MEXICO TRIP JANUARY 2013
The third and final instalment of reports from my January trip to Central America comes as we welcome a fantastic coffee to the roastery: Finca Muxbal from Chiapas Mexico.
Mexico was the first country I visited on the trip. My travelling companion Mike Riley from Falcon Specialty Importers and I flew into Mexico City via Madrid, and then on to Tapachula in the state of Chiapas. Chiapas is at the very southern tip of Mexico, bordering Guatemala and the tropical climate down there engulfed us as we stepped off the flight. Jorge Gallardo Rodriguez, the owner of Finca Muxbal, the beautiful farm we had come to visit, met us at the airport. Jorge is young for a coffee farmer (around my own age) and took on the running of the plantation a few years ago. As we made our way out of the city we passed through some small coffee farms in the valley and were lucky enough to catch their Robusta crops in full flower. Coffee trees only flower for a couple of days with large white petals and an intense and heady jasmine aroma, so we were incredibly lucky to catch this as we wound our way up into the mountains. Mike has been travelling to coffee farms for over twenty years and has only seen coffee in flower a couple of times. After an hour or so of climbing we passed through the village of Union Juarez, turned off the main road and into the valley of Finca Muxbal. To say this farm is beautiful is an understatement and as much as I endlessly tried, photos cannot do justice to the place. We headed down into a lush tropical green valley with steep sides, trees growing at impossible angles and ferns that are the second biggest in the world.