HARVESTING The "Jimadores" or agave farmers harvest matured agaves and cut trim their leaves until only the heart - often referred to as the "piña" (pineapple) is left.
COOKING Once all the agave hearts are collected they are brought to the brick ovens where they will be cooked in order to convert the raw material into extractable fermentable sugars.
EXTRACTION After cooking, the soft agave hearts are transported to a milling pit where they are crushed to release their "aguamiel" or juices. Craft tequila brands continue to use a traditional horse or donkey pulled milling wheel called "tahona".
FERMENTATION The juices extracted from the agave during the extraction process are drained and put into tanks with wild yeast from agave leaves and left to ferment for about 2 weeks.
DISTILLATION Once fermented the juices are transferred to stainless steel or copper tanks for the distillation process. Most tequila is distilled twice but some premium tequila brands have released triple or quadruple distilled products.
AGING Several types of tequilas undergo a further aging process. This was typically done in used bourbon barrels but has now evolved to wine, whisky and french oak cognac casks in the more sophisticated expressions.