History of Mexican Coffee

Mexico has a long history of coffee production as well as its Latin neighbors the south. Mexican coffee is grown mainly in the South central to Southern regions of the country. Coffee from Coatepec and Veracruz is much different from Oaxacan Plumas, which are in turn much different from the southernmost region of Chiapas.

The later is a growing region that borders Guatemala, and you will find similarities between those coffees. In general you can expect a light-bodied coffee, mild but with delicate flavors, but there are exceptions of course. Mexico is one of the largest producers of certified organic coffees, and because of the close proximity, most Mexican coffee is exported to the U.S.

Coffee was introduced into Mexico during the nineteenth century from Jamaica. Mexican coffee is mainly the Arabica varietal, which grows particularly well in the Pacific coastal region of Soconusco, near the Guatemalan border. In the early 1990s, the southern state of Chiapas was Mexico's most important coffee-growing area, producing some 45 percent of the annual crop of 275,000 tons.

More than 2 million Mexicans grew coffee, most barely subsisting. Seventy-five percent of Mexican coffee growers worked plots of fewer than two hectares. These small cultivators produced about 30 percent of the country's annual harvest; larger and more efficient farms produced the rest.

During the 1980s, coffee became Mexico's most valuable export crop. In 1985 coffee growers produced 4.9 million sixty-kilogram bags, and coffee exports earned $882US million at the unusually high world price of $0.90US per kilogram. Thereafter output fluctuated between 5.6 million bags and 4.4 million bags.

As international coffee prices rose further, the government in 1988 encouraged coffee growers, especially in Chiapas, to increase output and expand the area under cultivation. It tried to increase production by offering easy credit to coffee growers and by converting forested land into ejidos for cultivation by poor Mexican coffee growers.

The finest grade of Mexican coffee is "Altura," which means "high-grown." Where coffee is concerned, higher always means better, and the high-grown coffees of Mexico are considered very high-quality indeed and among the finest grown in the Americas.

Mexican coffee drinkers have a unique way of brewing their coffee, many prefer to add a small amount of cinnamon to the ground coffee before brewing, this adds a distinct flavor and also reduces the acidity.

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About The Author,
Randy works with his son on Ultimate Coffees Info. Randy owned and operated a very successful storefront/mailorder business from 1988 to 2003.