Coffee is the fuel for the modern city, especially for cities within a large coffee producing country. Such is the case with Mexico City. Drift realized this, and made Mexico City and its coffee culture the focus for their 6th issue. Drift always does a good job of using coffee to explain a place deeper than just drinks. They use coffee as a gateway subject into political histories, economical struggles and current societal changes happening within a city.
Drift does this yet again in their Mexico City issue. Drift begins the issue with an article about Mexico City’s past, and their change from a hybrid federal district where the citizens had no say over its own governance, to its own city with their own mayor and city council. While this article doesn’t necessarily feature coffee, it is offered up as a metaphor for the growth and change happening with Mexico City’s coffee world.
Drift takes its time in this issue by first explaining old payers in the coffee world, how things were before specialty coffee shops and how these older stores are changing or not changing. The issue then focuses on how specialty coffee started to rise in the city, and how it was a struggle for these businesses to change how people interacted and drank coffee. Mostly this issue is about the change occurring in Mexico City and how this change is unique within the international coffee world.
This issue also does a good job at showing how connected individual coffee shops are to one another due to Mexico’s treatment of local and imported coffee beans. With Mexico being a large coffee producing country, they make it a point to make the importation of coffee beans difficult. This causes many of the businesses of the coffee industry to use the same regions to source quality product.
It is even said by one of the interviewees. “We’ve all been to Oaxaca, Veracrus and Chiapas,” says Eduardo Perez of Buna. This is said near the end of the issue, and is possibly the tenth time any of these cities are mentioned. Further showing the validity of Perez’s words. While this could lead to a monotonous landscape, Mexico City is able to turn it into a strength by offering a plethora of quality coffee goods that would be difficult to find outside of that country.
If you have any interest is travel and/or coffee this is a definite read(and possibly subscribe) for you. You can find this issue and other issues; like their newest issue on San Francisco, on their website, and also at Quick Quick if you’re in the Atlanta area.