Finca Las Chicharras (“Cicada” in English) took 5th in the Cup Of Excellence competition in Mexico 2018, and it’s no surprise when cupping coffee from the farm. This is quite a feat for E-Cafe Chiapas, the operation who runs the farm. They began as an exporter in 2007, with their first container shipping to the US, built a processing plant in 2013, and didn’t purchase their own finca until 2015 — that farm was Finca Las Chicharras. It’s an insane timeframe, to go from first time farm owner to COE winner in the span of 3 years. The group is not only mastering coffee production, they also have in place many social programs to improve the lives of people who work with them, or live in the surrounding areas. Their main operations outside of coffee are the Icathus School, a boarding school for underprivileged children, affordable financing offered to producers, and working with community and government leaders to improve infrastructure, education, and health. These operations are funded by the government and the sales of their coffee. Finca Las Chicharras operates not only as an award winning coffee farm for E-Cafe, but also as a research and development facility where all farmers who work with the group are invited to learn how to improve their own practices.
This handpicked lot is sent to the fermentation tanks for 10-14 hours before being washed clean of mucilage. After it’s been washed the coffee is sorted and then put on raised beds in a greenhouse for drying that maintains a temperature of 30-35℃. The coffee will go through destoning next to ensure no foreign matter makes it through the process, and then the coffee is hulled to remove the parchment. With the coffee processed down to green coffee, E-Cafe runs it through a color sorter, and finishes with size grading to be sure that the resulting coffee is uniform and without defects for the best quality across the lot.