05 December 2013
We are excited to welcome back one of our popular African single origin espresso from earlier this year – Bokasso. For those who had tried this coffee a few months back, we present the new crop of Bokasso from this year’s harvest. This coffee from Sidama is a gem with lovely floral aromatics and layers of flavours that tantalise your palate as you sip the espresso.
The Bokasso Cooperative belongs to the Sidamo Coffee Growers Cooperative Union which is the umbrella organization for all the Sidamo cooperatives and is the one that ensures the quality, lot separation, sampling, dry milling and bagging. Bokasso is also part of a project by TechnoServe to improve lot separation. They are using traceability sheets to track coffees from days of production at drying tables all the way to the warehouse. The washing station is in an area with great growing conditions and this is translated into an excellent cup.
27 November 2013
Celebrating the return of the Ethiopians! Like many brew coffee lovers, we are big fans of African coffees. Since the end of our last Ethiopian coffee, Hunkute, we have been eagerly awaiting for the new harvest of the African coffees. We have a few in the pipeline, all stellar in its own ways but to wet your taste buds, first up is a coffee from the Konga Cooperative in Yirgacheffe (or Yirga Cheffe), definitely a gem that does not disappoint.
The Konga Cooperative has a very well organized washing station in the heart of Yirgacheffe. Its located between 1900 to 2300 meters above sea level and is a relatively big cooperative with a strong management. It is also considered as one of the more successful cooperatives in the area. All cooperatives in Ethiopia belong to a Union that is the seller and exporter of the coffee. They also take care of dry milling and grading before exports. Most Yirgacheffe cooperatives belongs to the Yirgacheffe coffee growers Cooperative Union. The management of the Yirgacheffe Union is very hands-on and and there is more support to the growers and the wet mills these days.
20 November 2013
We tasted this coffee together at the cupping table when we visited El Salvador in February this year and immediately fell in love with the clarity of the cup. It encompasses the beauty of Salvadorian coffees of the Bourbon varietal – sweetness and good balanced acidity, together with a lovely lingering texture in the mouth. We were fortunate to have the 6th generation (Federico Pacas and Lily Pacas) from Finca Santa Petrona to show us around the farm. The cherry pickers were busy separating the ripes and the unripes when we arrived. The Pacas family are dedicated to produce superior quality specialty grade coffees. To achieve this objective, the cherry pickers are educated about the importance of picking the ripe cherries. Some of the workers also got to try the brews made with roasted coffee from the farm. This is quite rare as most of the time, the workers in coffee farms do not get to try what they have harvested.
30 October 2013
This post had been long overdue but will be the first of a series of posts highlighting our sourcing trips. To share what we experience first hand on these trips that we are always so excited about.
El Salvador, a country which we first visited in 2011, have always held a special place in our hearts. It is the smallest country in Central America, but its people have big hearts. We went back again this February for an origin trip to visit Finca El Zarzal, the farm that we bought from in 2012, as well as to source for new coffees. Arriving at San Salvador, it was like visiting an old friend. We met our friends, Federico Bolaños, Lily Pacas and Alejandro Mendez from Viva Espresso. Federico and Lily started Viva Espresso a few years ago and it is now one of the most prominent coffee roaster/cafe in Central America for producing barista champions. They have brought much attention to coffee producing countries in 2011 as it was the 1st time in World Barista Championship history that a world champion came from a coffee producing country. It meant a lot to coffee producers in El Salvador as such international acclaim gives credit to the producers who have put in much resources towards producing quality coffees.
18 October 2013
Finally get to launch this coffee which had given us a challenging time since we first did trial roasts on it. We went through quite a few trials (a little more than usual) before getting the roast profile which we feel brings out the best of this coffee.
Honduras is a country which we passed through the border twice during our past origin trips to El Salvador and Nicaragua, but never got a chance to actually spend time in this country. It is the top coffee producer in Central America this current year harvest based on a recent report from the Honduran coffee institute, IHCAFE. In the past and until recently, a significant amount of Honduran coffee were being smuggled into neighbouring Guatemala, where producers would pass them off as Guatemalan and get paid premiums. But so far this season, Honduran coffee has been fetching higher prices than Guatemalan coffee, as Honduran coffee gains quality recognition.