Jose Arguello - Marago


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Impressions: orange sherbet, syrupy, butter, vanilla
Roast degree: 2/6 (light)

Country: Mexico
Region: La Concordia, Chiapas

Farm: Finca Santa Cruz
Producer: Jose Argüello
Variety: Maragogype

Process: Washed
Partner importer: La Nacional

This washed marago, or its nickname ‘’elephant bean’’ due to its size,  is a smooth, easy to drink coffee from Jose Argüello, a cup of excellence winning farmer.

Absolutely everything he produces is stellar: from the picking, sorting, processing, fermenting and drying, his protocols bring out the best out of every coffee.

This marago is depulped and fermented for 24 hours.

The first stage of drying one full day under the sun, before being transferred to raised beds for 20 days. Jose then controls the humidity for a period of 10 days, before finishing the last phase of drying.

Absolutely thrilled to have a coffee from Jose (first of 4 lots) back on the menu! Last year, people went crazy for all his coffees. We are super grateful to La Nacional for importing those lots to Canada!

The Argüello Enríquez family are the owners of Finca Santa Cruz, located near the Biósfera del Triunfo reserve, at 1400 to 1700 MASL.

It was 4 years ago when José Argüello, the youngest family member, decided to produce Specialty Coffee to demonstrate Mexico's capability of providing great coffee to the world, as well as the ability to compete with the world's best coffees out there. 

In 2018 they created a protocol which was replicated in 2019 and went on to compete at Mexico's Excellence Cup contest. They won 1st place with a score of 93.04 for its natural Geisha. This marks the highest score in the history of Mexico COE. José Argüello is married to Berenice Coutiño Ruiz and they have three kids: Emilio, José Manuel and Federico.

This marago is one of the cleanest, most balanced coffee we’ve tasted in a while.

The coffee is intensely sweet and round, with notes of vanilla, dulce de leche, with a mouthfeel that is extremely buttery. 

A nice orange sherbet acidity brightens the coffee up, and we noticed some red spice notes as the coffee cools. Everything works together to create a coffee that is easy to drink, complex and deep, yet it also feels like and everyday cup.

Method Dose Ratio Time
Espresso 18 g 2.2:1 30-35 sec
Espresso with milk 18g 2:1 32-35 sec
Americano 18 g 2.3:1 30-35 sec


23 g 16:1 3:30-4:00 min

 Chemex & Batch Brew

40-60 g 16:1 4:15-5:30 min

 French Press

18-25 g 15.5:1 3:45 min steep time

Farm: Finca Santa Cruz
Farmer: Jose Argüello
Importer: La Nacional

Exportation: Joint effort between Jose and La Nacional

Price paid for the landed coffee at our roastery: 40CAD$/kg of green coffee (~18$/lb)

FOB Price paid by La Nacional: 25,80USD/KG
In this situation, this is also the price paid to Jose who handled all the processing and logistics up to the point where the coffee is at a facility, ready for export.

FOB, or Freight on board, means the price paid to account for all the cost prior to the coffee being safe inside either a boat, or in this case, a truck.
An FOB price can mean very little, especially if the producer isn’t in charge or involved in the export process.

Why? If the coffee is sold from the farmer to a mill, and the mill sells to an exporter, etc, it becomes difficult to know if the farmer was adequately compensated.

Jose was paid 25,80USD/kg, and he is the one who dictated the price based on his various cost (cost of production and labour at the farm, processing equipment, fertilizers, costs of living, transportation, etc.) something that, shockingly, is still not the norm in coffee.

Jose and family make a decent living while reinvesting heavily on new processing experiments and equipment. But they also reinvest a lot to make sure that farm workers have great living conditions and wages.

Sadly, not many farmers can have that much control over the price they receive, but we are grateful that Jose and his family have a bigger say in what they can ask for their hard work. Also grateful to have La Nacional working ethically and transparently with both producers and roasters.


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