The most magical forest on Earth

Mexico – El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve coffee

In an age when we get to see and taste so many great coffees it’s rare to come across a coffee that stops you dead in your tracks. As an origin Mexico produces significant quantities of coffee but I have to say that nothing up until now had been that memorable.

We’ve just taken delivery of a coffee from the Chiapas region that comes with a long list of accreditations. It’s organically grown, it is Fairtrade certified and is supported by the Café Femenino foundation. However it is where it is grown that gives this coffee its true significance.

El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve has been described by the BBC as the “most magical forest on Earth that lies atop a mountain” The reserve is situated in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountain range in the southern most regions of Mexico near Guatemala. Home to Mesoamerica’s largest contiguous Cloud Forest and a variety of endemic species of birds, butterflies, salamanders, and numerous species of mammals, El Triunfo is a critically important natural reserve in the region.

The El Triunfo reserve was first established in 1990 and in 1993, it was officially designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the MAB-UNESCO program. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but what about the coffee?! Personally I think it is extraordinary and I’ve been wondering why that is the case. From a processing perspective there’s nothing unusual. It’s a washed Arabica that is made up mostly of Bourbon and typical varietals and we roast it to a medium level in line with many other Central American coffees. So where does the magic come from? I believe it’s all about “terroir” a term usually associated with wine but just as relevant to coffee.

Just maybe when we respect the land and the entire eco system nature in turn rewards us. It’s a lesson we would do well to learn.

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