Agave Harvesting Tool - La Coa De Jima
by Greg Rutkowski
What Tool Does A Jimador Use To Harvest Agave?
La Coa De Jima is the unique tool that a jimador, an agave farmer, uses to harvest agaves.
Coa means "hoe" in English while jima refers to the jimador.
The coa is a flat, spade-like tool that has a sharp, rounded head used to cut pankas, the agave leaves, from the piña, the heart of the agave.
The coa also has a long broom handle which allows the jimador to reach the agave without bending over as well as to cut more leaves per strike.
Jimadors first use the coa to sever the piña from its root stem.
After it's dislodged, they then use the coa to rotate the piña and strike it at various angles corresponding to its round shape.
The leaves are shaved off until nothing remains except the piña.
Thanks to la coa de jima, a skilled jimador rarely has to even touch the plant.
The exact date of the coa's invention is not clear, but it is likely as old as agave distillates themselves and is still widely used today.
La coa de jima is a simple yet effective tool, as essential to the jimador's occupation as the agave heart is to the distillation of tequila and mezcal.
A skilled jimador keeps their blade sharp all the way around.
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Edited on: 01/11/23
Greg Rutkowski, President
Greg is a certified Agave Spirits Advisor and Mezcal Sommelier through the Agave Spirits Institute. He contributes to a number of agave spirits projects inside Mexico including Raicilla tours and also his agave spirits distillery in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.