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Mezschool

What Is a Tahona?

tahona mill

No, not the city or the pickup truck; we’re talking tahona. Tahona roughly translates to ‘flour mill’ or “mill house” in English. The term was coined by the indigenous Aztecs, likely about half a millennium ago. That’s a long AF time. A tahona is a large, heavy stone wheel that is used in more traditional Mezcal methods to crush the agave. It weighs about 3,000 pounds and is made out of volcanic stone. It mashes all the agave up and enhances the flavor of our Mezcal. Does it sound exhausting? Yep. But we want you to have the very best.

What’s With That Giant Rock?

The tahona is a huge dark wheel, typically a brown or blackish color, that sits in an even larger vat filled with crushed agave. The wheel is pulled around by either a machine or an animal, such as a donkey, ox, or in our case, a very friendly horse. Our horse Hurricane finds it easy to get his steps in everyday, as he mashes up our sweet agave.

Agave’s Best Friend

So, what’s with all the extra effort? There must be an easier way! Using a Tahona creates part of the flavor explosion you get in our Mezcal Rosaluna. Think of it like eating an apple. Could you drink regular apple juice? Yep. Would it taste good? Sure. But by using this more traditional method (https://mezcalrosaluna.com/article/how-is-mezcal-made), it’s more like eating the apple itself. Or maybe peeled apple slices, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Let’s Get Hot And Heavy

As you might imagine, pushing or pulling around that much weight is A LOT. Hurricane is a strong boy, so he’s able to do it all by himself, but in the few cases when humans will work the tahonas, it requires a few of them to get the job done. Many of the more modern methods use machines to do this, but we like to stick to the traditional methods, because each of our bottles is made with lots of love. From start to finish.

Explosive Beginnings

As we mentioned, the tahona is typically made from local volcanic stone. It is then chiseled into the shape of a wheel by craftsmen and connected to a pole or rope that leads to the center of the agave pit. Hurricane then pulls the tahona around to smoosh up that nectar, maintaining the pulp and the sweetness of the fruit.

Heavy Lifting

This wheel can weigh up to two whopping tons, which equals about 4,000 pounds. Many of them are “lighter,” at a whopping 3,000 pounds. Some of the tahonas have ridges in the wheels, while others have a smooth, untextured surface.

Take It Slow

We keep it simple and traditional (with room for experimentation, of course) in every way. We take the time here at Mezcal Rosaluna to make sure our process results in the best Mezcal ever, whether it be in a nice drink or your favorite dinner recipe. Our agave is grown for up to eight years, roasted for five days, milled for hours, fermented for another eight days, and double-distilled. Whew. It’s a process, but we love it.

Many companies want to pump out as much product as they can in a short period of time. While their practices may be more time-efficient, they’re never more flavor-efficient. In our Mezcal, you will get a hint of smokiness with the sweet taste of the agave, all because we take more time. Quality over quantity, friends.

We’re All Grown Up

It’s a family thing around here. Our Mezcal comes from six generations of family knowledge and hard work. We do our gathering in the city of Santiago Matatlán, which is referred to as “The World Capital of Mezcal.” Our brother-sister duo grew up learning about our Mezcal making traditions and very special agave plants, and we’re so glad they did.

It’s All About Tradition

Now, let’s be honest—we know the process could be a little bit faster if we jumped on the modern bandwagon. But we just aren’t about that. We would rather keep traditional methods alive, where they maintain the purity of the plant and truly show off what nature brings us.

Some of our more traditional methods include allowing the plants to mature longer, which produces sweeter juices later on. We also use pit ovens that are dug in the ground and fire up the agave with pinewood logs—this is where our smokey tastes come from. We haven’t spent six lifetimes doing this for nothing!

With a Few Modern Updates

Making Mezcal has come a long way. We maintain tradition but feel it’s important to recognize what the rest of the industry does and how we do it differently.

For instance, more modern methods may ‘shred’ the agave (in what’s called a diffuser) versus using a tahona. These two methods produce very different tastes. Diffusing them typically results in a more bitter flavor, while ours ends up being full of sweet, smokey, smoothness. You simply can’t argue with that mouth-watering taste.

The Difference You Can Taste

To sum it all up, not many places make Mezcal as traditionally as we do. When you take a swig of Mezcal Rosaluna, we promise you’ll taste an explosion of flavors unlike other brands. You’ll be able to taste that extra mile. Not only will you taste the difference, but it is more sustainable and healthier for our environment, too. Our practice is vertically integrated, which means we’re able to keep a close eye on each step of our Mezcal making process.

The sky's the limit, so don’t restrict yourself in the uses of Mezcal Rosaluna! Not only can you make a plethora of different drinks with Mezcal, but you can also experiment with using it when cooking (https://mezcalrosaluna.com/article/cooking-with-mezcal). Often our Mezcal goes great with citrus flavors, as the fruit and smoke pair well with orange or lemon. You can mix it up with some spicy flavors too. Don’t hesitate to head on over to our recipe section for more fun ways to implement our Mezcal into your culinary and cocktail creations.

Don’t want to head to the store? No worries! Check out how to get Rosaluna delivered straight to your door by finding us online (https://mezcalrosaluna.com/the-mezcal).


Sources:

The Tahona Process Is Tequila Making At Its Most Bad Ass | Vine Pair (https://vinepair.com/wine-blog/the-tahona-process-is-artisan-spirits-making-at-its-most-bad-ass/#:~:text=That%20wheel%20is%20attached%20to,every%20single%20batch%20of%20tequila)

Is the Secret to Great Tequila Volcanic Stone? | The Daily Beast (https://www.thedailybeast.com/is-the-secret-to-great-tequila-volcanic-stone)

Tahona | Mezcalistas (https://www.mezcalistas.com/tahona/)

Enjoy the beauty right in front of you.

Rosaluna

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