Sebastian grows his coffee within the forest of the Sierra Mazateca. His farm is fully organic, and teeming with biodiversity. In the cup we find a comforting profile of chocolate, blueberry, and a balanced citrus acidity.
Typica & Tabi
La Reforma, San Mateo Yoloxochitlán, Oaxaca
Hand-picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects. Held in cherry for 48 hours. Fermented underwater for 72 hours. De-pulped. Washed. Dried on raised beds for 20-25 days.
This is our fourth year working in the remote region of Sierra Mazateca. We've been focusing our Mexican buying here because it has the highest potential for quality, and because its producers desperately need better access to the specialty market. Most of the producers in the Sierra Mazateca have tiny coffee gardens, and grow completely organically by default. The vast majority of the coffee is also grown in full forest coverage, which brings the yields down significantly. By buying coffee from producers in this region, we hope to increase quality, move towards single-producer separations, and support coffee that is both economically viable and environmentally friendly. We rarely see such beautifully cultivated coffee where bio-diversity is still the norm.
Bourbon and Typica compose the most culturally and genetically important groups of coffees in the world. Historical records indicate that seeds were taken from the natural coffee forests of Southwestern Ethiopia to Yemen, where it was cultivated as a crop. Recent genetic tests have confirmed that Bourbon and Typica were the main seeds taken from Ethiopia to Yemen. From Yemen, descendants of Bourbon and Typica spread around the world, forming the basis of modern Arabica coffee cultivation.
Typica reached Brazil in the early 1700’s, and quickly spread throughout most of Central and South America. Until the 1940’s, the majority of coffee plantations in Central America were planted with Typica. However, because this variety is both low yielding and highly susceptible to major coffee diseases, it has gradually been replaced across much of the Americas with Bourbon varieties such as Caturra, Catuai, and also hybrids.
Tabi is a newer hybrid to the scene, having been developed in 2002. It is a cross between Bourbon, Typica, and Timor Hybrid. Tabi was developed as a part of the research to develop a variety that is disease resistant while maintaining good cup quality. Over the last few years this has become our favorite hybrid variety because it provides producers with an excellent disease-resistant choice while also having a very high cup quality potential.
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.