“¿Puede darme un café, por favor?”


Café de Olla.

It is strongly connected to Mexican history and lifestyle.

When it comes to Mexico most of us instantly think about burritos, tequila and temperamental Latin vibes. Others remember the great ancient cultures that have originated in Mexico and the beautiful landscapes. However, of all Latin-American Countries, Mexico might be the least associated with Coffee.

But let’s have a look at the facts: Even though the first coffee beans have been cultivated rather early in the 18th century it took quite a while until coffee became popular among the Mexican population. There´s a quite simple reason for this: Mexicans did not care about coffee. They had a long-lasted tradition of other plants and resources. Of course this has changed drastically by the time. Nowadays, Mexico is one of the most important countries worldwide when it comes to coffee growing and one of the most interesting countries when it comes to coffee consumption.

On the one hand, Mexico is one of the major countries when it comes to coffee plantations. It is known for very high-quality Arabica beans, which are supposedly less sour but much stronger than many other beans. Most famous might be the Maragogipe, also known as the Elephant Bean.

Let´s have a look at how Mexicans drink coffee first. Basically, it is coffee that is brewed with cinnamon, vanilla and a generous addition of cane sugar -  Café de Olla. It is strongly connected to Mexican history and lifestyle. During the Mexican revolution, Café de Olla was regularly prepared for the soldiers by their so-called soldaderas, so they would stay energized throughout the day. It is also known for being Mario Zapata´s favorite kind of coffee. As he is an important figure in the indigenous history, Mexicans wouldn´t let anything negative come to their Café de Olla. Until today, it is a main offer in the highly sophisticated third wave coffee places in Mexico City and the other major cities. Also, when you go to the US, especially the Westcoast, you´ll find excellent baristas among the huge Hispanic Community who would love to serve this type of coffee.


Funnily, there is another side to Mexican Coffee-Drinking habits. Mexico is the country with the highest per-head consumption of Nescafe.  But this should be only a side-fact.

Master of Beans and Latte Art


So apparently you do need an MBA to find out that making your own coffee is not just a prerequisite when you decide to work for a startup, but also a skill, art and science.

Did you actually know that coffee is a cherry-like fruit? That people used to eat coffee? That the first coffee brewed probably tasted worse than dishwasher water? Some still do apparently...Well, three months ago when we had the glorious idea to get into the coffee trade, we did not even know the difference between an arabica bean and a hazelnut... 

The easier part for sure was to make assumptions out of thin air, validate them in an Excel sheet, prove the business case in Word and prepare an outstanding summary presentation in power point. Not really - now the real work is to actually get the milk foam just about the right temperature and consistency so that the hearts you attempt to draw on your latte do not look like rotten apples.

More importantly, now we know better: not just do our hearts look legit,.but we also know our Colombian from the Ethiopian and get the milk to espresso ratio right, we know a flat white from a cappuccino and understand why you should never never never keep your beans ground and exposed to air. 

The longest practical class and exhausting learning curve along the coffee belt - but totally worth it when your new office smells of fresh ground coffee every day.