Here is an opportunity to try some stellar beans by a newly formed association of producers in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, which includes the El Triunfo biosphere reserve. Ek-Balam Productores del Jaguar S.C. DE R. L. de C.V. (Ek-Balam) was formed in 2019 with 399 members. The vast majority of producers have indigenous roots and continue to speak a native language. Nearly one third of these growers are women who depend on income from coffee to support their families.
They cultivate coffee on farms that average just a few acres in size, small enough for each producer to process their own coffee with their own micro-mill. Ek-Balam provides crucial support to small producers. In particular, the association has helped producers gain access to credit and certifications.
Investments for basic infrastructure needs, like road improvements, establishing local warehouses, and operating a dry-mill facility are all coordinated through Ek-Balam, which ensures traceability and quality control throughout the post-harvest process. Their collective efforts have established higher prices and more producer income to support best agricultural practices and improve livelihoods.
Tasting Notes: A great daily drinker! Very nice and chocolaty cup of coffee with some nutty accents and a hint of caramel with a little luck on the roast. A clean lemony crispness upfront at the light to medium roasts especially as the cup cools. We liked it best medium to dark, can show a little grassy tone too light. A very nice dark roast candidate for those who love some complimenting roasty notes, big bodied and very chocolaty. Assuming you roast it a little closer to 2nd crack, it will develop a medium body and far reduced acidity but won’t loose its sweeter edge. A couple pops into 2nd crack produce still very clear and smooth chocolaty tones without adding over-the-top roasty notes.
Roasting Notes: An easy coffee to roast. Medium chaff, nice screen and pretty even roasting. This cup will mostly appeal to medium and dark roast fans. A little longer setup helps smooth out a bit of acidity if you roast it a bit too light for your preference.