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The Magic of Coffee in Mexico

The Magic of Coffee in Mexico

Even if you’re a tea drinker or don’t venture beyond orange juice, the rich aroma of brewed coffee in the morning is a sensory experience nonpareil.

In Mexico, coffee has been an important part of the culture for hundreds of years. After the Spanish conquest, coffee began to be cultivated in Córdoba, Veracruz, a region that reigns as a leading producer to this day. Long ago, indigenous communities adapted the coffee plant to local soil and weather conditions, evolving techniques to boost production and quality.

Due to favorable climatic conditions, coffee cultivation later spread to Oaxaca, Chiapas and Puebla. These regions account for nearly 90% of the coffee produced in Mexico. Roughly 63% of the coffee consumed worldwide is produced in the Americas, with Mexico ranked among the top producers.

To contrarians who claim coffee is unhealthy, here are the facts. One cup of coffee contains vitamins B2, B5, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants. In addition to sharpening your senses, coffee in moderation has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, diabetes and some types of cancer.

From field to cup, there are eight main stages required to extract maximum aroma and flavor from the coffee bean.

Plantation. Following initial planting, it takes from three to four years for a coffee tree to produce its cherries. Coffee trees are generally planted under a canopy of leafy trees to protect them from the sun and produce highly desirable “shade-grown” coffee.

Harvest. Two methods are used to harvest ripe coffee cherries. Some plantations in Mexico still rely on manual labor to pick the cherries; others use mechanized harvesters to gather the crop.

Processing. Once the pulp is removed and the seed extracted, the bean goes through various processes, depending on its individual characteristics.

Curing. The bean is shelled to properly classify it. It is then ready for export; or to continue with the refining process.

Tasting: At this point, beans are differentiated and classified so that more color and / or flavor can be obtained prior to roasting.

Roasting. The beans are placed in a roaster at between 370- and 540°F to remove moisture and enhance color and flavor.

Grinding. In this step, the roasted bean is reduced to aromatic grains or powder, ready to prepare a cup of coffee.

Preparation. Coffee lovers like to give a personal touch to their favorite beverage. Whether served with or without milk or cream, with or without sugar, hot or cold, personal preference is the governing factor.

Mexico is renowned for a true taste treat: Mexican coffee, a perfect combination of strong, freshly roasted coffee, chocolate, cinnamon plus, heavy cream, brown sugar and vanilla extract, among other ingredients. It’s like a perfect marriage between hot chocolate and a coffee. For many, it’s the ultimate sweet hot drink.

A good place to sample authentic Mexican coffee is Siempre at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, where one of the highlights of the Sunday Champagne Brunch is the steaming clay urn of fragrant Mexico coffee placed near the dessert table. Or, any day of the week, visit The Market at Quivira where El Café serves Mexico’s finest coffee beans, expertly roasted, and brews authentic cappuccino, café con leche, espresso and other caffeinated beverages.