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What To Know About Coffee From Mexico


  • Most Mexican coffee comes from just three regions in the south: Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz. They're all close to Guatemala, making these coffees remarkably similar.

  • Mexican coffee is often celebrated for its nutty and sweet notes, with the added surprise of a hint of cayenne pepper. The flavor is similar to other Central American coffees but can vary because many varieties are grown here.

  • Coffee-growing in Mexico goes back centuries, and organic farming traditions are part of indigenous people's heritage. This means that most coffee is shade-grown and eco-friendly.

Mexican Coffee Growing Regions

coffee plant

Mexico is top on many people's list of best cuisines, but not everyone knows this country hides a rich coffee culture as well. Just like in Nicaragua and Guatemala — its southern cousins — Mexican Coffee is a significant export that supports countless communities .

Still, the main fact is that Mexican coffee tastes amazing, and that's why we'll be talking about the different regions where it's grown, and even about a Mexican coffee recipe that you should definitely try!


Look to the southern tip of Mexico, and search for high altitudes, rich biodiversity, and the perfect climate for growing coffee. Just a little north of Guatemala you'll find Chiapas, the premier coffee region of Mexico.

You'll see rainforests, mountains, and volcanic soil. The main thing that separates this region from Guatemala is its distinct lack of European influence. That's right: many of the coffee farms in Chiapas are run by indigenous people who've had little contact with European settlers.

This is what makes Chiapas Mexican coffee special. You'll pretty much only find traditional growing practices here, where coffee is a vital part of the economy. Fair-trade certifications play a huge role among smallholdings, and environmental conservation efforts are huge.

Coffee grown among Chiapas' mountains will have notes of chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, or even some nuts like walnuts.


Just along the Gulf of Mexico is the less-known region of Veracruz. Here, it is the combination of altitude, rainfall, and temperature variations that make the coffee industry stand out.

This region's indigenous communities — mainly the Totonac and the Nahua — have been cultivating coffee for centuries. It's fair to say that coffee here is not only an economic commodity but also a defining trait of local culture.

While the geographical conditions aren't that different from Chiapas, you should know that while Arabica beans are the most popular around the world, Veracruz is famous for its exotic varieties.

Typica coffee, Bourbon, Caturra, and Mundo Novo are all varieties that play a huge role here. Mexican coffee from this region will have stronger notes of citrus, cinnamon, and a little spice.


Located right between the last two, Oaxaca is a region with picturesque landscapes and a rich coffee tradition. It shares the geographical characteristics of both Veracruz and Chiapas.

The region focuses on shade-grown coffee, hoping to maintain the sustainable farming methods that make up its culture. Arabica is the main variety grown here, but you'll find coffee in Oaxaca isn't like your regular afternoon pick-me-up at all.

A common way of preparing coffee in the south of Mexico is "café de olla" or "pot coffee". It's called that way because it's prepared in traditional clay pots called "ollas".

The idea is to enhance the coffee's natural notes even more by boiling it with piloncillo (a type of unrefined cane sugar), and cinnamon. Some families add orange peel to the recipe, making it extra fruity.

However, don't let that distract you from the natural flavor of these Mexican coffee beans. When drinking this coffee, look for sweet flavors such as cinnamon and chocolate, but don't miss the subtle cayenne spice.

Did Someone Say Mexican Hot Coffee?

iced coffee with coffee beans

Yes, these regions are key to the traditional Mexican coffee cocktail, also called hot coffee in the States. What Irish coffee does with whiskey, this Mexican coffee recipe does with tequila, and it's awesome.

You'll need coffee, tequila, and Kahlúa, a popular coffee liqueur that adds sweetness and depth to the cocktail. Brown sugar is optional, but don't forget the whipped cream.

Start by brewing a strong coffee, then while it's brewing combine a shot of tequila and another of your coffee liqueur in a separate glass. Fill the glass up with the coffee, then add brown sugar to taste and top with whipped cream.

Optionally, garnish your hot coffee with a few sprinkles of cocoa or cinnamon powder.

Mexican Coffee Export and Cultivation Statistics

According to Statista, Mexico ranked as the 8th largest coffee exporter in the world in 2023, exporting over 400 million USD worth of coffee.

The most interesting thing here is that while over 60% of coffee worldwide comes from the Arabica plant, a lot of Mexico's production comes from exotic varieties.

Lastly, Mexico has a significant presence in organic coffee production, and fair-trade certifications are common in the regions we've talked about here. Organic farming methods are treated as part of the indigenous cultural heritage, so it's easy to see why that's the case.

Get Some The Best Mexican Coffee Online from Philly Fair Trade

Our Chiapas roast embodies the best of Mexican coffee, which is sadly not recommended to first-timers often enough. It's not as well known as Colombian or Brazilian coffee, but these USDA-certified organic beans can go round for round with even the best Guatemalan coffees.

If caffeine makes you jittery, try our decaf Mexico blend, which has the complex flavor profile of Chiapas coffee with added notes of caramel. If you prefer a fruitier cup, check out our Mexico Half-caff roast! It has some charming notes of pink grapefruit and milk chocolate that you'll love.

Shade-grown and sourced from family-owned farms, you can be sure these coffees align not only with your palate but with environmentally-friendly values as well.

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