La Cañada, Oaxaca, Mexico

  • FARM
  • Tejao
  • M.A.S.L.
  • 1500 - 1900
  • Producers
  • Ensambles

Tejao is the original name for the town of Huautla de Jimenez: a town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, which is famous for its coffee, in the north of the La Cañada Region. Tejao means twelve in Mazateco, the indigenous language, and it refers to the the number of people who first settled in the area.

Traditionally, despite coffee being the main agricultural product of the region, coffee yields have been low and crops have often been sold to the commodity market, however recent investment in the area from projects like Ensambles sees an increased focus on specialty coffee. 

Coffee in this region is traditionally fully washed and mainly organic, although not certified as such, and the majority of farms feature shade-grown coffee. There is a culture of minimal intervention in this area too, meaning producers tend to refrain from pruning the Typica plants, often resulting in 2-3 metre high coffee trees, as old as 40 years in some cases! Typica is a varietal that often suffers from Coffee Leaf Rust, however, due to the altitude of this region, the coffee crops have not suffered from this.

Because of the lower temperatures (particularly overnight) in this region, there is a high level of humidity in the atmosphere. This makes drying coffee a tricky endeavour, meaning that many producers often have to move coffee from outdoor drying patios inside overnight. As a result of this, coffee is often dried to a lower humidity than is usually seen in the surrounding areas: around 11% humidity, compared with the typical 12-13% to ensure longevity. 

However, these lower temperatures aren't all bad and, when managed effectively, can lead to great things. The colder climate and later harvest than other coffee-growing parts of Mexico means the coffee cherries have a longer, slower maturation period, often resulting in a sweeter, complex cup.

A view of the mountainous region of Tejao, Mexico | Hasbean.co.uk
Coffee cherries | Hasbean.co.uk
Miguel from Ensambles measures the moisture level of the green beans | Hasbean.co.uk
Miguel from Ensambles measures the moisture level of the green beans
A worker processes the coffee cherries by first submersing them in water | Hasbean.co.uk
The town of Tejao (Huautla de Jimenez) | Hasbean.co.uk
The town of Tejao (Huautla de Jimenez)

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