Mexico El Mezcal
Cupping Notes: Stonefruit, Sprite™, Chocolate Malt, Honey
Description: El Mezcal is a beautiful example of the specialty coffee industry taking small scale producers from selling on local markets to being represented for their own individual quality. E-Cafe Chiapas is an organization of growers who started out as an exporter in 2007. They organize this microlot that is produced by 12 small scale growers who had previously sold their coffee into a larger regional blend. E-Cafe hosted the farmers who contribute to El Mezcal at their research farm, Finca Las Chicharras, in 2016 to learn growing and processing techniques for specialty coffee. Then in 2019, the E-Cafe team helped El Mezcal build their own raised beds for drying coffee, as they were previously drying it in their yards. Before getting into the processing and cup profile for this lot, we have to touch on the epic name, “El Mezcal”. Unfortunately it was not named because these 12 producers got together, sang songs, and drank mezcal all night. Last year was our first year bringing in this microlot, and we actually misunderstood where they name came from. On a visit to Chiapas in early 2022, we learned the name comes from a tree called “Mezcal”. In all honesty I cannot find this tree on the internet so there must be another name for it, but it’s an impressively large shade giving tree (size-wise, think a canopied redwood).
This handpicked lot is sent to the fermentation tanks for 24 hours before being washed clean of mucilage. After it’s been washed the coffee is sorted and then put on raised beds in a greenhouse for drying that maintains a temperature of 30-35℃. The coffee will go through destoning next to ensure no foreign matter makes it through the process, and then the coffee is hulled to remove the parchment. With the coffee processed down to green coffee, E-Cafe runs it through a color sorter, and finishes with size grading to be sure that the resulting coffee is uniform and without defects for the best quality across the lot.
El Mezcal is always really clean and sweet on the cupping table. This year we get notes of bright fruity notes of Stonefruit and Sprite™, rounded out with the sweetness of Chocolate Malt and linger of Honey.