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¡Arriba! Welcome to the world of Mexican coffee
For many people, Mexican coffee isn’t on their java radar yet, which is surprising as these beautiful beans produce a crowd-pleasing cup.
Bursting with nutty-chocolate notes but light in body and strength, Mexican coffee is perfect for everyday sipping, and its natural spiciness means these beans make for an excellent coffee cocktail base.
Here, we delve into Mexican coffee facts and flavours to reveal why it's such an alluring coffee choice. What’s more, if you love your coffee cocktails, we have a few temptingly good cocktail recipes in store for you too.
A brief history of Mexican coffee
Compared to other coffee cultivating countries, coffee came late to Mexico. It wasn’t until the 18th century when the Spanish brought plants from Cuba and the Dominican Republic that it reached Mexican shores. In the 1790s, small plantations were cultivated by German and Italian immigrants, but for many years commercial production remained minimal.
It was only after Mexico gained independence from Spain that coffee production took off. After the Mexican Revolution in the 20th-century, farmer-led investment gave the industry a much-needed boost.
The 1973 foundation of the INMECAFE (the National Coffee Institute of Mexico) certified coffee production as a serious part of the Mexican economy and exports. Coffee production exploded after that (in some areas, it grew by as much as 900%). It was Mexico’s most valuable export crop. But competition in the mid-80s spelt a decline in demand and the collapse of the INMECAFE.
Out of the ashes of the INMECAFE arose coffee cooperatives which helped sustain the survival of thousands of coffee farmers in the 90s. To this day, not only have these cooperatives become powerful players in the organic coffee industry, but they’ve also helped spearhead environmental initiatives and lobby for local services like schools and hospitals.
Where is Mexican coffee grown?
Mexican coffee mainly grows in the country’s southernmost states - Chiapas, Veracruz and Oaxaca. These Mexican coffee growing regions are known for their lofty mountain ranges and lush jungles that provide the perfect climate and altitude for Arabica plants to flourish. Coffees from Oaxaca are highly sought after, and the ones grown in the high altitudes of Chiapas are regarded as Mexico’s best.
If you’re an eco-conscious sipper, you’ll be interested to know that Mexico is one of the largest producers of organic coffee in the world. Organic Mexican coffee is mostly cultivated by small farmers in the south of the country, who produce around 100,000 bags of Mexican organic coffee each year.
What does Mexican coffee taste like?
If you like your coffee black, you’ll love Mexican coffee. Generally, coffee from this region is relatively light in body and strength, which means it’s excellent for sipping without milk. With a slightly acidic kick, vanilla and chocolate notes and a medium flavour that’s not overpowering, Mexican coffee is sublime for everyday drinking.
Mexican coffee’s flavour profile does, however, differ depending on the region it’s grown. Here’s more on the different Mexican coffee flavour profiles:
Chiapas coffee is grown in the southern state of Chiapas and is famed for its light, delicate notes and tangy acidity with a light to medium body.
Most Veracruz coffee is grown on the lowlands and is generally considered quite ordinary. However, its nearby mountainous region produces the much-coveted Altura Coatepec, noted for its nutty flavour, brightness and chocolaty overtones.
Particularly distinguished is the coffee from the southern slopes of Oaxaca. Called Oaxaca Pluma coffee, these beans are known for their light body and acidity.
Our Mexican coffee
At Coffee Direct, we are proud to sell the best Mexican coffee beans. Made with sun-dried Arabica coffee beans sourced from the coastal region of Soconusco (Chiapas), our Mexican Coffee has a rich, full-bodied flavour with fine acidity and a slightly spicy aftertaste. With a mild-medium strength and heady aroma, it is perfect for filter coffees or espressos.
We expertly roast all our coffee beans in small batches and also roast to order, guaranteeing optimum freshness. You can choose between whole bean or pre-ground coffee, with all coffee grounds produced to the exact grind size you require for your brew method of choice.
Find out what our customers think about our speciality Mexican beans.
How to make Café de Olla (traditional Mexican coffee)
Café de Olla is a traditional Mexican coffee recipe, typically made using a clay pot. This sweet concoction, which mixes coffee with cinnamon, piloncillo (or brown sugar) and orange peel, is a great alternative to winter drinks such as hot chocolate. We’re sure it will also become one of your favourite coffee recipes if you love your caffeine with a spicy kick.
You'll find our take on a homebrewed Café de Olla below (no clay pot required).
Total time: 5 minutes
- 1.5L water
- 140g piloncillo (or regular brown sugar)
- 175g of Mexican coffee, ground medium-coarse
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks (1 cinnamon stick per drink)
- Peel of 1 orange
Heat the water in a saucepan and add the piloncillo/sugar until it dissolves. Add the coffee, cinnamon sticks and orange peel. Some recipes also add anise and clove to the mix, so feel free to do so if that suits your taste. Turn off the heat and let everything steep for ten minutes. Then strain and serve with or without milk or cream. We recommend serving this drink in coffee mugs.
A couple more of our favourite Mexican coffee cocktail recipes
If you’re partial to an espresso martini, check out our recipe for a Mexican coffee cocktail (aka one of our all-time favourite dessert recipes). Decadently delicious, this authentic Mexican coffee recipe is sumptuous and creamy with a fun tequila kick.
Mexican Coffee Cocktail
Total time: 10 minutes
- 30ml Kahlua
- 15ml Tequila
- 140ml coffee (made with Mexican coffee grounds)
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream
- Chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup
Brew your coffee as usual. Meanwhile, mix the Kahlua and tequila in a coffee cup. Next, add the brewed coffee and top with whipped cream. To finish, add chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup to your whipped cream top. The result? A luxuriously rich, 'pick-me-up' coffee cocktail recipe.
Cold-brew coffee Mexican style
This is the ideal coffee drink for hot weather. It's also one of those coffee drinks that's super easy to make and requires minimal ingredients.
Total time: 15-20 minutes (please note this recipe requires a bit more time if you want your drink to be really cold)
- 200ml hot brewed Mexican coffee
- Brown sugar (optional)
- A couple of ice cubes
- 50ml cold milk
- Ground Cinnamon or cinnamon stick (one per drink)
Once you've brewed your Mexican coffee in your usual coffee pot or filter device, add sugar to taste. Stir well and then chill in the fridge until cold. Pour your cold coffee into your glass and top with milk. Serve your iced coffee with a couple of ice cubes per glass and a sprinkling of cinnamon on top or alternatively, add a whole cinnamon stick.
What is Mexican coffee made of?
A traditional Mexican coffee cocktail known as Café de Olla is a drink/recipe typically made using a clay pot. This Mexican recipe mixes coffee with cinnamon, piloncillo (or brown sugar) and orange peel. Sometimes an extra special ingredient such as anise or clove is also added to the sweet and spicy mix. You can drink Café de Olla black or add milk or cream to your traditional coffee drink.
There are lots of different 'how to' drink recipes that exist, and you can find our variation above.
Is coffee from Mexico good?
Yes. Why is Mexican coffee so good? Because it’s mild enough to be enjoyed black and has delicious notes of chocolate, nuts and fruits.
Where can I buy Mexican coffee?
If you're a fan of Mexican coffee, you have to try our speciality Mexican beans. These premium Mexican coffee beans are sourced from the finest growers in Chiapas and give you a rich, full-bodied cup with a slightly spicy aftertaste.
Not sure which size bag you need? See How Many Cups each size provides.