Oaxaca destination expert Marco Schiapparelli takes us on a journey to the land of feathered clouds and black gold.
Pluma Hidalgo is a small mountain village set in Oaxaca’s Sierra Madre. Just a 50 minutes car ride from downtown Huatulco, this sleepy coffee-producing town nestled in the clouds soars out over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 1350 meters (over 5,000 feet) above sea level.
According to legend Pluma Hidalgo received its name when one of the main figures of Mexican Independence, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, lost his emblematic feather (“pluma”). Today, at Pluma Hidalgo’s peak, such a feather can often be seen in the form of a cloud.
Mexico’s Coffee Mecca
Known as Mexico’s coffee mecca, the exuberant tropical vegetation that surrounds this magical village high in the mountains provides the perfect conditions for producing some of the best Arabica coffee in the world.
Pluma coffee is recognized around the world for its distinguished and penetrating aroma.
In fact, the coffee’s aromatic scent is so strong that an open bag of freshly roasted grains would fill a whole house with its smell. This last feature seems to be caused by the two different kinds of air that reach Pluma Hidalgo: the salty breeze from the nearby Pacific Ocean (that can be seen in bright and drafty days from certain viewpoints of the mountain village) and the cold wind coming down from the cliffs that surround the town.
As an increasingly larger number of people throughout the world are choosing organic products, the coffee farmers of Pluma Hidalgo have not been left behind. Today, several cooperatives are certified as producers of organic coffee.
The Arabica species cultivated in Pluma boast exotic names such as Marago and Planchuela, among others. Or Caracolillo, which is actually not a species but rather a selection of the small size “dwarf” beans of the different varieties. These tiny but powerful beans are considered to provide a better cup of java than the normal-sized ones.
The primary harvesting period in the region, known as pizca, takes place each between December and February. During this period, indigenous families from Pluma Hidalgo and the surrounding villages come together to harvest, dry, select and pack the magical bean turned black liquid drank the world over. Often times, the profits from this seasonal work are the only opportunity for the locals to earn some money.
Savor the Flavor
In downtown Huatulco, pluma coffee can be savored and enjoyed in a variety of coffee shops. Most even offer you to purchase the coffee by the kilo to take home for personal consumption or as a nice souvenir.
The best way to try pluma coffee, however, is to go straight to the source: directly from the producers themselves in Pluma Hidalgo. Not only will you be able to purchase your coffee directly from those who harvested the beans, you will also be able to participate in the roasting process.
Let Amstar take you there
Each week Amstar dmc organizes the famous 3 Levels of Huatulco tour. Following an introduction to Huatulco and a visit to gorgeous Santa Maria Huatulco, this fun and informative tour takes you to Pluma Hidalgo in which the third level is a complete and informative visit to this coffee-producing mecca. After tasting delicious coffee and participating in the roasting process, you’ll visit a local home filled with exotic flowers and have time to capture stunning pictures.
Drinking coffee will never be the same after this tour!
Contact an Amstar representative to organize your next vacations to Oaxaca and visit Pluma Hidalgo.