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Mas Tequila!

Hidden : 02/08/2007
Difficulty:
2.5 out of 5
Terrain:
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:


The above coordinates are bogus, but you will find tequila there I believe, just no cache.

The history of tequila began when the Spaniards arrived in Mexico in the 16th Century. The Conquistadors brought the process of distillation with them and when it reached the western Mexican town of Tequila the townspeople were quick to put it to good use. They knew that the blue agave plant contained sugars that could be fermented, and very probably there was a fermented drink that the native Indians would drink. By fermenting and distilling the sweet sap of the blue agave plant, they produced liquor with a distinctive taste.

For many years tequila was a local liquor with relatively low demand. In the early 1980's the famous Herradura Reposado was sold almost exclusively at the distillery in Amatitán with few cases going to Mexico City. But then in the 90's it became fashionable to sip tequila and production soared as new brands were introduced to a growing and discriminating market. People began to demand more authentic tequilas, particularly those made following artisan tradition and Premium Tequilas made 100% with the sap of the blue agave. With the new millennium more brands came into the market and tequila has become one of the top three best seller liquors in the world.

Blue agave production has soared covering extensive fields where none were harvested before. As one travels in the western states of Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Guanajuato you will see beautiful rolling hills covered by a pale blue agave that seem to go as far as the eye can see. Mezcal is part of the Mexican culture. It may be a popular saying, a social icon, a toast, there's always mezcal, or tequila for that matter. Just as Cognac is a special type of brandy produced from specific grapes grown in a select region of France not all brandy has the distinction of being Cognac. In like manner, all liquors distilled from any agave plant are "mezcal", but only those made from the blue agave are branded as Tequila, all the others are mezcal. The most famous mezcal is distilled from a variety of agave grown in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, and the finest comes from the wild agave known as "papalomé" that it is so potent that two shots can really knock you down!

The language of tequila can be very confusing. To begin with Tequila is the name of the town where production originally began, and it is also the name of the volcano overlooking this town. Locals in the Tequila Region refer to the blue agave plant as "mezcal", and the fields where this plant is harvested are known as "mezcaleras". Many distillers call the distilled liquor mezcal and it is only called tequila when finally bottled. Before tequila became known as it is today, it was called "vino mezcal" or mezcal wine.

The official Mexican standard or NOM defines Tequila as the product of fermentation and distillation of the blue agave juices (mostos) obtained at the distillery from agave cores or piñas grown in the Tequila Region and allows for the addition of up to 49% sugars from sources other than the agave plant. However the NOM defines as Tequila 100% Agave as the one containing sugars exclusively from the blue agave plant and it must be bottled at the distillery. Alcohol content must be between to 35º and 55º Guy Lussac (70 to 110 Proof).

The process of making tequila begins when a blue agave plant is ripe, usually 8 to 12 years after it is planted. Leaves are chopped away from its core by a "jimador" who assesses the plants ripeness. If the plant is harvested too soon, there won't be enough sugars to do the job. Too late and the agave's sugars will have already been used to form a once-in-a-lifetime stem "quiote" that springs 25 to 40 feet high so that the seeds grown at the top of the stem can scatter with the wind. The jimador's task is a crucial one; once he decides that the plant is ready, he wields a special long knife known as a "coa" to clear the core. The cores or piñas (Spanish for pineapple) weight an average of 40 to 70 pounds, and can weight up to 200 pounds.

Piñas are hauled to the distillery where they are cut in half or chopped and put to roast. Starches turn to sugar as the piñas are roasted in furnaces called "hornos". Modern distilleries use huge steam ovens to increase output and save on energy. Roughly speaking, seven kilos (15 lb.) of agave piña are needed to produce one liter (one quart U.S.) of tequila. Different agaves and processes produce mezcal with different names throughout Mexico: stotol in Chihuanhua, mezcal in Oaxaca, and bacanora in Sonora.

The roasted piñas are then shredded, their juices pressed out and placed in fermenting tanks or vats. Some distilleries use the traditional method to produce tequila. In this method –artesian tequila– the cores are crushed with a stone wheel at a grinding mill called "tahona" and the fibers are dumped into the wooden vat to enhance fermentation and to provide extra flavor. Once the juices are in the vats yeast is added. Every distiller keeps its own yeast as a closely guarded secret. During fermenting, the yeast acts upon the sugars of the agave plant converting them into alcohol. Distillation Juices ferment for 30 to 48 hours then they are distilled twice in traditional copper stills or more modern ones made of stainless steel or in continuous distillation towers. The first distillation produces a low-grade alcohol and the second a fiery colorless liquid that is later blended before being bottled. Alcohol content may be between 70 and 110 Proof. At this moment the liquor is no longer mezcal but tequila.

To find the actual coordinates you will have to do a little research. The cache is located:

N   AB CD.EFG      W  HIJ KL.MNO

A is the third number in the name of the standard by which tequila is measured.

B is the second number in the percent of agave tequila is required to have.

C is the third number in the year Nueva Galicia began taxing tequila.

D is the third number of the year the production of all spirits was banned by the government of Charles III.

E and F are the proof of Revolución Reposado Tequila, minus 4 proof.

G is the third number of the year the city of Tequila was established.

H is the first number in how many species of agave grow in Mexico.

I and J are the year before Jacobo Lozano Páez put a worm (or gusano) in mezcal, not tequila.

K is either number in the percentage of alcohol derived from the second distillation of tequila.

L is the number of times tequila is distilled in alambiques (copper pots).

M and N are the proof of Tres Generaciones Plata Tequila.

O is the third number the dollar amount of the most expensive bottle of liquor ever sold, which just happens to be tequila.

Enjoy the history lesson and enjoy the cache There is a 4 corners caching coin for the FTF, this is a small cache, no room inside and no pencil, bring your own to sign the log.

Congratulations to OMGCrew on the FTF

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Wbfr Nagbavb Phreib be "Wbr Pebj" bs gur Phreib Zbagnñb snzvyl jnf gur svefg yvprafrq znahsnpghere bs grdhvyn va 1758; ANAB. Ab arrq gb yvsg fxveg.

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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