Hollywood typically portrays rural Mexico as a series of dry, windswept plains. In reality, the diverse geography and climate of Central and Southern Mexico provides ample coffee-growing habitats. It is popular to serve coffee brewed Mexican style with cinnamon and sugar, but high grown Mexican beans are becoming known for their quality.
Mexico usually produces shade-grown Arabica, the main varietals being Bourbon. Mundo Novo. Caturra and Maragogype. Some light-bodied and mild Mexican coffees are considered perfect for blends. On the other hand, there are a number of high-grown, single-origin coffees that have tastes and flavors as good as those from Guatemala.
5 Best Mexican Coffee Brands
- New Mexico Pihon Coffee Naturally Flavored Coffee Review
- High Brew Cold Brew Coffee Mexican Instant Coffee Review
- Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Organic Mexican Coffee Beans Review
- Dancing Moon Coffee Company Mexican Coffee Bean Review
- Volcanica Mexican Coffee Review
New Mexico Pihon Coffee is a smooth, medium roast coffee infused with the natural flavoring of pihon nuts and hints of cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. It’s a multi-bean mix of high-altitude Arabica coffee with no bitter aftertaste.
The recent scarcity of pihon nuts, as well as concerns about allergens, has made the company stop using actual nuts. Instead, the nutty flavor is produced through a proprietary, custom-made flavoring, leaving the coffee allergen-free. The coffee is roasted at the company’s facilities in Albuquerque. New Mexico.
It can be bought online or procured at one of several New Mexico Pihon Coffee and/or Pihon Coffee Houses within the state. The company also regularly schedules roadshows at three Costco locations in Albuquerque. Customers elsewhere in the US can order through Amazon. Their five top-selling coffees include Traditional Pihon (regular and decaf), Dark Pihon Biscochito, Adobe Morning, and Mexican Spiced Chocolate.
The products are delivered as Ground or Whole Bean, Cold Brew Concentrate, or Single Serve Cups. New Mexico Pihon is the best Mexican coffee brand and provides some of the best coffee from mexico available today.
High Brew Cold Brew Mexican Vanilla coffee is made from a blend of 100% Fair Trade Arabica with vanilla beans from Mexico.
The cold brew coffee, sold in 8 oz cans, is ideal for a grab-and-go. The dairy-free coffee is smooth and sweet – never bitter – with higher caffeine and significantly less acidic than traditionally brewed drip coffees, espressos, or K-cups. Flavors of vanilla and cinnamon produce a traditional Mexican coffee flavor and aroma. Mexican Vanilla has the sweetest flavor among various cold brew coffees offered by the company.
The coffee is wheat-free, low carb, and low sodium. The High Brew company maintains quality by sourcing from Fair Trade growers who minimize environmental impact and protect their workers. High Brew Cold Brew Mexican Vanilla coffee can be bought at H.E.B. and Staples stores in the US, and some specialty retailers such as BevMo! Stores (in California and Arizona).
The cans can also be ordered online from the company or through Amazon, Gelson’s, and other retailers. The High Brew Mexican Instant coffee is some of the best Mexican coffee beans on the market today, and if you’re wondering where to buy Mexican coffee just look below!
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC’s Organic Mexican Chiapas Coffee is 100% Arabica, with Bourbon and Catimor varietals, grown in the mountains of southeastern Chiapas.
This single-origin coffee is grown in the famous Tapachula region in Chiapas, close to the Guatemalan border. The brew captures the mild body, flavors, and sweetness that are characteristic of high-grown coffees from this region. The coffee is smooth, with notes of pear and brown sugar, a clean cashew nutty finish, and medium acidity.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC prides itself on choosing the right growing partners. The beans are wet-processed and sun-dried on organic farms in Chiapas then imported to be roasted (in the company’s environmentally friendly roasters) and packaged in the US. No additives, artificial flavors, or preservatives are used.
The product is USDA Organic and Kosher Certified. Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Organic Mexican Chiapas can be bought at Walmart stores and a number of online retailers, including Amazon. Grocery shop Green Home Fair and World Wide Wut. It can also be bought through eBay. These are great Mexican coffee beans, and Fresh Roasted is one of the best Mexican coffee brands on the market!
The Dancing Moon Coffee Company offers dark roast, single-origin coffee procured from small sustainable farms in the Chiapas. The coffee produces a smooth, dark, medium-bodied roast with a nutty flavor, crisp acidity, and hints of nutmeg.
The beans are shade-grown at altitudes up to 4500 feet in the Sierra Madre mountains near the Guatemalan border. They exhibit all the qualities that make Chiapas coffee famous for being one of the fullest flavored and smoothest in the world. The brew is rich and easy to drink. The coffee is rated organic. Fair-Trade and Non-GMO. The farmers who grow Chiapas coffee are environmentally conscious and worker-friendly.
The company donates 5% of its earning to the Semper Fi foundation Dancing Moon Mexican Chiapas coffee can be bought directly from the company or through online retailers such as Amazon. It has consistently been rated as one of the best Mexican coffees available in recent years, and one of the best Hispanic coffee brands on the market today!
