You may have noticed a new coffee on the shelf or buzz about it on our Facebook page. And you might be curious as to what the art is about, how we came up with the idea and why we selected the coffee in the first place. For all of us at Keweenaw Coffee Works, our top priorities when selecting a coffee include: quality, sustainability, integrity and how to best tell it's story through roast profiling, naming and label design. None of these aspects happen by accident, so that is why we decided to start a blog series called, What's Behind the Cup?
The first lot we are highlighting in this series is our Mexican Women Producers Lot from the Chiapas Region.
Tapachula is the capital of the Chiapas region of Soconusco in Mexico and means 'between the waters'. Knowing the significant role water plays in the production of coffee - not only in brewing, but also at the farm level during cultivation all the way through to the fermentation process - we decided to pay homage to our marketing director's favorite artist who also happens to be a Mexican woman. That is why we named this coffee What the Water Gave Me (also the name of a well known painting by Frida Kahlo). We used this working title to collaborate with our gal pal, Melissa Washburn, who created this original design using watercolor and digital collage. The artwork features a silhouette of a women, coffee plants, a native Chiapas flower called wedelia and a rich deep red sun, setting over a volcano.
"We are always excited when we can collaborate with extraordinary artists like Melissa to bring more insight and meaning to our coffees, as well as share the stories behind the coffee. Supporting women producers is at the core of our business model and we look forward to sharing more women produced lots with you in the future. We hope you enjoy this cup of coffee as much as we enjoy roasting it for you."
- Valerie Baciak, Co-founder
Notes from our Importer:
The women producers of this lot are part of an organization called GRAPOS or Grupo de Asesores de Producción Orgánica y Sustentable S.C., which is a group of coffee producers in the state of Chiapas in the southern Mexico in an area that borders la Biósfera del Triunfo or Triunfo Biosphere Reserve.
GRAPOS was formed in 2007 and consisted of 90 member farmers. In 2016, the group now includes 3,253 member farmers and covers an area including the microregions of Soconusco, Siltepec, Porvenir and Tapachula within Chiapas. As the co-operative has grown, so has the percentage of women producers, many of whom own or have inherited coffee farms. This lot selects out a portion of the women's contributions, and a premium is paid back to the women who contribute to the lot. Most of the women farm on an average of 3–7 hectares of land. The co-op encourages producers to diversify their sources of income by growing other agricultural products—primarily banana, squash, beans, cacao, and corn—and the women of the organization have also focused on textile production for additional earning power.
Roaster Nate has selected a medium roast profile to highlight the sweetness and character of the coffee. Also present in the cup are notes of toffee and bright sun kissed lemon.
To buy this coffee, click here.