Silver Oak Coffee - The Black Bag: Las Delicias - Mexico
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E-Café – the organisation to which the contributing producers belong – is a faith-based social enterprise established to improve the livelihoods of farmers within Mexico’s poorest state, Chiapas. The organisation seeks to alleviate and,ultimately eliminate poverty by helping small scale, indigenous coffee farmers in Chiapas to improve the quality of their coffee and find new markets for their product. E-Café provides support, training and financing to their members (in addition to milling and exporting their coffee) and is committed to ensuring that the ‘E’ (in E-Café) continues to stand for Enterprise, Environment, Empowerment and Eternity, reflecting the organization’s commitment to community development through economic empowerment. While coffee is the largest income generator and primary livelihood improvement activity for the organisation, it is a relatively new endeavour for them. They began their charitable work in the region by fully funding a University-prep high school for rural young people, an activity which they continue to fund today.
The Las Delicias community is a steep two hour drive into the mountains north of Independencia. The community was originally settled by workers at the nearby Finca Santa Cruz and has gradually become officially recognised by the state as its own political entity. Currently, the small village is home to around 50 households, most of which are related and share the same last names (Luna and Lievano are the most common). All families living here are entirely dependent upon coffee production for their livelihoods.
E-Café member groups are asked to select a group leader, who works with E-Café to secure resources and create cultivation schedules for all lots. In this case, Las Delicias producers have increasingly taken steps to improve soil fertility, impacting both cup quality and productivity and have established worm composting modules to process coffee pulp and other organic waste into fertiliser for coffee plants and other crops. Some producers in the group supplement this with additional fertiliser, which is usually applied once or twice a year. Pruning is done on a tree-by-tree basis, but there has been very little renovation in recent years due to lack of resources and governmental support. As such, each contributing farmer currently only produces 10-20 bags of coffee annually. E-Café aims to work with the group leader of Las Delicias to improve this in the coming years.
Coffee is usually pulped at the individual producers’ homes – though some share infrastructure according to family affiliation. Coffee is delivered via multiple methods including both truck and donkey, on the same day that it is selectively handpicked. The coffee is then sorted to remove any under-ripe and damaged beans and is floated in clean water to remove debris and insect-damaged beans. It is then pulped, in most cases using a 0.5-1 HP motor pulping machine, after which it is delivered to tanks where it is covered with jute for fermentation. After fermentation, the coffee is washed with clean water, which is filtered to remove solids and pollutants before being released. The coffee is then delivered to producers’ patios to dry, where it is raked every 20 to 30 minutes to ensure even drying and constant temperatures. In most cases, parchment dries for 7 to 8 days before being bagged and delivered to E-Café’s warehouse and dry mill in preparation for export.
Great for: Cafetiere, Espresso, Milky, With milk
Origin: Central America/Mexico - La Independencia
Owner: Various smallholder farmers
Process Method: Washed
Roast Profile: Medium-Dark
Varietals: Caturra, Mundo Novo and Catimor
When do we roast and post your coffee?
We roast on TUESDAYs and sometimes on Saturdays if stocks are low. We dispatch orders Monday thru Friday by Royal Mail - 1st or 2nd class.
Orders for 1-3 bags are sent Royal Mail 1st Class. Orders for 4-7 bags are sent via a courier.
Delivery prices to United Kingdom
|e.g. Espresso||18g||Vario 1E||25secs||30ml||A bit finer next time would be better.|