On a door near our hotel

The Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban (500 BC– 750 AD) stand on a hilltop above the valley of Oaxaca.

Below Monte Alban lies the city of
Oaxaca, founded in the early sixteenth century.

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Jennifer Howell

Oaxaca

Oaxaca

Adam McClellan

Mary Flores

Fabian Viveros

Trinidad Vasquez (Miramar farmer) & Diego Zarate, Red Fox agronomist

Heading to Yosotatu

Arrived at Yosotatu

A small group of 20 – 30 farmers, mostly women, led by Madelina Lopez, organized to improve the quality of their coffee, in exchange for higher premiums. They await discussions to begin with Red
Fox concerning the new harvest, farmer concerns, and prices.

Jennifer with Madelina’s daughter,
Citlali

The patio, used for drying coffee
beans after washing, serves as the forum for the discussion about
to begin.

Amado Castro speaks for the Yosotatu farmers. He says that Red Fox has been the highest payer for their coffee for a few years now. They have come again to buy coffee. He reports that Red Fox says their coffee is among the best in Mexico. This should raise their spirits. They have to work, as before, with effort to produce high quality.

Amado explains to us that not every farmer could join the discussion.  The sky unleashed heavy rains on lower areas. Farmers rushed to pick coffee cherries before they were ruined.

Fabian Viveros (Red Fox) replies to farmers regarding the demonstrated solidity of their commitment, and
continuing improvement of payment procedures, as their new relationship finds its footing in working within the complexities of Mexican laws.

The cherries are depulped by hand.

Ready to be fermented, which will allow washing off the sticky mucilage that surrounds the beans. Depulped cherries are on the ground.

The cherries are allowed to
fermented in these tubs for about 36 hours. Turbulent
clean water will then remove all the clinging fruit. And the beans will be put out on raised beds to
dry over many days.

Back on the road to Guadalupe
Miramar.

Entering the town of Guadalupe Miramar.

Looking towards the Pacific Ocean.

Gathering of Miramar farmers to speak with Red Fox.

Roberto Perez Vasquez, one of several farmers,speaking to Red Fox. Issues are the same
as at Yosotatu: a key concern is the rising prices they experience for labor and other inputs.

Adam McClellan, with team, responds, explaining that they are visiting primarily to introduce Jennifer and me as avid buyers of
their coffee and to emphasize that George HowellCoffee never blends their coffee.  It is always sold as Guadalupe Miramar

We set out to see some farms.

First, the coffee tree nursery.

Traditional coffee trees under tall
trees, similar to Arabica’s original environment in Ethiopia. Low productivity, but healthy plants. Almost no use of chemicals.

Perfectly Ripe Cherries.

One fruit = 2 beans.

Picking cherries.

Quality = Selective Picking!

After depulping and fermenting the “beans,” still covered by outer protective envelopes, called parchment, dry for many days.

Drying parchment coffee. When
moisture drops from about 60% to 10.5%, ideally, the coffee is ready for dry milling: sorting by size, density and defect. Only then is it ready to ship to us.