When you think of Mexican coffee, you probably come to mind only three producing states: Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Veracruz. But there is much more than that. The Café de Colima is one of the gastronomic gems worth discovering.
You are probably thinking that the climatic conditions of Colima do not lend themselves to planting and harvesting coffee; However, this small state has several microclimates that make it fertile ground for many products.
Pancho Arenas is a coffee brand that was born in the Volcano where the coffee trees are planted. The production is small, but the taste has nothing to do with this measure.
The many faces of Mexican coffee
Comala, kitchen of magical realism
Colima has two coffee regions. One is near Manzanillo and the other closest to the volcano del Fuego, in Comala.
That municipality made famous by Juan Rulfo , has much more than ghosts. Here you can find cheese, artisan bakery, preserves and a very interesting coffee proposal .
The advantage of this colimase land is that it is 1,600 meters above sea level , making it worthy competition for any high altitude coffee.
The coffee region includes the municipalities of Comala, Villa de Álvarez and Cuauhtémoc . There are 16 farmers of which 13 are also dedicated to the processing of grain to the cup.
The Volcano plays an interesting role, since as you can imagine, there are many minerals that the soil has and enriches the plants.
What does Colima coffee taste like?
Colima coffee is recognized as one of the most balanced in organoleptic matters. Thanks to the volcanic terroir, the level of acidity is moderate and the aromas are very noticeable.
You will perceive notes of nuts and chocolate , which speaks of sweetness, bitterness and astringency. This happens because of the ecosystem in which it grows and all the flora that accompanies the crops.
In Colima, people usually keep drinking coffee from the pot. For this reason, the toasting of Colima grain will always be medium.
The Portals of Suchitlán, the home of Pancho Arenas
Pedro Virgen is the head of one of the richest specialty coffees in all of Comala. His story begins with his mother’s business, a restaurant called Los Portales de Suchitlán .
Here comes to eat cuisine colimense in earnest : tatemado, pozole dry, pepena. All accompanied by fresh cheese, cream, jocoque and freshly made tortillas.
Although what Pedro cultivated were tomatoes, he decided to start working in the coffee industry because in Los Portales, the consumption was more than 15 tons per year.
In 2015, the project started and today it produces more than 90, which it also uses to sell in bulk and supply its own cafeteria in the City of Colima.
Taking advantage of the characteristics of the land and its sales platform, Pancho Arenas named a café that grew on the slopes of Volcán del Fuego; He was also known as Francisco Arenas in a legend that tells how he was baptized so that the eruptions ceased.
The process to reach perfection
To achieve a coffee that competes in the market and begins to shine through the land that saw it grow , much more is needed than just planting coffee trees .
Pedro Virgen trained with food engineers and farmers to give his coffee an identity of its own under very careful conditions.
The five hectares that he sows produce around 90 tons of raw fruit per year. After the harvest, it starts a long way up to your customers’ cup.
The first thing that happens is that the freshly cut cherries are cleaned and pulped. After this they are left to ferment for approximately 20 hours, depending on the weather, with the intention of releasing the mucilage.
After this, they dry for 3 to 5 days, depending on the sun. Before they were dried in areas – very large extensions of land, like where the salt of Colima is produced -; now greenhouses are used in order to standardize the process.
Once dried, it is packed in sacks and you have to wait three months before toasting it to concentrate the coffee and leave it at its point.
Once roasted , it is distributed to be ground and reach your cup. We recommend you to accompany it with a few stones or a few shells of Comala; You will see that magical realism does exist in this town.
Source: animal gourmet
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