Those varieties include Tepeztate, Arronqueño, Tobaziche, Tobalá, and Espandín, all of which make distinct Mezcals. These plants have been harvested for millennia to make clothes, food, writing materials, and (of course) booze.
To be tequila, a booze doesn’t have to be 100% blue agave. Mixtos are tequilas that are made from at least 51% blue agave and a mix (get it?!) of other sugar sources.
Stored for two months to a year, Reposado tequila is cask-aged to a deep brown/gold color. The extra aging imparts more wood flavoring and softens out some of the harsher notes in rawer tequilas.
Añejo tequilas have been aged a minimum of one year, typically in used bourbon barrels from right here in the States, just like how scotch does it.
As of 2006, this new designation is reserved for tequilas aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels.
What you’ve probably been drinking most of your life, Blancos are no more than 60 days old and have little to no coloring.
Sometimes called “gold”, Jovens are typically blanco mixtos that have had coloring and flavoring added.
Normas Oficial Mexicana (NOM)
Similar to France's appellation d'origine contrôlée, the NOM dudes stamp bottles, certifying that the hooch in question meets the geographic- and ingredient-based requirements of Tequila. The stamp doesn’t mean the booze is good, but it does mean it's authentic.
Interestingly, the NOM number identifies the distillery where the tequila comes from, and you may notice competing brands coming from the same place. That’s because there’s only a little over 100 tequila distilleries in the whole country, and they put out a lot of different booze for a lot of different companies.
Coa de Jima
A farming implement designed precisely to harvest agave. It’s basically a machete crossed with a shovel. A machovel, if you will.