08 October 2014
Switching out from series of African coffees, we have launched a new coffee from a farm that some might find familiar. Santa Petrona belongs to our dear friends of the Pacas family from El Salvador, 6th generation producers and counting.This is also the second year that we are working with Federico and Lily Pacas as we have always had high respect for how they treat their coffee, their workers and also their community. When we visited them again at the beginning of this year, some parts of the farm were affected by the coffee leaf rust disease. Fortunately, with the application of preventive measures many months back, the farm was not as badly hit as many others.
In general, the natural processed coffees that we have cupped do not have as much of a “clean cup” characteristic as fully-washed coffees. This is the reason why we find it difficult to find good natural processed coffees. But if one is to find a lot that is extremely well-processed, then one can also expect to have a coffee that is extremely fruity and sweet, usually with a bigger body to compensate for a lower acidic cup. When we first cupped this new coffee, we were surprised by how clean this coffee was. We think it all boils down to the great job done at Beneficio Tuxpal. Federico manages the beneficio with the help of the mill manager. As he explained to us, the first was to pick just the perfect ripe cherries. Next, the cherries are directly put in patio with someone constantly moving it to dry for 16-18 days. The coffee is then rested at the warehouse for 45 days till it reaches 11.5% of humidity. The dry process took place just before shipping, it was sorted 100% by hand and bagged immediately in grain pro bags to keep as much freshness as possible.
11 September 2014
Following some Africans that were rolled out in recent weeks, it is nice to have a change in our offering this time round, with a new Brazilian coffee showcased as a single origin espresso.
Fazenda Santa Rosa is located in the tropical climate of Soledade de Minas, 15 km from Carmo de Minas. The farm enjoys the perfect conditions for specialty coffee with a relatively high altitude, and well-drained fertile soil. Since purchasing the undulating hills of land that was to become his farm Santa Rosa in 1986, Samir Matuck has worked tirelessly to build his farm from the ground up. Now coffee plantations occupy the hills and stretch for over 150 hectares. This lot is pure Yellow Bourbon. The farm is also planted with Acaiá, Catuaí, and Yellow Icatú varieties.
The processing of cherries at Santa Rosa has been gradually built on and improved over the past 20+ years. Today the facilities encompass washing channels for the separation of unripe cherries, paved drying patios for preliminary drying, and 10 wooden silos for the control of individual production lots. The coffee produced on the estate is laid to rest in the silos before final dry processing.
09 September 2014
Following the quick run of Chelelektu, we are rolling out another Ethiopian coffee for those Yirgacheffe lovers.
This lot comes from a washing station in the Kore village, situated in the Kochore woreda (district), south of Yirgacheffe town. There are many private and cooperative stations in this area and as one of the official designations of the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange, many coffees can be sold as Kochore/Kochere .This coffee is from one washing station very close to the main commercial town of Chelelektu. The station buys coffee cherry at prices that ranged from 11 to 15 birr per kg of cherry in the past season, quite a lot more than other zones in Ethiopia where farmers are paid as little as 5 birr. Coffees in this area are grown at very high altitudes with many farms above 2000 meters. The coffee is delivered down from these high altitudes to the washing station where it is traditionally wet-processed and laid to dry on raised beds.
04 September 2014
Just back from the Southern hemisphere, the overhang of jet-lag has not stopped us from rolling out a new coffee after a 2.5week hiatus. Hailing from East Africa, we are excited to present this new coffee from Gitesi, Rwanda.
There is always an element of “caution” when we cup samples of coffees from East Africa, like Rwanda and Burundi. One of the common problems with coffee from these origins - the potato-taste defect. This defect is not easily detectable visually in the green coffee or in roasted form. Up till now, there is no mechanical way to identify and remove infected beans. Hence, even with top coffees, an occasional cup will have this potato taste. One can smell the odour of freshly-peeled potato in the ground coffee and also from the smell when the coffee is brewed. While we are excited about high-quality Rwandan coffees, the potato-taste defect creates an obstacle for sourcing. Instead of choosing to sideline coffees from this region, we have chosen to buy these coffees, albeit with caution, so as to continue supporting the splendid work by these producers.
31 July 2014
OK, we admit this news is slightly overdue but we are here nonetheless as we officially launch the new iteration of our Four Chairs Espresso, version 3!
The coffee rust disease that is sweeping through Central America last year is really affecting our producers hugely. Many have experienced big drops in coffee harvests compared to previous year. This in turn makes our job even more challenging this year as we have to seek out even more producers for that cup of coffee that we feel works for us. The good news is that even though quantity has suffered greatly, quality on the other hand has improved with noticeable results on the cupping table.