Our Oaxaca coffee is a perfect balance of chocolate and almond tones, giving you a sweet and smooth taste for your morning cup of coffee. A cup of our Oaxaca blend is perfect for any occasion.
Coffee is the life blood of Oaxaca, and for the past several years the Unión de Productores Campesinos Tierra Indígena Zapoteca (UPCTIZ co-op for short) has been focused on improving quality through better picking, better processing and better drying—in turn receiving better pricing. They’ve even started a small scale honey bee program to boost pollination for the new saplings. These are all small farmers whose plots are tucked away into unassuming nooks and hillside pitches throughout the landscape, hidden from the journeyman and major roadways. The co-op was initially formed by a majority of Oaxacan farmers who decided to band together in order to acquire Fair Trade/Organic certification and produce a Fair Trade Organic Mexico Oaxaca coffee crop. For our part, we’re very happy to substantially support the UPCTIZ growers with equitable and fair premiums that are stable and far in excess of the Fair Trade minimums.
UPCTIZ represents several generations of proud growers from 13 different villages that have worked the same land for decades. The co-op headquarters is located in nearby San Miguel, where it maintains an arabica greenhouse and provides a number of benefits and services to its members. While visiting with Growers First, we met with one of patriarchal members, Mr. Lau, now the grandfather and his son Saul, who is a second generation grower. We emphasize that these are very hard working people who live off their own land as subsistence farmers, growing their own food and relying only on one another; coffee is their cash crop and everything else (beans, corn, herbs, produce) go right from farm to table. There’s no sugar coating it, this a tough, rugged life that is largely dependent on coffee and the income it provides. Our fundamental goal is to strengthen the village and the co-op, and in the process establish operations as more sustainable, more lucrative and easier to maintain.
Mexico as a whole is the world’s 8th largest producer of coffee, with the majority of production occurring in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. Oaxaca is populated by several indigenous peoples, one of them being the Zapotecs, who account for a large portion of the overall population and for whom our ‘Zapoteca’ carries its namesake. As a whole Oaxaca claims nearly 36,000 square miles, much of it farmland, and where coffee is concerned, high altitude farmland with tropical microclimate conditions. Oaxaca is home to a number of national parks, including the massive Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve which covers nearly 2,000 square miles. To the north, Oaxaca borders the popular Gulf Coast tourist state of Veracruz, where coffee was notably first introduced from Cuba in 1790.