Coffee Farmers with True Grit
My inspiration for this week’s Grit Chronicles comes from the cup of coffee I’m enjoying this morning. The beans are from a region in Mexico named Oaxaca and are produced by multiple coffee growers from a single village. These beans arrived as a part of my Tinker Coffee Subscription this month and the description of the beans and some history of the region provided by the Tinker Coffee Team caught my attention.
This region is populated by dedicated coffee farmers with small holdings who demonstrated grit to bring their high-quality beans to market. Roya, a fungus that causes coffee leaf rust, decimated their 2015 coffee harvest. This natural disaster came on top of these farmers’ struggles to gain access to quality-focused markets.
Not surprisingly, many village cooperatives dissolved after the Roya outbreak. But those farmers with grit used this misfortune to plant more resistant varieties and improve their farming techniques to attain even higher levels of quality and production. This positioned them to connect with Sustainable Harvest to create the La Lucha (roughly translated as The Fight) initiative. La Lucha is a connector of high-quality, entrepreneurial coffee producers with specialty markets around the world. And while Oaxaca was ground zero for this initiative, since then, it has expanded across the globe.
Here's what makes this morning’s coffee extraordinary. It originates from the coffee farmers in Oaxaca who are passionate about growing high-quality coffee for consumers who appreciate the fruit of their labor. This passion, coupled with the perseverance to keep going when other farmers gave up, produced the beans that I ground this morning for a coffee experience that is all the more rich, knowing the grit that it took to grow, harvest, and deliver these beans to me.