Volcanica Coffee is a specialty US importer of more than 130 exotic coffee beans with distinctive tastes and flavors, grown in volcanic regions around the world. The company’s Mexican Coffee is characterized by a sweet, smooth body, medium acidity, and a flavor of freshly roasted hazelnuts – producing a clean and well-balanced cup.
Volcanica coffees are known for their aromas, which linger long after the coffee has been brewed. The coffee is 100% Arabica, grown in high altitude, cool rainforests. Fresh, nutrient-rich volcanic soil allows the flavor to develop.
Organically grown and medium roasted, the coffee is packaged and sealed immediately afterward to assure its freshness is preserved. Volcanica coffees are Organic. Rainforest Alliance and Fair-Trade Certified, which means the coffee are grown sustainably, without fertilizers and within co-ops which protect farmworkers Volcanica Coffee, itself a roaster and distributor, is a primary source to buy Volcanica Mexican Coffee online. The coffee can also be procured through Amazon.
These are some of the best mexico coffee beans on the market, and Volcanica is one of the best Mexican coffee brands on the market today!
What’s the Secret? – Mexican Coffee Buying Guide
So. what’s the secret behind some of Mexico’s sumptuous coffees? It mostly boils down to the soil, climate, and altitude, along with the skill that Mexican farmers have honed over the past hundred and fifty years. Let’s delve deeper.
Mexico’s Coffee History
Like much of Central America, coffee was originally introduced to Mexico during the late 18,h century. Spanish colonizers brought the plants over from Cuba and the Dominican Republic. There was no mass cultivation for many decades – agriculture overall took a back seat to mineral exports such as gold and silver.
The picture changed when a border dispute with Guatemala broke out in the 1860s, forcing the government to begin registering lands in Southern Mexico. This, in turn, created an opportunity for wealthy Europeans to purchase large tracts of land. Many of these landowners, led by Italians and Germans, began to cultivate coffee. Local laborers who had lost their land were forced to seek work as indentured laborers.
The Mexican Revolution broke this system up in the early 1900s. Labor reforms and government incentives allowed the newly-freed, skilled farmers to launch their own farms, especially in the south. The peak came from 1973 to 1990. when Mexico’s coffee exports grew by 900%, unfortunately, it did not last. Bowing to pressures from international lenders, the government dissolved Mexico’s national coffee trade organization, INMECAFE.
In 1989, the International Coffee Agreement also dismantled the same year. Mexican farmers were left to fend for themselves in the volatile international market. When coffee prices took a sharp dip in the 1990s, wide-spread devastation followed.
Currently, over 90% of Mexican coffee farms are below 3 hectares in size. Small farmers have adopted a co-op model, pooling resources, and technical knowledge in order to stay afloat.
Mexican coffee growers produce large quantities of organic coffee through innovative means. Though the industry never regained full strength. Mexico remains one of the top growers in the world though it has dropped down the list of top coffee exporters very recently.
A significant portion of the country’s coffee crop is consumed in-country. Mexico exported nearly USS 262 million worth of coffee in 2019. Also, it remains among the topmost sources of Certified Organic and Fair-Trade coffee in the world, having topped that list several times within the past decade.
What Does Mexican Coffee taste like?
Mexican coffee typically has light body low acidity and a nutty flavor, which is preferred by mild coffee drinkers. Mexican coffee is often not complex, which makes it ideal for use in blends. Some specific attributes are as follow:
1. Body: Mexican coffees are usually light to medium-bodied, with a smooth finish
2. Taste: Mexican coffees tend towards sweetness, with delicate flavors. Highland coffees from Veracruz and Oaxaca are sweeter and chocolaty with some spicy overtones.
3. Flavor: Mexican coffee exhibits subtle flavors. More distinctive flavors are found in coffees grown at higher altitudes. For example, the Oaxaca Pluma coffee shows floral, green apple, and dried fruit flavors.
4. Aroma: Some Mexican coffees have fruity aromas like strawberry, peach, or honey.
5. Acidity: Highland coffee from Chiapas and Oaxaca often has bright acidity. The finest coffee from Mexico has a pleasant dryness, akin to a glass of fine white wine.
While many Mexican coffees tend to be uncomplex, some highland coffees can be outstanding. As many as six Mexican coffees broke the 90-point threshold in the 2019 Cup of Excellence, capped off by Cruz Jose Arguelio Miceli’s Gesha with 93.07 points. The next section outlines the distinctive characteristics of coffee from the top growing regions of Mexico.
Coffee Growing Regions in Mexico
According to the 2019 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) Report, coffee was produced in 15 Mexican states last year. Rich habitats for coffee cultivation exist in the south-central to southern regions of the country—the states of Chiapas, Veracruz. Puebla and Oaxaca are the most biologically diverse regions in Mexico.
Not coincidentally, they produce about 90% of the country’s coffee. The better classes of Mexican coffees are those grown at higher altitude forest landscapes, for example. Chiapas and Veracruz are known for their ‘Altura*. Or ‘high grown*, coffee beans.
A brief description of each region follows:
1. Chiapas: The state of Chiapas in Southern Mexico produced 40% of the country’s coffee in 2019. Chiapas has a hot, tropical climate. Some of its terrains are similar to Guatemala’s Highland Huehuetenango plateaus. Coffee from Chiapas has a light to medium body delicate flavors and rich, brisk acidity.
