The cooperative Comon Yaj Noptic was founded in May 1995 by a group of coffee farmers in Chiapas, Mexico. The farms are located in the Zona de la Frailesca, or “region of the monks,” in the Sierra Madre mountains in the southern part of Chiapas. In the 19th century, many Europeans built farms in this area, however in recent years Mexico has redistributed much of the land back to the ¨ejidos,¨ or local communities. Farmers in the Comon Yaj Noptic cooperative live and grow coffee on this ejido land.
The farmers are committed to protecting the surrounding natural resources, and they have support from environmental organizations such as Conservation International to continue reducing their impact in the region, an area which includes El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve. Comon Yaj Noptic coffee is grown under a shade canopy consisting of 70 percent endemic forest trees and 30 percent traditional polyculture species, including citrus trees. Most members compost their own organic material to use as fertilizer and use dirt and plant barriers to conserve topsoil and prevent erosion on their own farms.
Complex taste with hints of spice; delicate & mild flavor with brisk citrus acidity.
Producer: Comon Yaj Noptic cooperative
Elevation: 900 – 1,700m
The Region: Chiapas
Chiapas, the tropical jungle in southernmost Mexico, shares a border with Guatemala and is one of Mexico’s most rural and most marginalized states. Before the arrival of the Spanish, this region was rich in cocoa seeds, which the Aztecs used as currency in their empire. It was also the first region to produce coffee, which was originally introduced by an Italian immigrant. Today, Mexico is the fifth largest producer of coffee in the world. Although much of the original forest has been razed for agricultural purposes, the remaining natural areas are home to a diverse array of animals including jaguars, monkeys, tapirs, toucans, and parrots.
Comon Yaj Noptic is located in Paradise, Town of Concord, in the state of Chiapas with plots between 900 to 1700m, in the buffer zone of the Biosphere Reserve El Triunfo. There are 166 members in 13 different localities of the town of Concord. They are currently paying 26 pesos a kilo of parchment, equivalent to 1500 per quintal ($1.22 per pound). The current crop is estimated to produce 4.800 quintals.