This Small, Woman-Owned Business Shares The Magic Of Mexican Coffee

Mexico native Lupita Sanchez is sharing her culture, community and the ethical farming initiatives behind her specialty coffee company, Café Metzli.
Lupita Sanchez, owner of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Caf%C3%83%C2%A9-Metzli-Mexican-Specialty-Chiapas/dp/B09K4KMBBF?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62713579e4b0bc48f5801dba%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Caf&#xE9; Metzli" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62713579e4b0bc48f5801dba" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Caf%C3%83%C2%A9-Metzli-Mexican-Specialty-Chiapas/dp/B09K4KMBBF?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62713579e4b0bc48f5801dba%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">Café Metzli</a>, talks about all the love, labor and heritage that goes into the harvesting and processing of these special coffee beans.
Lupita Sanchez, owner of Café Metzli, talks about all the love, labor and heritage that goes into the harvesting and processing of these special coffee beans.

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For Lupita Sanchez, creator and owner of Café Metzli, a single cup of coffee has the ability to sustain cultures, generational traditions and entire communities.

Her company’s coffee beans are a direct result of the small-scale coffee ecosystems that happened to be thriving in her very own backyard.

“It’s not really known that there’s Mexican specialty coffee,” Sanchez told HuffPost. “Everyone knows about coffee from Colombia or Ethiopia, and even growing up in Mexico we always just had Starbucks or instant coffee.”

After moving to Los Angeles in 2019 to be with her husband, Sanchez found a similar lack about awareness for Mexican coffee among the local artisan coffee shops and grocery stores she frequented.

Her subsequent quest to carve out a space in the market for quality Mexican coffee, while also connecting with her heritage, started in 2021 and led her into the mountainous highlands of the Chiapas region of Mexico. The small town of Bella Vista, which is close to the Guatemalan border and home to several ancient sites of the Mayas, is self-run by small-scale coffee producers, many of which are made up of entire families and individuals native to the land.

“I started doing my research and began connecting with different coffee producers from different parts of Mexico,” Sanchez said. “I traveled back to where they grow the coffee so I can start from the beginning and really get to know what the whole process of making coffee beans was like. That’s when I just fell in love with it.”

Lupita Sanchez works closely with all-women coffee producers in Bella Vista, Mexico, who grow, hand-pick and roast their own coffee beans.
Lupita Sanchez/Café Metzli
Lupita Sanchez works closely with all-women coffee producers in Bella Vista, Mexico, who grow, hand-pick and roast their own coffee beans.

She chose Bella Vista partly because of delicious flavors that the climate, mineral-rich soil and altitude brought out in the beans. Café Metzli’s signature Bella Vista Women’s Group blend comes in three different roasts and highlight a variety of flavors, including baked apple, vanilla, dark chocolate and black cherry.

But she was also drawn to the collective of 168 women coffee producers who lived there.

“My country can have a very ‘machismo’ mentality, and just seeing these women working on their own, building their own companies, collaborating as a group and keeping their families together is amazing,” Sanchez said. “I feel so proud that I can help women achieve their goals, just how I’m achieving my own goals.”

“[Many of these groups] have amazing coffee programs that teach the youth how to plant the coffee they produce, how to do latte art and coffee cupping so that they can find love in their culture and their land and what they have there,” she said. “They don’t have to immigrate somewhere else and leave their families behind.”

Sanchez described a laborious harvesting season that lasts three to four months in which the producers hand-pick the coffee cherries, then dry, roast and sell them. In these few months, the communities must make their entire income for the year.

“I picked the coffee cherries for a couple of hours and honestly, my fingers got super red and the next day I had blisters, so I cannot imagine doing that for eight to 12 hours a day,” she said.

“I feel so proud that I can help women achieve their goals, just how I’m achieving my own goals.”

- Lupita Sanchez

The coffee producers set the pricing themselves, which Sanchez believes both ensures a quality product and uplifts the farmers — and helps empower the future generation of coffee growers in the region.

Sanchez said profit is important, but that she’s also focused on the ripple effect that a company creates. The money will come in time.

“I just feel right now, everyone wants to make quick money and, and to me, great things take time and it’s about enjoying the process,” she said. “I started the company so that I could help others and the consequence of that is profit and other opportunities.”

Sanchez hopes that the adoration she feels for Mexican culture, as well as the special hand processes in which these coffee beans are created, comes through in each cup. To experience this for yourself, you can get Cafe Metzli’s signature blend below while also supporting the burgeoning specialty Mexican coffee movement.

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A 12-ounce bag of Café Metzli's dark roast
Grown in high altitudes in the Bella Vista, Chiapas, region of Mexico, this dark roast gives off flavor notes of black cherry, dark chocolate and plum. The beans were grown, harvested and purchased from the Bella Vista Women's Group. These flavorful whole beans were grown in the in soil rich with clay minerals, and are treated with a sun-washing and drying process.
A 12-ounce bag of limited edition coffee blend celebrating La Catrina
Café Metzli's rich dark roast blend celebrates perhaps the most recognized symbol of Mexico's Día de los Muertos: La Catrina. These beans come ground and were made using the same sun-washing and drying process as the traditional dark roast. Once brewed, there are added notes of cinnamon.Like all of Café Metzli's beans, they were purchased at fair pricing and harvested by the Bella Vista Women's Group.
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