Mexican Coffee's Worldwide Popularity: The Surprising Reason

Dec 04, 2022 • Jessica Walle

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When we think about Mexico, we think about its rich culture and history, its beautiful beaches, and its delicious food and spirits. Amongst its famous beverages and drinks, we can find those made from tequila or mezcal, the traditional hot Mexican chocolate, and of course, Mexican coffee! Mexican coffee is known for its delicious flavor, quality, and traditional recipes.

If you are a coffee lover and you are interested in Mexican coffee and what makes it different from the rest of the coffee from around the world, then you should continue reading. By the end of this article not only will you be a connoisseur of Mexican coffee, but you will also be ready to prepare one of the most famous - and delicious - Mexican coffee recipes, perfect for sharing with your loved ones during these holidays or for enjoying yourself during a cold winter day.

Mexican Coffee: More than 200 Years of History… And Flavor

Coffee origins in Mexico date back to the late 1700s, when French ships brought it to Córdoba, Veracruz. Mexico’s coffee production volume ranges between 4 to 5 million bags per year.

Nowadays, coffee is grown in 12 states: Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco, Querétaro, Tabasco.

Mexico is the 11th coffee producer worldwide. Most of its coffee is exported to Europe, Canada, and the United States; of the total Mexican coffee exports, Mexico exports 53.85% to the United States, which outranks Europe significantly in how much coffee its citizens consume. The remaining, are to European countries (such as Spain and Belgium), Canada, Japan, and Cuba. 

What Makes Mexican Coffee So Special?

Did you know that Mexico is considered one of the main organic coffee-producing countries in the world, allocating 3.24% of the total cultivated area to ​​this product? The system of coffee plantations in Mexico is mainly shaded, which allows for the conservation of the environment, flora, fauna, and aquifers.

Mexico produces coffee of excellent quality since its topography, altitude, climate, and soil allow it to grow many varieties classified among the best in the world. Arabica beans, which provide better taste and healthier caffeine content, is the most produced bean variety in Mexico, and its production is usually carried out in the tropics.

In addition to its delicious taste profile, Mexican coffee can have positive health benefits for some people. It contains antioxidants that help reduce risk factors for heart disease and diabetes; it improves cognitive function (memory); it reduces inflammation, stimulates metabolism, and more!

Most Common Coffee Beans in Mexico

Mexican coffee producers are passionate, knowledgeable people that come from generations of coffee farmers and are the responsibles that we have delicious, tasteful coffee in our tables. Chiapas is the main producing state, contributing 41.0% of the national volume, followed by Veracruz (24.0%) and Puebla (15.3%).

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These are some of the coffee beans that can be found in Mexican states:

  • Pluma. The most recognized internationally. This Mexican variety is known for its penetrating and unique aroma. Mexican soil and ecological conditions allow optimal cultivation, with natural shade and minimal use of agrochemicals.
  • Arabica.  One of the most common species in Mexico. Not only is it the most cultivated in Mexico, but also in the world. It is characterized by its intense green color and contains little caffeine.
  • Robust. This bean, by the contrary, has a lot of caffeine and as a result, an intense flavor. It presents a great advantage for its cultivation since its care and harvesting is easier. It is the most used in soluble drinks.
  • Cherry coffee. This is one of the most produced in Mexico. The seeds of this coffee are planted in nurseries and then transferred to their final place, reaching 15 to 20 centimeters.
  • Criollo. This bean is harvested under shade since it does not resist strong winds. It is one of the most common in Mexico, since it is the one that has best adapted to Mexican territory.
  • Maragogipe. The Maragogipe is a variety of Arabica; it is characterized by a large bean, and a soft and perfumed flavor. Originally from Brazil, it is rarely cultivated in Mexico, although it is in great demand in special markets due to its quality. 

Top 3 Cozumel Coffee Shops

If you are lucky enough to be in Cozumel, here are our top recommendations for coffee shops.

mexican beach birds eye view

The Coffee Cozumel

A great hidden gem of Cozumel. We had a great time here. The pastries are amazing! The coffee and food was prepared on time and tasted amazing.

Opening Hours: Everyday 8:00-23:00

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Aqui + Ahora Coffee Bar (Here and Now Cafe)

Whether you're working or relaxing, AQUÍ + AHORA is the perfect place to be in the present moment with good coffee, good vibes, and a great wifi connection.

Opening Hours: Monday - Sunday 7am to MIDNIGHT

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Coco Cafe

This place was so good that we wound up coming back 3 different days during our trip for breakfast/brunch. Someone in our group would say, I want to go back to Coco Cafe and we'd all quickly agree.

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Top 3 Mexico City Coffee Shops

If you are planning on visiting Mexico (which you should!) and if you are a coffee lover, then you absolutely need to try the following Mexican coffee shops in Mexico City. 

Mexican painted skulls

Café Equis

Also known as Mexico City's oldest coffee shop! 

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Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 10am - 2pm​ / 2:30pm - 5pm​; Satruday 10am - 5pm​​

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Café Avellaneda

Coming from a city with many local roasters, we were really pleased when a local recommendation to visit this place was right on target.

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Opening Hours: Everyday 8:00–21:00

Almanegra

Visit to Almanegra café and try the best cold brew in town. Great coffee and affogato. The pastries are awesome as well. There's no indoor seating at this location but everyone is having a cup of coffee on the sidewalk and socializing with one another. It's fun and quirky!

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Opening Hours: Everyday 7:30 AM–9 PM

Mexico City is filled with amazing, unique coffee shops where you can find the best Mexican coffee from Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, and more. Although we love the previously mentioned, don’t be afraid of walking around the city and discovering any of the coffee shops Mexico City has to offer. 

We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to get started exploring Mexican coffee. It’s a beautiful and complex drink, with many flavors and aromas that will keep you coming back for more.

Drinks And Recipes With Coffee From Mexico That You Must Try

Now that you know (almost) everything about Mexico and its coffee, it is time to get creative! If you want to impress your friends or enjoy a delicious hot Mexican beverage at home, then you need to try the following drinks made with Mexican coffee.

Café De Olla

Café De Olla on a table

Café de olla stands for “pot coffee”, and it is a very popular way of preparing coffee in Mexico. Mexican people can find it in many restaurants in pretty much any city, although this recipe was originally created in colder, smaller towns in the country. 

You can recognize a cafe de olla by seeing someone with a big clay pot with beautiful, sweet aromas emerging from it: sugar, cinnamon, clove, maybe orange… All of these ingredients make cafe de olla so unique and special. This is a great way to start your day, or you can also try it as a desert. You can watch a traditional cafe de olla recipe here. Enjoy!

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Carajillo

Carajillo on a table

The Carajillo is not a traditional Mexican drink, however, it is a very common beverage in Mexico and it is mostly offered as a digestif, after-dinner drink in restaurants. Carajillo is a mix of a shot of espresso and Licor 43, a spanish liquor made from 43 ingredients which gives this beverage a sweet and delicious taste.

Is it safe to drink coffee in Mexico?

Yes! There's nothing wrong with drinking coffee, hot tea, canned soda or juice, beer, wine, or alcohol.

Can I use tap water to drink my coffee in Mexico?

It's recommended to use filtered water unless you're going to boil it for more than a minute. This is the safest option. You should use filtered water if you're making coffee in your hotel room or Airbnb.

Author

Mexican, digital marketer and passionate about stories, food, spirits, and coffee!

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