The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122486 Message #2687061
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
25-Jul-09 - 05:14 PM
Thread Name: BS: Coffee addicts
Subject: RE: BS: Coffee addicts
First choice, beans grown organically in western Chiapas, Mexico, in the mountains (bought 3 bags last week at Starbucks). Finished up what I had left of Guatemalan coffee. Nothing better than these American mountain grown coffees.
Don't buy all that fair trade- helping the native grower stuff. A lot of false claims involved, although a small part may be legitimate.
I spent a few weeks in Chiapas hunting orchids, and stayed with the owner of one of the coffee plantations, who also was interested in orchids. The mountain plantations are expensive to run and maintain, and require a large investment. Much of the labor comes across the border from Guatemala, and is cheap by our standards, but entire families pick and must be fed and sheltered. Maintaining the slopes, pruning the shade cover and keeping ground cover under control require frequent attention, as well as tending the coffee plants and picking the berries as they become ripe. The coffee brings a higher price than the run of the mill Colombian, Sumatran, etc. used in the cheaper brands. Some fine coffees come from those countries as well, but also is specialty marketed.
The Ethiopian is nice- some fine coffees from all over. In Hawai'i I bought Kona (not the tourist mixtures) but that was Holiday splurging. Again, the growers have made a large investment; they have to be wealthy at the start-up and become poorer with time, like so many who get involved with growing quality organic products.