Unique & Surprising
About this coffee
When looking for coffees that can fall under our Unique & Surprising category, we look for characteristics in the coffee that blow us away with its complexity and uniqueness. And when we first tasted this coffee from Ejidos San Fernando, we knew this had to be our first Unique & Surprising coffee.
What makes this coffee so interesting is its variety and processing method. This specific lot from San Fernando is comprised solely of the Gesha variety, a rare and highly sought after variety of coffee. Much like how other fruits have different kinds of varieties (i.e. apple - fuji apple, granny smith apple, gala apple, etc.), so does coffee as well. The gesha variety originally comes from Ethiopia but has since been transported to other producing countries throughout the world, in an effort to capture the wonderful flavors present in this variety - fruit forward and floral. The results have been nothing short of amazing. And this coffee is no exception.
Adding to this wonderful variety is its processing method - the method to which the coffee seed is removed from the fruit. In the case of the Ejidos San Fernando, the coffee is processed as a natural, meaning after the coffee cherries are picked during the peak of the harvest, the fruit is left to dry under the sun through meticulous handling of the cherries on raised bed with constant raking and monitoring to promote even drying. Once the cherry's have reached a certain moisture content, which in this coffee's case is 11% the cherries are depulped (usually through a machine), sorted by size and weight, and packed up, all the while having had absorbed much of the characteristics and flavor from the fruit. The results are stunning and we know that this coffee will stun every coffee drinker's expectation.
On the farm level side of things, Ejidos San Fernando is one of the largest and most-established cooperatives in Mexico. What makes Ejidos so special is the cooperative's impact for so many smallholder farmers. The average tends to less than 4 hectares of land. Without the collaborative benefits, each farmer on his or her own would be helpless. Gathering their resources, these producers give and take for one another, ensuring higher living standards.
The cooperative's headquarters is in San Fernando, Chiapas, near Cañon de Sumidero. It is no wonder these diligent workers care for both their society and environment. Sumidero is true beauty: surrounded by the canyon is 21,789 hectares of protected national parkland, most of which is lush rainforest. A river flows through gigantic valley walls in the middle of the park providing endangered species of flora and fauna—terrain and aquatic alike— a refuge from human intrusion. The farmers at Ejidos do their part conserving the environment by nurturing their land, composting waste, and preparing for the successful futures of the many generations to come.
At the start, the co-operative harvested only conventionally-grown coffee. As the organization grew and matured, co-op leaders considered the mechanisms to best satisfy the association's primary objectives: coffee commercialization and economic- and social-empowerment for each producer.
Additionally, the cooperative realized that its farms could also protect the gorgeous environment in which they live. Without the fertile land on which they grow coffee, economic and social prosperity would not be possible. Ejidos San Fernando takes care to promote the environment's security by conserving natural resources to ensure lucrative harvests for future generations. For this reason, the co-operative has since switched its cultivation to an exclusively organic harvest. Now, not only is the environment better off but so are the farmers and their families.
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