From time to time, people ask us to find a special coffee for their programs and when Chef Valentino Sandoval said that he was opening a new Mexican restaurant with his brothers and he wanted us to be their coffee purveyors, we were incredibly honored. After a long career in Philadelphia, Chef Valentino came to Baltimore to helm the kitchen at The Corner restaurant before decided to stake his claim.
And what a claim he has made. La Calle is beyond the expectation of "Mexican restaurant." More in the vein of Enrique Olvera, La Calle is in a class by itself here in Baltimore and we're very happy to be part of that team.
The Brothers Sandoval wanted a coffee from Mexico that was unique and special. In the specialty coffee world, high-quality Mexican coffee can be quite difficult to find. A variety of factors contribute to this but it is possible to find really lovely coffees and we think we've found a great one for La Calle.
In order to find this coffee, we turned to our coffee importer friends at Crop-To-Cup in New York City. We had worked with C2C a few years ago trying to bring new coffees in the Guerrero region of Mexico. Unfortunately, that project did not materialize because of the many factors affecting coffee farmers in that nation. However, this time we were able to source a really lovely organic coffee with aromas of white grapes and caramel and flavors of green apple, tropical fruite and graham crackers.
La Mixteca is a loose group of 80 quality-focused farmers from the Sochiapam region in the State of Oaxaca. 4,500 people live in this region and 100% of them are part of the Chinatec tribe. The Chinatec people have been able to preserve their pre-Columbian culture and language, partly due to the remote location that has keep them apart from mainstream Mexican society. To get here, one must cross a high-sierra desert and up narrow cutbacks into the cloud forest. Spanish is not spoken here but they do speak coffee!
They grow bourbon and typica varietals of arabica coffee at an elevation of about 5,700 feet. Their total production last year was 320 bags of fully washed coffee that was dried on raised beds with shade nets and rain tarps.
This coffee is an exclusive to La Calle Restaurant and is not available at our retail shop in Hampden.
La Mixteca Organic
Sochiapam, Oaxaca, Mexico
Elevation: 5,700 feet
Harvest Cycle: Feb-April
Production: 320 bags
Varietals: Bourbon, Typica
Processing: Fully washed, 24-36hr ferment
Drying Method: Raised bed, shade net, rain tarps