Coffee and its liqueurs; more Mexican traditions

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Apparently the global spread of cultivation and consumption of coffee began in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa and by the XV century spread to Asia and onward to Europe where consumption was popularized creating a large market for this commodity that has continued to grow until our present day.  Coffee is now considered one of the most valuable agricultural commodities in the World ( Read more at : http://www.ico.org/coffee_story.asp # sthash.nRF4PaEw.dpuf ) .

Coffee arrived in Mexico in the late XVIII century, when the Spanish brought plants from Cuba and the Dominican Republic and today is grown in 12 states and the more widely appreciated are called “de altura”, from altitudes above 900 meters over sea level from the States of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz.

 Many people do not know this, but Mexico is among the top 10 countries producing coffee in the world, and it is where most of organic coffee is cultivated, about 60% of world production of organic coffee comes from Mexico. Interestingly, the vast majority of Mexican organic coffee is grown by small farmers in Chiapas and Oaxaca under canopy cultivation systems, allowing to preserve the environment, flora and fauna, groundwater, carbon sequestration and also of creating marvelous landscapes. In Mexico it is estimated that the economic wellbeing of about half a million small farmers and their families depend on this crop and they are usually organized as regional cooperatives that are widely recognized as crucial the survival of the small producers.

 Every country has developed their own coffee drinking traditions and of course,  when coffee arrived in Mexico they immediately nationalized the first with the famous “café de olla” (coffee of pot) and later with the world famous Kahlúa coffee liqueur.

The “café de olla” gets its name because it must be prepared in a clay pot and its unique and special flavor is the result of the slow brewing of the coffee with cinnamon and “piloncillo” (unrefined sugar).

Meanwhile the Kahlúa takes its name of the fortress of San Juan de Ulua in the Veracruz Port and they began producing Kahlúa using rum as a base in 1936. The company Pedro Domecq used a great image and marketing strategy to popularize the brand, so much so that apparently was the inspiration for the 1978 hit musical “Milk and Alcohol” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTbzyqr0TRo&list=RDbTbzyqr0TRo)

since the sleeve  of the vinyl record shows an outline of a Kahlúa bottle. Today there are many other brands of coffee liqueur using rum as a base but the combination of tequila with coffee has also become very popular.

 In Onilikan , Mazatlan Artisan Liqueurs we are developing our own coffee liqueur using organic coffee beans and other secret ingredients. I hope the next time you visit us is ready for you to taste.

Saludos y salud

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