Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 42 of 115

M E X I C O C I T Y MY INTRODUCTION TO MEXICO CITY was at the national AeroPress championship. Baristas from across the country were pressing and brewing out of Can Can, a bustling coffee and cock- tail bar located in the Roma neighborhood. Traditionally, Aero- Press competitions start with a bracket of 27 baristas competing in groups of three (so that the competition can go from 27 to nine to three easily), but the organizers of this competition had to open it up to 36 competitors. "We sold out of spots in 40 minutes," says Ximena Rubio, one of the organizers of the competition and a former national AeroPress champ herself. The winner, Karen Yoc, hailed from a town called Tapachula in Chiapas. "They reached out to us when they found out about the competition," says Ximena of the Tapachula barista contingent. "By that time, we only had one spot left, so [Karen] was the only person from that area in the national competition." Now, Karen will be representing Mexico in the World AeroPress Championship in Sydney, Australia, in November. The specialty-coffee scene in Mexico has grown quickly, but nowhere as fast as in Mexico City. That progress can be measured not only by the number of high-quality and creatively ambitious coffee shops but also by how coffee professionals in La Ciduad De MŽxico (or CDMX as it is often referred to) see and experience coffee grown within their own country. Most cafés serve native coffee due to the diffi culty of importing green, and most baristas competing in the 2018 Coffee Champion- ships in Mexico at the end of August used coffees from in-country, as well. "Baristas are committed to developing the quality [of Mex- ican coffee] and to promoting direct trade. And they are getting more involved in the production, processing, and roasting," says Sylvia Gutierrez, a longtime World Barista Championship judge and one of the organizers of the national championships in Mexico City. There's a reason these baristas stand so proudly behind their country's coffees, and it's not only because they're often excep- tional: Mexico has one of the most advanced barista cultures in the world, thanks to the hard work of competition organizers including Sylvia, as well as her boss, Arturo Hernandez, who owns Café Etrusca. Arturo and his colleague Jose Arreola were the ones to bring coffee competitions to Mexico a whopping 17 years ago after being bowled over by the contests they saw Scandinavian baristas Opposite page, top: Prickly pear cacti growing outside of Mexico City. Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, si ing at more than 7,000 feet above sea level. It's the second largest city in the world, and is commonly referred to ad CDMX, or Ciudad de Mexico. Below: Drinking a naturally-processed coff ee from Chiapas at Quentin in the Roma Norte neighborhood. Most of the coff ee sold in Mexico City cafés is grown in Mexico, sometimes sourced directly by café owners. This page: Sebastian Alexis Rodriguez Bonelli of 360 Tostadores De Café competes in the Brewers Cup Championship. Mexico hosts one of the longest- running coff ee competitions—this was the 17th year of the barista competition and the sixth year of the Brewers Cup. 43

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