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About Us

The story of Ruta Maya
  

 
 
Since 1990, our family has worked in direct partnership with indigenous Mayan farmer cooperatives to import 100% organic, shade-grown arabica coffee from the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico–the land of the ancient and modern Maya.
 
Our gently roasted coffee beans are grown using traditional principles of organic farming, enabling landowners to sustain and replenish their grounds for future generations while helping promote conservation of natural resources.
 
Our guiding principle, “Oportunidades para las Americas,” reflects economic cooperation across the Americas to foster a universal message of respect and friendship.
 
 

We believe in the best practices
 

 

COFFEE ARABICA
Coffee arabica’s smooth flavor and low acid content makes it our preferred variety. Grown best at high elevations, harsher climate conditions translate to slower growth, producing more refined flavors once its beans are processed, roasted, and ground.

 
ORGANIC
Ruta Maya Coffee is free of all chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. The absence of DDT, marathon, and benzene hexachloride in growing and production means cleaner beans, air, land, and water.
 
SHADE-GROWN
Shade-grown coffee matures slowly, developing natural sugars and dynamic flavor profiles in the process. Shade-grown coffee fields also provide a home for many species of birds and butterflies, filter carbon dioxide linked to global warming, and help retain soil moisture to minimize land erosion.
 
VOLCANIC SOIL
The combination of high altitude, mineral-rich soil, and a tropical climate create the conditions necessary for superior coffee growth.
 
ROTATED CROP
Our coffee is regularly rotated with other crops to avoid soil depletion. Keeping fields fertile for new crop production allows farmers to avoid cutting down trees to clear new land, helping preserve the ecosystem. These small, family-owned farms also benefit economically from secondary harvests.
 
HAND-PICKED
Our coffee is handpicked to ensure that only the ripest cherries are harvested, leaving unripe fruit on the tree to be picked later. Harvested cherries are sorted after picking to further prevent unripe beans from ending up in your cup.
 
SMALL-BATCH ROASTED
Roasting in small batches gives us the opportunity to closely monitor beans for quality and roasting variables, spot defects, and continuously produce the freshest coffee possible.
 
AIR COOLED
Freshly roasted coffee requires substantial cooling time before going to packaging. Many commercial roasters pour water on their beans to speed up this process to the coffee’s detriment. As the beans soak up water, they go up in weight and down in quality. Unlike these large roasters, we sacrifice time for quality and let the coffee breathe as needed.
 
DECAF — THE SWISS WATER PROCESS
We work with Swiss Water to create decaf coffee that’s 99.9% caffeine free and full of flavor. Pioneered in Switzerland in 1933, the Swiss Water Process favors nature’s elements of water, temperature, and time over chemical extractions leaving our decaffeinated beans as pure as they started.
 
RUTA MAYA TRADED 
Our beans are purchased directly from independently owned Mayan coffee cooperatives, rather than from third-party importers or exporters. By paying farmers higher prices than those offered on the commodities market, we can make a larger impact within indigenous economies.
 
 

Our Coffee love community
 

 

We’ve been advocates of supporting community events and goodwill initiatives since we first opened shop. Whether it be on behalf of the arts, education, or the environment, we’re committed to giving back to those making positive contributions to the world around us.

  

Our partners

 

THE MESOAMERICA CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
Our partnership with The Mesoamerica Center, housed in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin, promotes scholarship, learning, and sustainability in the Mesoamerica region.

Ruta Maya is a proud partial underwriter of the Mesoamerica Meetings, an annual symposium that brings together Mayan scholars and interested individuals from all corners of the globe to explore the richness of Mesoamerican art, archaeology, writing, and other aspects of cultural heritage.  We also support programs at Casa Herrera, an academic research facility located in the heart of Antigua, Guatemala.

Now in its fifth running year, The University of Texas’ Ruta Maya Coffee Scholarship gives college students the opportunity to study abroad with the Bridging Cultures in Latin America Program led by the Mesoamerica Center in Guatemala and Belize.

SHARK RESEARCH & CONSERVATION PROGRAM
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Directed by Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, the Shark Research & Conservation Program (SRC) at the University of Miami conducts cutting-edge science to save the ocean’s apex predators and subsequently restore ecosystem function in a human-altered world. SRC research and outreach is focused on understanding and creating solutions for human threats such as climate change, exploitation and habitat loss on sharks and their ecosystems.

Ruta Maya is supporting SRC in furthering mutual goals of environmental research and education. We adopted our own shark in Summer of 2018, continuing SRC’s satellite tracking study of this deeply misunderstood oceanic species- many populations of which are in great decline and need immediate scientific and conservation attention. Our contributions will also help advance SRC’s efforts in educating the next generation of environmentally conscious leaders, providing more than 1,000 school children each year with hands-on scientific field experience in shark research.
 
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
We're proud to have worked with the following: Aspen Ideas: Climate, Flow Genome Project, The National Wildlife Federation, Austin Pets Alive, CASA of Travis County, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness, Austin Earth Day Festival, East Austin Studio Tours, Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin Film Festival, The Mesoamerica Meetings, UtopiaFest, Yellow Bike Project, Latinitas Austin Art Walk, Austin Food and Wine Society, Kerrville Folk Festival, San Antonio Zoo, Voltage Control, and more.

 

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Ruta Maya’s former Austin-based brick and mortar, Ruta Maya Coffee House, was included in the list of top ten coffee bars in the United States by premier national publication Food & Wine Magazine in March of 2006. Food & Wine editors spent 410 man-hours tasting 157 gourmet coffees to find the best of the best. Ruta Maya was only one of two coffee bars in all of the southern states to be chosen.