London has a new bean in town: Mexica Products!
Laura Alvarez, founder of Mexica Products, sells her coffee across London. Here, she tells us about her journey, from bean to cup:
I came to live in London from Mexico some years ago and quickly realised that there was a gap in the market for the kind of coffee you get in the more rural parts of Mexico and
Guatemala – home of the Maya communities. I set up Mexica Products because I wanted to give coffee lovers an opportunity to enjoy the high quality product of my homeland but also to ensure that the growers themselves benefit from fair wages and good employment practices, Buying coffee from smaller, independent growers and cooperatives they work with provides a livelihood for these small farmers and indigenous communities – who are often women – in one of the world’s most socially divided regions. Growers often find themselves at the mercy of large corporations who control much of the international coffee trade, so we seek to work with ethical companies and cooperatives who source the coffee from small scale producers which are often family run businesses. By selecting farms for their geographic location, altitude, rainfall and climate, in the rich volcanic soils that yield the most prized Arabica coffee, we know are making a difference one bean at a time. Arabica is grown at between 1,200 and 1,700 meters above sea level in temperatures of between 20 and 25 C. That’s how you get the wonderful smooth flavour and aroma. The coffee is roasted using artisanal methods; we know that the process will not put the growers at risk from dangerous chemicals. The production cycle begins in March when the bushes are pruned and in peak condition. At the same time cuttings from well-performing bushes are planted out in greenhouses. Harvesting takes place between October and February. The beans are then processed using the wet method before being sun dried. The freshness of coffee is important, so to avoid the bitter taste you often find in mass-produced coffee, ours is on the market in January while
the last of the harvest is being brought in. Buying coffee from us means that you are getting not just a great cup of coffee, fresh and free from chemicals, but you are helping growers make a living for themselves and their families, on their own terms – a responsible and inspirational journey from bean to cup.