How The Cabo Coffee Company Started
Anyone making coffee in Los Cabos started out with two strikes against them. The very best Arabica beans, used for gourmet coffee, are grown at altitudes between 4,000 and 6,000 feet, because the cooler temperatures allow the beans to ripen more slowly. This gives them more flavor and less acidity. Because these beans demand a premium they are all sold for export to the United States, Europe and Japan. The lower tier coffee, robusto, is all that is left for consumption within Mexico. We have been in great coffee producing regions and been served cup after cup of inferior coffee. It just makes financial sense to sell the better coffee abroad to obtain a higher price.
Secondly, since coffee is not grown in Baja California, it must be imported or transported from mainland Mexico. It is cheaper to buy pre-roasted coffee from the mainland and have it shipped here. Consequently, the only coffee available is the lower “domestic” quality and on top of that, it’s not fresh roasted by the time it arrives here. No wonder regular visitors have been bringing their own coffee with them from the States when they come to vacation.
We decided that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. In order to separate ourselves as The Premium Coffee in the region, The Cabo Coffee Company™ couldn’t follow the pack. Why not buy the best quality “export” beans and fresh roast them here in Cabo?
In traveling through Veracruz and Oaxaca we found exactly what we needed. We started with a 25 kilo roaster to produce the smoothest and richest coffee Los Cabos has ever tasted. We produce our coffee “on demand” in order to maximize the freshness of the coffee. We roast on a daily basis to supply nearly 100 local restaurants and stores that were eager for a superior product.
It’s in the Beans
Fate played a hand in introducing us to a grower, with whom a relationship has been forged, assuring us of obtaining shade grown, certified organic green beans. The most important part of the equation was discovered high in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Oaxaca. The mountainous region, located in the southeastern part of Mexico is ideal for growing a certain type of coffee bean called Pluma Hidalgo, which rivals the best coffees from anywhere in the world for its taste and complexity.
Our travels led us to the family which has become our private grower. This finca, or plantation began growing coffee over 80 years ago by the grandfather of the present day patron. Alejandro became involved in organic production over a decade ago, harkening back to the methods of his forefathers. His work and dedication in this endeavor have led to his certification by both the US National Organic Program and OCIA International, as well as to receiving awards from several sanctioned organic agricultural agencies.
This personal relationship is a definite win-win situation. Because we pay a higher price directly to the grower, rather than to a brokerage, Alejandro’s family is able to reinvest the additional profits into their finca at a time when many of their neighbors are forced to sell off valuable timber just to sustain their existence. This arrangement also assures The Cabo Coffee Company™ of receiving the finest, export quality beans. After the annual harvest, the green beans are shipped to Cabo San Lucas where they are stored prior to roasting.
When designing the bag, we wanted to capture a feeling of Cabo, something that would remind visitors of the beauty and uniqueness of Los Cabos. Land’s End, or The Arch, is not only the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, it is literally the confluence of two great bodies of water, the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. It has been the subject of countless pieces of artwork. Chris Mac Clure, one of Cabo’s premier artists, was chosen to create the painting which became the background for The Cabo Coffee Co. package. Chris is internationally known for his romantic realism and ability to capture those special timeless moments and places.
The Bag: Packaging for Freshness
Our bag is more than just a pretty picture; it is manufactured using the very best materials and innovative features to assure you of receiving coffee with the full, just roasted flavor you desire. The two main factors which can affect the taste and freshness of roasted coffee are oxygen and moisture. For as much as several days immediately after being roasted, the coffee beans emit harmless gases. If bagged right away, these gases can cause the bags to puff out and possibly rupture. Many companies in an effort to minimize the cost of their packaging, will allow the beans to sit in the open air for as much as several weeks or more before sealing in inferior paper or simple foil bags.
The Cabo Coffee Company™ uses three-ply bags consisting of two layers of polyethylene surrounding foil. These allow an airtight seal which protects the coffee from the elements. We can bag the coffee at the peak of freshness due to the utilization of a special one-way valve that allows the aforementioned gases to escape, while not allowing oxygen or moisture to enter. When you receive your first order of Cabo Coffee™, try this. Inhale the intoxicating aroma of our coffee and then smell the brand you are currently using. Don’t despair; you can still use the other brand to sprinkle around your shrubs. They won’t know the difference.