Josefina Pascual Yescas

$30
Weight :
Grind Size :
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Impressions: fig, grapes, demerara sugar
Roast Degree: light (2/5)

Country: Mexico
Region: Oaxaca (Sierra Norte)
Municipality: San Juan Juquila Vijanos
Localidad: Juquila Vijanos

Varietals: Typica & bourbon
Process: Washed
Fermentation: 48h
Drying: 5 days
Import and Export Partner: Azahar Coffee

We are so excited to launch this special coffee from Josefina Pascual Yescas. It’s a very tasty brew, but this is not what we are the most proud about.

Our main goal as a business is to change the coffee status quo. And this coffee is part of the changes we wish to see in the industry.

What does this mean?

It means that we are trying to change the fact that farmers, even if they are responsible for producing all the raw material we need and without whom we couldn’t even be in business, are often not in charge of who they sell their coffee to, or for how much.

When you buy this coffee, you are a part of something bigger than just a tasty cup of Joe: you help empower and give a living wage to an indigenous producing group whose remoteness was always a hurdle when it came to connecting with coffee buyers.
99% of the people living in San Juan Juquila Vijanos  are of Zapotec origin.

The price of this coffee, according to the four different wage level described in the Sustainable Coffee Buyer’s Guide, was set to make sure the farmer earned a living wage. We paid 3.5x over Azahar’s premium, and 5.5x the average local market price for this coffee. We have a second coffee from the same region that you can find here.

(See our transparency report for all the details, but read below for more info on Josefina.)

Josefina, 45 years of age, was born and raised in Juquila, It can be challenging to be a single mother while working on a coffee farm, but the knowledge her family passed down to her, paired with her mother’s help, makes Josefina produce a very delicate and enjoyable coffee.

Coffee is Josefina’s main source of income, even if she produced only one bag of exportable coffee. This was just an extra reason for us to pay more for the coffee.
Although she aims to export as much as possible, she always makes sure to keep some cherries for her that she enjoys eating straight from the trees!

Part of a producing group called Aroma Juquileño to facilitate government programs and transport, but each farmer is responsible for fermentation, drying and milling of their own lots.

The Serrano landscape in Juquila Vijanos is characterized by the presence of steep mountains, with slopes that can go up to 90%, making picking much more challenging. With an average and warm temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, excellent conditions for coffee cultivation.

This coffee is very deep and luxurious. You won’t find the biggest range of notes, but the ones you will taste will be extremely vibrant and present.

Everything about this coffee screamed purple to us. Yes, that’s a thing hehe!

The fig notes gives the coffee an amazing mouthfeel, and it becomes alive through the acidity that reminded us or purple grapes.

This brew is also very, very sweet, and felt like pure demerara sugars.

Method

Dose Ratio Time
Espresso 16-20 g 2.2:1 30-34 sec
Espresso with milk 16-20 g 2:1 32-36 sec
Americano 16-20 g 2.4:1 26-30 sec

V60/Origami 

18-32 g 17:1 3:30-4:00 min

 Chemex & Batch Brew

40-60 g 16:1 5:00-5:45 min

 French Press

18-25 g 15.5:1

4:30 min steep time

Farmer: Josefina Pascual Yescas
# of exportable bags: 1x69kg
Import & Export partner: Azahar Coffee

The price paid for this coffee ensures a LIVING WAGE for the farmer who produced it. (see below for details)

Farmgate price: 440MXN /kg of parchment (~35CAD). This amounts to ~40CAD /kg of green coffee.

The average local price was around 80MXN, and the Azahar minimum is around 120MXN.
We paid 5.5x more than local market price, and 3.5x above the Azahar minimum.

Price we paid for the landed coffee at our roastery: 58,90CAD /kg

This ~19CAD differential between the farmgate price and the landed coffee covers:

  • the transport from the remote mountains of the Sierra Norte in Oaxaca to Oaxaca city
  • Azahar on the ground work and export fees
  • Import, financing and storage fees
  • Shipping and customs from the USA to our roastery

Even though we only bought coffee from two farmers at a higher price (see our other lot from here) Josefina is part of a producing group call Aroma Juquileño. Community means everything to them and they will share their living income with their neighbours who, according to Josefina, are instrumental to her success.

Juquila Vijanos is a remote area in Oaxaca, and the fixed and labour costs to produce coffee there is much higher than in the rest of the region. As an example, to achieve the living income in the other areas Azahar is involved in in Mexico, we would have paid 40 to 50% less to achieve the same impact on the farmer’s livelihood.

Even though we think it’s a nice starting point to pay a living wage, we are still very far from what the Sustainable Coffee Buyer’s Guide would qualify as a prosperous income. To do so, we would need to pay a little more than twice what we paid.

Also worth mentioning that as a small business, we could’t have paid more than the minimum (legal) wage, or even below that, if our aim was to compete with the many coffee buyers who usually buy way cheaper coffees, a rampant problem in our industry.

When you buy this coffee, you are a part of something bigger than just a tasty cup of Joe: you help empower and give a living wage to an indigenous producing group whose remoteness was always a hurdle when it came to connecting with coffee buyers.

This is how we challenge a status quo that always benefits importers and roasters while neglecting the very people we depend on, the farmers.

The Sustainable Coffee Buyer’s guide 4 tiers explained:

  • poverty wage: the price paid for a coffee that would leave farmers living in poverty in that region
  • legal wage: farmers paid according to the minimum salary imposed by the government (often not respected in rural jobs)
  • living wage: a wage that allows the farmers to live well with all his family while also paying farm workers a living wage
  • prosperous wage: this is the same as the living income but with an extra 20% paid to the farmers family + another 20% paid for reinvestment in the farm

Those numbers were gathered by the non profit Sustainable Coffee Buyer's Guide while doing cost of production analysis and farmer interviews for the past 3 years, a truly groundbreaking and tedious endeavour.

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