Coffee trader: Maggie Alvarez and the love for coffee

Mara Garcia

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Walking down the streets, you can see thousands of people with a hot beverage in their hands. For some is the fuel to get up in the morning and go on with the day, for others one is not enough.

The love might start from the smell, the taste, the experience, the boost that it gives you, the conversational opportunity, the different brewing methods or the cultural diversity. Coffee extends around the world in people lives. For Swedish, “fika” is much more than having a cup of coffee. It is a social phenomenon, the perfect opportunity to set aside a moment for quality time.

It is also the second most sought soft commodity in the world and it is worth over $100 billion worldwide. Coffee is grown in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and America. Central and South America bring two-thirds of the world’s coffee production. Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia are the top three producers of coffee.

By Mara García Data: World Atlas

For Mexico, coffee is a very lucrative business that gives the opportunity to export and provide economic survival for those small farmers in the two poorest southern states in the country that rely on the seasonal crop. Mexico is ranked as the 9th largest coffee producer in the world.

In an interview for the Circular, Maggie Alvarez, a coffee trader from Exportadora de Café California a company in Mexico said, “I negotiate with both the producer and the client that will eventually sell that cup of coffee to the final consumer. In my company, we always try to buy almost all the coffee from the most important regions in Mexico, Chiapas and Oaxaca. However, we also buy coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam among others providing us with many different varieties of coffee.”

Coffee cherry // Photo credit: Maggie Alvarez

Coffee is a commodity, the price of this product varies every second. Maggie deals with futures, options and the stress of the stock market. She also cups every variety of coffee and tastes all the different flavours, “sometimes, believe it or not, they will taste like flowers, chocolate or even plastic. Our clients favourite coffee all over the world is the one that comes from Chiapas, because of its flavour and aroma.”

Cupping session // Photo credit: Maggie Alvarez

According to Ms Alvarez, nowadays consumers buy “organic coffee”. Therefore, the trend is the traceable process of the product and the honesty of this process. “They have to be 100% zero-chemicals, work for a social cause, and you need to have the proper certificates. Fairtrade coffee has become the most important fact to sell coffee.”

 

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Mara Garcia