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Published 23 January 2019

We visit Mexico on our first stop in exploring "Centrals." Coffees from Central America such as Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Honduras are called Centrals and the coffee they produce share certain common characteristics.

Coffee was introduced into the region, around 1700 because there was an ideal geography formed by ancient volcanoes, which resulted in an abundance of volcanic soil and high altitudes. An environment loved by the coffee plant. There was, however, a significant processing problem. Central America is a narrow strip of land with two oceans on either side, at its edges warm ocean winds suddenly collide with a high altitude land mass, the warm winds rise to meet cold air, generating frequent and unexpected showers. Traditional growing regions have established long dry seasons and the coffee is processed, that is the removal of the skin and flesh of the fruit, by lying the harvested fruit to dry on the ground to dry for around three weeks. Then when the fruit has dehydrated and dried, a pestle and mortar easily removed everything surrounding the bean to extract it. If rain falls on a drying crop, however, then it ferments and becomes undrinkable. The New World had to find an alternative process to combat this constant risk and the result was a mechanized process that utilized significant quantities of water and is called the wet process method. Centrals share a common characteristic of wet processing. With coffee, two variables create acidity, wet processing and where coffee beans are grown at high altitudes. This is a pleasant acidity, for instance, in a green apple [high acidity] and a red apple [low acidity], Further, high altitudes also have a propensity to create distinctive fruity taste characteristics. Tasty coffee beans with good acidity are prized in those countries that, especially in the past, that liked to drink black coffee. The acidity cleansing the morning pallet for a perfect morning mouth wash. This quality driven market was North America and Europe, with Australia missing out on this sensory experience. High grown Centrals, therefore, share common characteristics of pleasant acidity and fruity flavours, principally enjoyed by the new wave pour over market. Its definitely worth trying. It is only over the last few years that great Centrals have been arriving in Australia. And, so, we start our coffee adventure with a Mexican peaberry and a sarachimor varietal, these coffees are farm identified but with differing regions and profiles, for you to be introduced to a selected range and examples of Mexican high altitude coffees.

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