10 fun facts from the guided tour at the Coffee Museum in the capital city of Chiapas:
- Large corporations pay small producers 6 pesos per kilo for their coffee grains.
- Chiapas & Mexico are #1 producers of organic coffee in the world
- Coffee was brought to Chiapas in 1846 by an Italian man
- The coffee bushes are cut short by the farmers so that harvesters are able to reach the top branches (otherwise ladders would be necessary)
- 80% of Chiapas coffee is exported, 19% stays in Mexico and 1% is consumed in Chiapas
- From the harvest to the final roasting, the coffee process can take up to only 3 days
- Before being roasted, coffee is extremely absorbent. Therefore, coffee takes on the smell or flavor of anything it is stored near, so warehouses are extremely cautious about how they store their coffee before it is roasted.
- There are 3 main altitudes at which coffee is grown 1) 500 meters above sea level 2) 900 meters and 3) 1200 meters. The taste will vary depending on the altitude. The higher the altitude, the more bitter the coffee.
- Chiapas coffee is exported and enjoyed as far away as Japan!
- Chiapas coffee is shade grown underneath other fruit trees, including banana and orange trees – this method ensures the biodiversity and sustainability of the coffee growing regions.
More information about the coffee museum can be found on their Facebook page.