El Triunfo is located in the Sierra Madre del Sur and is a large ecologic reserve. It represents a critical area for biodiversity and water resources, but is known mostly as the last and largest contiguous cloud forest habitats in Mexico. At last count 12,000 people, mostly indigenous live within the reserve and coffee farming has provided an economic source that can exist in some degree of harmony with maintaining the ecology. Conservation International has taken a lead to make sure the coffee exported with the name El Triunfo comes from registered coops in the area, including the producer of this lot, Union Ramal Santa Cruz. To maintain their status a coop must have a yearly inspection, accepting recommendations to maintain forest shade over the coffee plantings, and process the coffee without contaminating the watershed. I have had a lot of trouble finding Mexican coffees that are of a quality worth offering alongside our great Central American lots. Mexico suffers from lower altitudes, spotty wet-processing and drying methods, and difficulties to ship coffees promptly. A great wet-processed Mexican coffee is a mild affair, light in body, with clean acidic brightness. But so many I cup have high defect counts in the green coffee, and off taints in the cup favors. I understand that all the coffees from the El Triunfo reserve are not that well-picked and processed, but I was happy to find this lot. I feel it shows what a really nice Chiapas region coffee can be, a great exemplar for this particular region.
The lightest roasts of El Triunfo were clean and bright, but had a green taste I can only describe as fresh-cut grass. At City+ roast this turned to a clean, lightly fruited brightness, so I recommend at least C+ roast on this coffee. The dry fragrance has a crisp caramel scent, with a trace of red apple. Wet aroma is nutty, with the scent of bread in the oven, honey-vanilla, and just a little maple and apple. The cup has a mild and delicate acidity that gives a sense of refreshing brightness, but low in intensity. There's a grainy sweetness in this coffee; light roasts have a bit of toasted oats flavor. Darker roasts have a aromatic wood note, a bit less sweetness, but greater body. It's a mild coffee, short-lived on the palate, but zesty nonetheless: Simple, sweet, mildly bright.