Among the main characteristics that distinguish coffee cultivation are: the microclimate, the variety of the plant, its genetics and of course, the art of its harvest to benefit it. In this set of processes, the most important is love and care, as assured by agronomists Nathalie Escamilla Femat and Héctor Bosque Mora, who are responsible for two world awards for the Pluma coffee produced at Brujufinca: the Taza of Excellence Mexico and the Specialty Coffee Auction in Singapore.
Oaxaca is the fourth coffee-producing state in Mexico and stands out for having specialty varieties. La Brujufinca is located in the cloud forests of the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca, in Pluma Hidalgo, which, due to its ideal subtropical microclimate, produces sweet and elegant coffees, with notes of milk chocolate. This farm is distinguished by producing specialty coffees taking advantage of the denomination of origin: Pluma.
From an agroecological and coffee-growing environment, on this farm, they cultivate varieties such as: Geisha, Java, Black Bourbon, Pluma Hidalgo, Pacamara, Maragogype among others, which give excellent cup quality, rich in physical and organoleptic or sensorial characteristics, which were qualified by the tasters in both competitions.
Behind the accolades
In an interview, the agronomist Héctor Bosque Mora, shared that in Brujufinca specialty coffees are produced, taking advantage of the designation of origin, Pluma Hidalgo. “We are based on processes that we try to control, albeit artisanal, but we do so in a very rigorous and controlled way. The varieties that we have are of high quality; we have around 15 thousand plants, of varieties recognized in the world of quality coffee ”.
For the agronomist, Nathalie Escamilla Femat, the success they had in recent international competitions had to do with the microclimate: the environment, the living soil with shade, the variety and genetics of her plants: “The cup of Excellence la We win with a batch of Geisha, which is a scented variety, so much so that when you do it smells like jasmine, it is very floral. This mug had a score of 89.58 ”.
Another of the recognitions that these producers took, was after their participation in the “Singapore Coffee Industry Ambassadors Luncheon”, in which their coffee obtained the highest score among 59 participants, in a contest organized by the Singapore Coffee Association and Colombia.
“We obtained the best score in the contest, it was: 88.87 points, in a cup with Geisha variety and Pluma Hidalgo, with a honey process; It was paid at $ 24 USD / kg. This recognition is greater since we represent Mexico and obtained the highest score ”, added Nathalie Escamilla.
They bet on new plants
Based on a regenerative culture, both engineers say that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation became complicated for small producers: “At the beginning, the pandemic made things very difficult because some bars closed and if they close the bars it affects us because we totally depend on them. We did a very nice job with the laborers, we made our own garden and at the same time we got down to business starting a nursery ”.
Nathalie accepts that it is hard work, but this is the reality of a small producer: “This year we had the pleasure of living it. We harvested and benefited the batch that we sent to the competition and by the way, from that batch of plants, it was their second harvest. You have to know that a new plant has more vigor; each plant begins to bear three years after it was planted ”.
They agreed that most small producers keep very old coffee plantations. Although a coffee plant can last up to a hundred years, so the farmer grows old with his plants, the price of coffee is very poorly paid, since there are no fair prices.
“There is an incredible chain of collectors, almost no profit is left for the producer. What you generally find in the field are old coffee plantations. The producer who is renovating is because perhaps he has a good buyer or a lot of faith. It is complex. On the farm there are 40 hectares of coffee plantations under renovation, we have some hectares of old coffee plantations, but it is the Pluma Hidalgo variety, from which we want to extract the seed to maintain that genetic material that has already been adapted to this region ”.
With the conclusion that small producers need to be watched, that they be paid the right price and that there are opportunities that they can enter these types of auctions and contests, agronomists wonder if today the consumer values a good cup of coffee, after knowing the work that there is so that it arrives at the bars. In any case, the awards open the doors to the international market and position Oaxaca as an important producer of world-class specialty coffees.
The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) declared in March 2020 the protection of the appellation of origin to Pluma coffee, which is produced in municipalities of Oaxaca. The Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) establishes that the denomination of origin corresponds to the region of Pluma Hidalgo.