Tequila

Tequila is a distilled alcohol made from the blue agave plant. Most Tequila comes from the city of Tequila, Mexico near Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. while tequila is considered mescal. The blue agave plant is planted on volcanic soil. some ways agave plants produce different taste and aroma is with the different altitudes from where it is grown. Higher grown plants are larger and have a sweeter taste while the blue agaves on the lowland have a herbaceous flavor and smell. The agave plant takes a very long time for it to be able to be harvested. The average time for a agave plant to fully grow is eight years.

 

The Process

Harvesting

After the plant is fully grown the plant must be harvested by a Jimador. The Jimador removes the agave leaves with a sharp curved tool. Once he trims the leaves to expose the heart of the Pina. This is the part of the agave plant which tequila is made from. It takes about 15 pounds worth of pina to make a liter of tequila.

Cooking

In this process the pinas are put in either large brick ovens or stainless steel autoclaves to cook. By doing this the raw carbohydrates in the pina convert into caramelized sugars that can later be extracted.

Extraction 

The cooked agave pinas are now sent to the milling area where were they will either be crushed using a traditional method with Tahona stones ore by machine. Tahoma stones are large volcanic rocks are are used to crush the pinas extracting the juice out of them. 

Fermentation 

fermentation is the process where the sugar is transformed into alcohol. Traditionally for the fermentation process yeast that is naturally found on the agave plant is used in the process however now other types of yeast are used this process takes about 8-12 days.

 

Distillation 

In this step ferments are separated by heat and steam usually this is done 2-3 times depending on the brand of Tequila.

Aging

after these process are complete the tequila is placed in barrels to be aged the time of aging determines the classification of tequila. no aging means the tequila is considered "Joven" or blanco, Reposed is between 2-12 months and, anejo is between 1-3 years after that the tequila is considered extra anejo.