coffee from Mexico has been on the rise.
We loved this coffee before we knew where it was from, though. It stood out as a deliciously balanced cup while we were tasting samples from an importer we work with closely.
So let's talk a little bit about the farm and the coffee's background. Las Cotorras is a coffee that's grown in the highlands of the state of Chiapas, which is home to the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve.
The farm name means "The Parrots". That's because an incredibly beautiful species of bird can be seen as you journey through the remote highlands. Over time it has become a symbol in the region for authenticity and freedom.
These birds are called "Cotorras", and they find their perfect habitat on coffee farms that produce the amazing coffees in the highlands of Chiapas. In this area, you can witness the juxtaposition of southern and northern species, which are attracted to the area’s natural richness.
El Triunfo Biosphere is a protected area of close to 120,000 hectares. It represents some of the very last of the Central American cloud forests, where naturally occurring condensation is trapped by the forest. This gives life to a large number of plant and animal species.
The varietal Maragogype (pronounced mar-rah-go-jeepeh) was originally found in Brazil, and it's a mutation of the Typica varietal. The plant is very distinctive due to its very tall height, as well as its huge leaves and fruit.
The coffee seed/bean is also very distinctive due to its large size; it’s often nicknamed "Elephant Bean". This has created some interest in the bean, because it's very distinctive.
I’ve seen a few of these coffees from Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico, though new plantings of this bean seem to be becoming a little less popular as interest in varietals like Kenyans and Geishas has risen in the last few years. This varietal is also the parent of two others: the Maracaturra (crossed with Caturra) and my beloved Pacamara (a cross with Pacas). You know I love a Pacamara, so guess who's also a fan of these big ol' beans? ????
The plant is very low yielding despite how tall it can grow. Quite a few Maragogype lots you see from around the world are a blend of several small lots, which are sold to the local mill and then bulked to create a larger lot. However, this lot is only from Las Cotorras.
This is a mash-up of the humble and the fancy: a dark chocolate digestive biscuit piled into a raspberry pavlova. It starts with that dark chocolate underpinned by biscuity sweetness, but immediately you get a zing of juicy raspberry and an intense sweetness and creamy texture that reminds me of meringue.
Municipality: Mixed municipalities of Chiapas
Farm: Las Cotorras
Altitude: 1,300–1,500 m.a s.l.
Producers: Independent small-scale producers from the state of Chiapas
Processing method: Fully washed
Fermentation time: 20–24 hours
Drying method: Fully sun-dried on raised African beds and concrete patios
Shade: Native trees
Dark chocolate, digestive biscuit, raspberry, meringue
Clean cup (1–8): 6
Sweetness (1–8): 7
Acidity (1–8): 6
Mouthfeel (1–8): 6.5
Flavour (1–8): 7
Aftertaste (1–8): 6
Balance (1–8): 6
Overall (1–8): 6.5
Correction (+36): +36
Total: (max. 100): 87
Medium-dark: don't get put off by the big beans – keep this one not too slow yet not too quick, and aim for through first crack and just hitting second when you finish the roast. Don't try anything too unusual, because these beans won't forgive a very fast or slow roast.
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