Finca Santa Cruz: La Concordia, Chiapas
A few months ago a sample arrived at the laboratory, which literally “blew my mind”, it took me by surprise. The fragrant notes of jasmine brought up memories of flower fields in the spring, This coffee had a complex citrusy flavor, intense sweetness, pleasant aftertaste, and a well-defined character. It was undoubtedly a Gesha. I needed to find out more about the provenance of this coffee.
The opportunity came about to travel where the seeds of this Gesha are grown, and a few months later I finally got to visit the farm. Everything on this trip was special: the coffee, the producers, the farms and the state traveled to: Chiapas.
For several days I devoted myself to researching the Chiapas region. Chiapas is a state in Mexico that is characterized by its natural wealth, multiculturalism, but above all the biodiversity it harbors. Located to the south, Chiapas borders the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Tabasco, as well as Guatemala.
This Gesha comes from the municipality of La Concordia which is part of the Fraylesca region and is located to the southeast of the state. I was heading to Finca Santa Cruz, in the community of Las Delicias. To get here it requires several stops and transfers and about 19 hours of travel from Oaxaca City to get to this magnificent farm. The travel times was absolutely worth it.
The adventure began when I boarded a bus in Oaxaca City, bound for Tuxtla Gutiérrez, capital of the state of Chiapas. The trip lasted almost 11 hours. There is no direct transportation to the municipality of La Concordia, and have to use a collective taxi that took me to the municipality of Independencia, the trip lasted 3 hours! When I arrived my friend Christian López (Operations Manager for Ensambles Cafe Mexicanos) was already waiting for me to go to the municipality of Jaltenango, it took another hour to travel between Independencia and Jaltenango. We decided to stay for the night and to continue the following day.
We left at 6 a. m. to go to Paraiso, a community that is part of La Concordia, where we met with the producers of CAFECO and then head to Finca Santa Cruz, which took us another 2 hours of traveling, but we were finally there!
The main objectives of this trip were to facilitate a quality improvement workshop to prepare the farm for the upcoming harvest. We met with producers from the surrounding areas and members of the CAFECO organization, to which Finca Santa Cruz belongs to.
The Quality Improvement Workshop was given by Christian, who shared the basics of harvesting ripe cherries, wet processing and drying practices, as well as basic elements of fermentation. The producers learned about methods that influenced the quality of their coffees and the processes to improve it. The theoretical-practical workshop culminated with the commitment of the attendees to implement these practices on their farms and on the importance of gradually improving quality as the axis of development.
The intervention of CAFECO and Ensambles in the region through the organization of this training was of vital importance for the people who attended because now they can implement these techniques. I left with the expectation that there will be other great coffees coming from this municipality for the Global Book!