Our trip to Jalisco last month included some time visiting with Rafael, a real life jimador who works for the Tres Mujeres distillery. We were able to watch as he made a very difficult process look extremely easy. He was able to get an entire plant out of the ground in less than 5 minutes.

At one point, Rafael handed the coa (his cutting tool) to Scarlet and I so we could experience the process firsthand. The tool had some weight to it, and it was razor sharp – slicing through the tough agave plant with ease.

He shaves away all of the leaves so that all that remains is the “piƱa,” the pulpy center which is later steamed, crushed and turned into tequila.

— Grover