Owned by Alejandra Gama's family, the farm dates back to 1800, where her great-grandmother was in charge of its maintenance. In 1950, her grandfather Antonio Martínez Ruíz inherited the farm and bought "Coatepec", another farm they currently work in. Antonio exported most of the coffee to Germany, however, years later, her father decided to start selling the coffee in Mexico.
In 2011, they converted nine hectares of land in order to produce organic coffee. In 2014, their organic coffee won 5th place in the cup of excellence, which encouraged her father to turn the rest of the farm into organic production. In 2016, they became familiar with biodynamic practices due to the Biodynamic Meeting of Mexico. Following this, in 2017 they started using biodynamic practices in the farm.
Veracruz is the first place in America where coffee was cultivated, thus, Coatepec obtained the denomination of origin in the 20th century. Coatepec’s coffee has been recognized as prime-quality all over the world, partly due to its ideal weather conditions (mild and foggy).
About Mexican Coffee
Mexico is another country whose first coffee plants can trace their family tree (pun intended) back to the island of Martinique. In the late 1700's, the Spanish brought coffee from Cuba and Dominican Republic to Mexico. Chiapas and Oaxaca in the south are the largest and most well-known growing regions. Veracruz on the Gulf side produces less quantity, but very high quality coffees, and this is the region where coffee was first introduced to Mexico. A small amount of original Typica coffee can still be found there.
For many years the coffee industry in Mexico was stable and even thrived. Issues between the USA and Brazil, and negotiations over the International Coffee Agreement, led to the suspension of enforced coffee production quotas on July 4th, 1989. This had a major impact on Mexican coffee producers. Prices worldwide fell by almost half. Farmers in Mexico couldn't afford fertilizer. They did less weeding. They couldn't afford pest control. Production and quality both dropped. Then came pressure from large international roasters such as Nestle who introduced cheap instant coffees from overseas to the Mexican economy further suppressing the local farmers.
While production in many countries has steadily gone up, it has steadily declined in Mexico. In 2015 and 2016 only 2.3 million bags were produced, down more than half from its record high. It does look like the situation is turning around and production is expected to exceed 3 million bags in 2018. There is also a silver lining to the issues that have been experienced in Mexico's coffee industry. In order to find a way to earn a better living many farmers turned to specialty coffee niches like producing organic coffee. Mexico is now the world's largest producer of certified organic coffee accounting at one time for over half of the world's organic coffee production.