Mexican Specialty Coffees

Quick Facts

Legal name: Productores de Café del Totonacapan Sociedad de Producción Rural de Responsabilidad Limitada

Country: Mexico

State / Province: Puebla

Number of producers: 924 (70% men/ 30% women)

Altitude MASL: From 800 to 1,400

Main varieties: Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, Colombia, Costa Rica 95, Oro Azteca, Marsellesa, Mundo Maya H-16

Harvest: March to May

Main process: Washed

Main native language: Totonaco


The organization is currently located in the municipality of Zongozotla in the northern highlands of the state of Puebla, a municipality of great natural wealth. It is still covered by original vegetation and forests, surrounded by mountains in which predominate liquidámbars, pines, and oaks. The wildlife is also diverse, here you will fin temazates, javelins, armadillos, badgers, raccoons, tuzas…

We are located in zones that present ideal characteristics to obtain good coffee quality and productivity. The farms of our members are between 800 to 1,400 MASL, with fertile grounds as well as climatic conditions (rains all the year) allowing the good development of the cultures.

The great cultural richness of the inhabitants of this municipality stands out: 95% of the population is indigenous and their native language is Totonaco. The women proudly wear a typical dress that consists of a white labor blouse embroidered with different colors, the “quexquemetl” that they wear on the front of the blouse as an adornment, a white skirt known as “enahua” with a colored strip embroidered on the bottom, and a red wool sash with white embroidery. The men wear a blanket shirt and underwear, a palm hat, strappy huaraches (typical shoes in Mexico), and a machete in a ribbon.

The women of this region are characterized by the particularity of participating in field activities, on the same level as men. Many of them carry out the administration of their farms and fieldwork as coffee producers on their own, without neglecting their activities at home and the care of their children. For this reason, the Totonacapan cooperative created a group of 29 women called “semilla de café” (coffee seed) with the objective of respecting gender equality, strengthening and empowering women in the agricultural sector, seeking to increase the quality and productivity of the production to access different markets and improve their quality of life.

Our Story

The organization was constituted under the name “Productores de Café del Totonacapan” Sociedad de Producción Rural de Responsabilidad Limitada on April 8, 2011. 

In 2016 the Totonacapan organization opened its first office in the municipality of Zapotitlán de Méndez and began working with groups of producers in the northern mountains, with the objective of boosting the productivity and profitability of coffee farms through the implementation of new technologies, and likewise reactivate the coffee culture by encouraging farms renovation affected by the rust. This disease, caused by the fungus Hemileia Vastatrix, affected the coffee-growing areas of the state of Puebla in 2012, causing productivity and quality to drop considerably.

Totonacapan’s focus is to provide training to workgroups, incorporate partners into the organization, implement coffee plantation renovation systems, sell rust tolerant coffee plants, and manage projects.

In 2017-2018 the organization decided to be certified C.A.F.E. PRACTICES, with the objective of increasing productivity and quality through sustainable practices based on three fundamental pillars “economic responsibility, social responsibility, and environmental leadership”, as well as the implementation of model plots, and credits for the renovation and maintenance of coffee plantations.

In 2019, 114 producers of the organization decided to be certified FAIRTRADE with the aim of improving working and their living conditions. That same year the organization started to work with diversification projects thanks to Heifer.

We work actively and directly with a total of 924 coffee producers distributed in the Sierra Norte and Sierra Nororiental of the state of Puebla, promoting the activation of the economy in rural areas, and the reactivation of the coffee plantations with models of productivity and sustainability in the municipalities of Naupan, Tlacuilotepec Tlaola, Xicotepec, Cuautempan, Zongozotla, San Pedro Camocuautla, Coatepec, Zapotitlán de Méndez, Huitzilan de Serdán and Xochitlán de Vicente Suarez.

Our Services & Achievements

Services offered by the organization:

  • Full technical assistance during all year long
  • Demonstration and validation plots
  • Technology packages
  • Training events
  • Diversification projects (Heifer)
  • Administrative support to obtain public funds
  • Free certification
  • Empowerment of the producer

Thanks to the support of Starbucks through the program “Todos Sembramos Café”, more than 800,000 coffee plants tolerant to rust were donated to the producers of the Totonacapan organization, supporting the renovation of coffee plantations with highly productive varieties and higher cup quality.

Technological packages are given to producers, achieving success cases with producers that have reached productivity of 60 to 80 quintals of parchment coffee per hectare.

We have participated in contests such as Cup of Excellence where producers of the organization have achieved very good places, highlighting the quality that they have and Puebla’s potential in specialty coffees, promoted by projects such as Cari Coffee.