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Lush Blue Weber Agave field under the sun in Jalisco, the heart of tequila production

Blue Weber Agave - What Is Tequila Made From?

Whether enjoyed in a cocktail, as a shot, or sipped pure like a fine whiskey, tequila in all its forms is immensely popular in Mexico and the USA, and it's gaining traction among connoisseurs in Germany too. However, finding a good tequila here can be challenging, especially since the most recognized brand in Germany doesn’t truly represent the quality and authenticity of genuine tequila.

Tequila is much more than meets the eye. You might be surprised to learn how tequila is produced and the different types available for purchase.

What Is Tequila Made From?
Tequila is a type of mezcal, a spirit distilled from agave plants. Unlike mezcal, which can be made from various types of agave, tequila is exclusively crafted from the Blue Weber Agave. Confused? It’s similar to whiskey - not every whiskey is Scotch.

The Blue Weber Agave thrives in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. It takes over eight years to mature! Once mature, harvesters known as 'Jimadores' remove the leaves to reveal the 'piñas' (hearts), from which agave juice is extracted.

Jimador using a coa to harvest ripe Blue Weber Agave in Jalisco How Is Tequila Made? 
The process begins by baking the piñas in special ovens, turning the starches into sugars - essential for fermentation. Next, the piñas are crushed and pressed to release the sugars. Many producers add yeast to start fermentation, while some rely on native wild yeasts to kick things off. This juice ferments for up to four days before being distilled to achieve the legally required alcohol content. From here, tequila is either bottled immediately or aged in barrels to mature.


Tequila 101 – Types of Tequila You Should Know: Here are the main types of tequila and the best ways to enjoy them:

Plata (Silver or Blanco)
Ideal for mixing a few tequila cocktails, Plata or Blanco is the youngest type of tequila that can be bottled immediately after distillation or aged for up to two months. When shots are poured, it’s usually Plata that’s used. It's also excellent for cooking.

Joven (Gold)
Joven is a mix of unaged (or sometimes slightly aged and then blended with unaged) tequila. It's crafted similarly to Plata and gets its lovely golden hue from coloring. It’s affordable and a winner in cocktails.

Reposado and other aged tequilas are darker than their white and unaged counterparts. They boast a richer flavor thanks to time spent in wooden barrels. Tequila must age for at least two months to meet the Reposado criteria.

Tequila aging in french oak red wine barrels or bourbon barrelsAñejo
Añejo is a step up, requiring at least a year of aging to qualify. Typically, it spends between one to three years in the barrel. This type of tequila is to be sipped slowly, enjoyed rather than shot, making it a fantastic introduction to high-end tequila.

Extra Añejo
Like Añejo, Extra Añejo is a sipping tequila; it's best enjoyed neat rather than in a cocktail. Expect a smooth profile with hints of toasting and wood in a glass of Extra Añejo.

    Many enjoy tequila on the rocks, adding ice cubes to make the tequila a bit more refreshing.