ORIGIN: Central America
REGION: Heart of Sierra Sur, Oaxaca
PROCESSING METHOD: Washed
ALTITUDE: 1300-1900 meters
VARIETIES: Typica, Caturra, Mundo Novo
Sicobi, which stands for Community System for Protecting and Managing Biodiversity, was founded six years ago by the non-governmental organization GAIA. GAIA is a group of biologists that has been working in Oaxaca for 25 years. Sicobi has a unique way of organizing growers. While the organization doesn’t work with all coffee growers in the surrounding communities, it has established policies and rules for the entire territory the communities are in. Sicobi enforces its policies through a board consisting of local authorities, and through this territorial management it aims to preserve biodiversity in the community.
In total, Sicobi manage 1,500 hectares of coffee plantations that belong to 500 growers. Sicobi buys only a small percent of the entire coffee production in its communities, but the organization prefers to focus on quality and have access to differentiated markets rather than achieving strictly volume.
The coffee has a unique cup profile. While all Sicobi coffees are 100% washed process, they taste similar to a natural coffee. That happens because of the natural conditions of the region, particularly the very dry landscape that creates a unique micro-climate. We loved the coffee last year, and while the profile this year is quite different, it’s still a great cup.
Sicobi is in the process of opening new markets as well. The group currently sells only coffee and wood commercially, but it is increasing its production of cacao and honey, and in the near future hopes to implement a commercial model for these products as well.