A Highly Drinkable Mexico Veracruz from Producer Alejandro Martinez
New to our green offerings this month is a washed Mexico Veracruz coffee. This coffee is a single variety lot from Alejandro Martinez’s farm in Coatepec, a centrally located region in the state of Veracruz. While Alejandro Martinez grows multiple varieties across his 250-hectare farm, this selection is an isolated harvest of the varietal Anacafe 14. We enjoy carrying this coffee for classes and allowing other roasters to experience what this origin has to offer.
This offering from the Coatepec coffee district produces an outstanding cup. Much of Veracruz is low-lying, but moving inland towards the northern hills of the region’s central mountain range is an environment producing high-quality beans. Coatepec’s mountainous region is highly regarded. Sitting 1200 meters above sea level. It produces medium acidity and a sweet, smooth body.
The Anacafe 14 varietal is known to be high-yielding, resistant to leaf rust, and produces coffees of great quality at high altitudes. First identified around 1980, it is supposed to have originated from the cross between the Catimor and Pacamara varietals in Guatemala.
The Catimor coffee varietal, introduced in 1967, originates from crossing two hybrid varietals: Caturra and Timor. Various early creations of the Catimor varietal, dating back to 1959, have been utilized to create additional strains of the varietal and expand generations. Catimor is representative of distinguished sole cultivators as its lineage does not come down to a single variety.
After 30 years of cultivation and work done by the Genetic Department of Salvadorian Institute for Research (ISIC), the Pacamara varietal was released. This varietal comes from a hybrid of Bourbon Pacas and the giant Typica Maragogipe. Due to Pacamara’s complexity and captivating cup characteristics, this is an offering many will not want to miss out on. It boasts a creamy body in the cup, with intense sweet notes of chocolate, red fruit, and citrus.
Together these varietals give us the Anacafe 14 varietal. It was released as a commercial varietal in 2014 following several cycles of careful mass selection. This process included taking a group of individual plants and selecting them based on superior performance. Seeds from this selected plant are then bulked to form a new generation. Genealogical selection is also done by the National Coffee Association of Guatemala (ANACAFÉ).
INMECAFE, The Mexican Coffee Institute, was created after Mexico had recognized the potential of coffee exports to assist in rural development. In 1973, following the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement, coffee floor prices were removed and INMECAFE closed down. Cooperatives rose to take its place – supporting organic coffee growth and Mexico’s indigenous coffee producers.
On Alejandro’s farm, there are careful processing and harvesting practices established to ensure his coffee is up to standards. Cherries are picked and sorted for ripeness, and then undergo an 18-hour fermentation process. The next day the beans are washed, depulped, and laid out to dry in the sun. Drying occurs on a rooftop structure, as known as casa elbas, over the course of 32 days to enhance flavors. Using this method to dry coffee ensures direct sunlight and a higher level of security for the greens. To reduce the risk of heavy rainfall or morning dew, moveable panels have been engineered to protect the greens.
How We’re Roasting This Coffee
Bryant breaks down his approach to roasting this coffee with insights and tips.
“We have big beans so we’re going in with gentle heat, similar to coffees from Ethiopia. We’re using approximately 50-70% of gas with a static airflow. For phases, we’re extending the mid and allowing for a shorter development. In this roast, we’ve observed that these beans tend to open up at the end of our mid-phase with heat making its way inside much faster, unlike other coffees. It’s not like a standard roast, instead, it requires some finesse.”
With this offering, we experience a big body, nice sweetness, and a cup we can drink all day. Bryant refers to this coffee as “a worker bee’s cup, with no frills, just a clean delicious coffee.”