The Soconusco region along the Pacific Coast grows some of the best Arabica coffee in Mexico. Coffee from the mountains of South-Eastern Chiapas, close to Tapachula. is distinctive. Prolonged volcanic activity in the region has created a nutrient-rich soil that develops significant flavor—finer coffees from Chiapas rival the complex flavors, acidity, and power of Guatemalan coffee.
2. Veracruz: The state of Veracruz on the Gulf side of the Sierra Madre mountains grew about 25% of the total coffee produced in Mexico in 2019.
Lowland coffee from Veracruz is unremarkable, but the coffee grown at altitudes between 1200 and 5200 feet is quite distinctive. High grown Veracruz coffee is light-bodied and bright, with a nutty flavor and chocolaty overtones.
Altura Coatepac is often considered the best coffee from the region. Other respected coffees include Altura Huatusco and Altura Orizaba.
3. Oaxaca, which boasts some of the most rugged terrains in Mexico, produced roughly 16% of its coffee in 2019 Most of Oaxaca sits above 6000 feet, with mountains in the east and center abruptly falling into the Pacific Ocean on the west Climates in Oaxaca range from hot and subtropical, all the way to temperate and semi-humid.
The center of the state, where three mountain ranges converge, is known for producing sweet, nutrient-rich beans. The coffee is light-bodied, with light acidity. Oaxaca’s Pluma region produces some of Mexico’s finest coffee.
A prime example is Pluma Hidalgo, which is grown at elevations above 7000 feet. Pluma coffees are known for their wide range of flavors (dried fruits like raisin and prune, floral-like amber honey, and peach blossom), along with brown sugar-like sweetness, the richness of drinking chocolate and the acidity of green apples.
4. Puebla: The State of Puebla, next to Mexico City, produced just under 10% of the country’s coffee in 2019. Farmers in Puebla typically grow beans at around 2000 feet producing a light-bodied coffee with a balanced flavor.
5. Other Regions Coffees grown in other regions of Mexico are not as distinguished in flavor and sweetness. They tend to be lighter bodied and mild.
Overall the first three regions produce roughly 80% of Mexico’s coffee. They also produce the most distinctive flavors, sweetness, and boldness.
So Why Does Mexico Grow Such Good Coffee?
Mexico has all the ingredients for growing good coffee. Some of the important factors are:
1. Soil: Major coffee growing regions such as Chiapas have mineral-rich volcanic soil containing significant minerals that help nurture the plants, such as potassium, calcium, phosphorous, nitrogen, boron, and zinc. Other areas have sandy loam soil. Both types of soil allow for easy drainage-this protects the roots of the coffee plants.
2. Altitude: The best Mexican coffees are grown at elevations between 600 meters (approximately 2000 feet) and 2100 meters (approximately 7000 feet) above sea level. Harsh mountain conditions – with colder temperatures, more sunlight, and strong winds – help develop flavor.
Plants grow slowly and are forced to focus more on bean production. This creates sugars that produce some delicious flavors.
3. Rainfall: Most coffee growing regions in Mexico have adequate rainfall, that is. 60-80 inches a year. There is also a range of humidity, going from hot and sub-tropical in parts of Oaxaca to the high, humid forest mountains of Veracruz and Chiapas.
4. Temperature & Sunshine: Temperatures in coffee-growing areas range from 60° to 90° Fahrenheit during the growing season, mostly November through March. The sub-tropical climate offers plenty of sunshine.
5. Skill: Mexican farmers are often skilled, with a tradition of sharing knowledge in regard to farming techniques, wet processing, etc.
The conditions above create diverse growing regions that produce distinctive brands of coffee.
Where Would You Buy Mexican Coffee Beans?
Mexican coffee can often be found at neighborhood grocery stores around the US. Especially Mexican supermarkets, and at specialty baristas such as Starbucks and Lavazza. Certain brands are carried by Walmart. H.E.B. and Staples. Retailers such as Amazon, Mexgrocer.com, World Wide Wut Groceryshop, Green Home Fair and Mexico Real Cafe sell gourmet Mexican coffee online as do exchanges like eBay.
If you don’t feel like taking a chance on coffee that has been sitting on a warehouse shelf at Amazon, you could order direct from the companies themselves, or from US green coffee importers who distribute Mexican coffees Mexico produces 2 to 4 million (100 lb.) bags of coffee every year, but most of it stays out of the US market Besides significant domestic consumption, a lot of Mexican coffee is exported to Germany, Italy and other European countries.
However, a quick internet search will yield multiple options to procure your favorite brand of Mexican coffee.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about Mexican coffee. If you liked what you read, go online, and order the variety that best suits your taste and preferences. There are multiple low-cost options if you want to start small.
Suppose you are environmentally conscious, it is easy to identify eco-friendly growers. Mexico has something for every type of coffee aficionado. So pull the trigger – order some Mexican roast today! You won’t be disappointed! If you want to see more coffee guides, check out our Columbian coffee guide and our Keurig K200 guide!