La Tierra

Agave Americana vs Agave Tequilana

Close up of Tequila shots on Mexico map

The Agave Americana is the key player in the creation of La Tierras Agave spirits.

The Agave is a succulent plant that thrives in arid, desert regions of the world, and is known for its diverse uses and cultural significance. 

Among the various species of Agave, the Agave Americana and Agave Tequilana stand out for their popularity in the production of distilled Agave spirits. 

We will delve deeper into the unique qualities of these Agave species and their significance in the world of crafted spirits. Hopefully after tasting la Tierra you will agree with us that the Agave Americana is #1.

Agave Americana plant in Cape Town

First, let’s explore the history of Tequila, the real nectar of the Gods! 

Whether you’re a double on the rocks, a margarita lover or a straight shooter – we all know the joy of sipping on a smooth and delicious, top quality Tequila. 

What you may not know, is that the name Tequila is protected and has been since the 1970s! Yes, that’s right – much like Champagne, only Tequila produced from the Blue Weber Agave/Agave Tequilana in the city of Tequila (Jalisco state) can be called Tequila. 

And that begs the question, if not all Tequila is Tequila – what exactly are we drinking and why does it kinda taste similar? 

One Tequila, two Tequila, three Tequila…GO! 

Tequila is made from the fruit of a plant called Agave. The juice of this fruit (pina) provides the sugars needed for fermentation. Tequila uses a very specific Agave plant called the Blue Weber Agave/ Agave Tequilana. 

Each variation of the Agave plant produces its own fruit, which means while it is still Agave, the end result will taste different. By using one source of Agave, the taste and process of Tequila production is fairly standard. This is why Tequila producers will usually play around with flavours and blends during the barrelling /resting process

Secondly, Tequila producers have to adhere to a specific production process. This not only preserves the ancient and indigenous knowledge of making Tequila, but again, provides a standardised process for the production of Tequila.

cutting the agave plant

So how does Tequila differ from Agave spirits? 

Tequila is a specific type of Agave spirit that is produced only in certain regions of Mexico and must meet specific production standards. 

Agave spirits, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses any distilled spirit made from the Agave plant, including Tequila, Mezcal, and other lesser-known varieties. 

While all Tequila is an Agave spirit, not all Agave spirits are Tequila, as they differ in the type of Agave used, the region of production, and the specific production methods employed.

Agave Americana

Elevating South African craft Tequila spirits to new heights, the Agave Americana is a key player in the creation of unique and exceptional flavors.

In South Africa, the Karoo provides perfect conditions for the growth of Agave plants. This Karoo Agave variation is known as Agave Americana and can take anything between 10 and 20 years to reach maturity. This Agave is also often called the Century plant due to how long it can take for them to be ready for harvest for spirt production. 

To go back to the Champagne analogy, Agave Americana spirit is to Tequila, what a local Methode Cap Classique (MCC) is to Champagne! A local variation of a popular, indigenous drink. 

The abundance of Karoo Agave / Agave Americana has given birth to a local Agave revolution in South Africa! A surge of craft Agave spirits are entering the market and with the variety of natural botanicals, different wooden oak barrels and variations in production, we’ve definitely only scratched the surface! 

La Tierra is 100% Karoo Agave spirit

Our aim at La Tierra is to bring people together over a glass, shot or cocktail of our premium 100% Karoo Agave spirit. While we make it uniquely South African, we also want to ensure we’re always giving a nod to the people and place that started it all – Mexico.

This is why we follow the traditional production process as closely as possible. 

La Tierra takes pride in being a 100% Karoo Agave spirit. This is why our Karoo Agave Spirit is classified as premium and top quality because we make use of 100% of the Agave Americana plant. If your bottle of Tequila or Agave spirit does not say 100% Agave spirit or 100% Karoo Agave spirit, don’t buy it! You and your headache will thank us later!

Our Agave spirit is smooth and sweet and can be used in a cocktail, as a shot, or better yet – sipped slowly around the braai as you share stories with your closest friends and family! 

La Tierra – it’s like Tequila, but make it local! 

agave americana cocktail made from la tierra agave

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