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Café culture climbs as CANACO plans Coffee & Coffee Expo

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Coffee is climbing in popularity, and cafés are following. Photo: Getty

Mérida, Yucatán — Cafés continue to grow in a city where 20 years ago, a good cup of coffee was a rarity.

In 2017, 96 cafés operated in Mérida; now the business chamber counts 130, a 20 percent increase.

The city’s taste of coffee had a huge chain, contractually obligated to build more branches, as its catalyst. Eleven years ago, when Starbuck’s first coffee bar opened up at the Gran Plaza mall, coffee consumption here was less than half it is today. Many of the cafés here are either independent, or from smaller chains.

One coffee expert, Eduardo Seijo Solís, said that Mérida has the potential for even more growth in this sector.

“Yucatan in a year has had a rebound in the installation of coffee shops, although some have closed. But those are few compared to before, which shows that they depend on supply and demand,” he said in Milenio Novedades.

Propelling the current wave of new shops is the construction of new shopping centers and hotels mainly on the outskirts of the city.

Currently in Mexico an average citizen consumes two kilos of coffee per year, only a quarter of what the average Brazilian coffee drinker gulps down. That’s why Seijo sees yet more growth potential.

Yucatán benefits from being relatively close to good coffee-growing regions such as Veracruz, Chiapas and Oaxaca, he said.

Although primarily aimed at professionals in the coffee business, the general populace of coffee lovers is invited to attend the Coffee & Coffee Expo on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the Canaco convention hall (map), from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. of the Canaco, Admission is free.

Around 400 people are expected at the expo.

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