For the fourth year in a row, the Mexico Brewers Cup Championship was held in Mexico City—the second biggest city in the world. Every year there are more competitors and the preliminary rounds get even more difficult; in this season’s competition, more than 30 competitors entered, 20 of whom advanced it to the national championship. After the dust settled, Florentino Leon was crowned the Brewers Cup Champion of Mexico, and will represent the nation next june at the World Brewers Cup tournament in Budapest.

On the coffee side of things, experimental processing is making great strides here in Mexico, resulting in some truly delicious and unique coffees. This is the case of Carlos Juarez from Impetus Coffee Roasters, who worked together with producers Adan and Samuel Altamirano in the making of this special lot from Finca El Estribo. This is a former winner of the Cup of Excellence (2014) winning farm, for their traditional washed coffees, but Florentino’s coffee was not a washed processed coffee. The lot was from the beginning on meant to be a blend between a natural processed coffee and a red honey.

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Finca El Estribo is located in Zongolica, Veracruz at 1450-1500 meters over the sea level. The coffee was carefully handpicked and dried in African beds with a lot of distance between each other in order to prevent over-fermentation. After the coffee from both processes had reached the required humidity Carlos Juarez roasted each coffee with different curves and the beans were blended on a 50-50 ratio by Florentino Leon. The winning brew used a Hario V60 brewing device, under the following recipe:

  • 21 grams of coffee
  • Water with 6.5 pH and 56 ppm in two different temperatures to “extend the brew time while avoiding over-extraction”
  • 40 ml (83*C) for the bloom in 30 seconds
  • Short spills of 40 ml. each one and interlapses of 20 seconds until 300 ml is reached.

The aroma of this coffee is intense, sweet and said to remind one of berries, jasmin and peach. In the flavor the judges were able to find peach, chocolate, brown sugar and strawberry, with a syrup-like aftertaste of chocolate, jasmin and strawberry.

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This was Florentino Leon’s second year competing in the Brewers Cup. His victory shows how in a coffee growing country like Mexico, the culture’s leading roasters, cuppers, baristas and producers are able to unite to improve their work. This nation is proud to be represented by Florentino Leon, as buzz continues to build around the world for high quality experimental coffees from Mexico.

Photos by Juan Pablo Garcia for Sprudge.

Ximena Rubio is a Sprudge contributor based in Mexico City.