What’s Unique: This Sweet Yellow Catuai is the fruitiest (if that’s a word) Brazil that we have cupped this year.
Producer: Jose´ Maria de Oliveira Harvest: Fall 2018 Farm: Fazenda Serrinha Region: Cerrado Mineiro, Minas Gerais, Brazil Altitude: 1200m Variety: Yellow Catuai Process: Natural Certifications: RFA, UTZ, 4C Taste Notes: Strawberry Shortcake, Orange, Sweet, Velvety Price: $16.99 / 400g
Fazenda Serrinha was acquired by Jose Maria in 2004. Everything on the farm, José constructed with his bare hands, including the very first light post on the property. The main house on the farm is located on Fazenda Serrinha where José Maria and his family resides. The farm is home to the drying patios, raised beds, wet mill, silos, orchard, garden, and horse stables. Yellow Catuai is a variety of coffee that ripens a deep yellow colour – as you can tell by the beautiful picture above – rather than the more common red types.
What’s Notable: Coffee was first planted in Java by Dutch colonists in the 17th century. No wonder we call it ‘java’!
This coffee comes from small holder farmers near the town of Laspada in West Java. Fresh coffee cherries are carefully chosen and pulped in small batches. Fermented overnight and washed clean, the parchment coffee is dried on raised beds in bamboo greenhouses. This is one truly hand-crafted coffee!
Taste: Soft, ripe fruit tones of plum, cherry and caramel.
Monteblanco Purple Caturra Colombia is a complex coffee with a svelte sweetness and tasting notes of pear and almond, with a syrupy sweet body. Our roast brings body with a silky texture, balanced acidity and a delicately tangy finish.
What’s Unique: A variety named “purple caturra” by family farm manager Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia due to the cherries on these coffee shrubs maturing a dark purple colour rather than the normal red ripe colour for the caturra cultivar.
About Finca Monteblanco: located high along the winding mountain roads of Vereda La Toroca in the San Adolfo municipality above Pitalito, is a family farm managed by Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia in the tradition of coffee cultivation that began with his grandfather. Monteblanco’s 18 hectares sit on the crest of a hill, with the wet and dry mill at the top and slopes of coffee planted below.
In 2002, Rodrigo participated in a local program teaching local children of coffee producers to cup. Before that, he and his family had never considered coffee in terms of cup profile. By learning to differentiate profiles, he and his father and grandfather were able to able to make the connections between the farming techniques they applied and coffee’s attributes in the cup.
At this time, Rodrigo also began to learn about cupping competitions that evaluate the best lots from farms in a region. He noticed that farms would win one year and then never again, so he decided to investigate how to produce quality coffee consistently. This led him to explore the trees planted on Monteblanco, were he discovered various cultivars his grandfather had planted in the 1980’s.
One of these varieties is Purple Caturra, a type of Caturra whose cherries ripen to a deep purple color. All cherries harvested are measured for degrees Brix. Based on sugar content indicated, the team at Aromas del Sur, the umbrella group of Monteblanco, Progreso, and La Loma farms, then designates which processing method is appropriate. Coffees with 24-27 degrees Brix are processed as washed coffees, beginning with depulping cherries they day they are harvested.
Coffee is fermented between 28 and 32 hours, fully washed with clean water, transferred to the solar dryer for several days, and finally moved to shaded raised beds to complete the drying process. Floaters are removed at the first stage prior to pulping to produce clean, consistent coffees that represent the terroir of the farm.
Rodrigo is proud that he, his wife Claudia Samboni, farm manager Don Gerardo, and the team that works in the fields and at the mill have reached the goal of achieving consistent quality. Each harvest, Finca Monteblanco produces micro-lots that serve as competition coffees around the world, but the farm also consistently produces containers of delicious coffees that appear year-round on café menus and retail shelves. By applying an ethic of rigorous monitoring, planning, and management of each stage of production and processing, all coffees from Monteblanco showcase their full potential.
Harvesting and processing on Monteblanco have evolved with the times, adapting to a changing climate that yields harvest dispersed through ten months of the year rather than in a concentrated peak.
Coffee has been cultivated in the Eastern Highlands for over 80 years. The bulk of it originates from small holder farmers having 1500 and less coffee plants. Previously, the central valley has been strained because clans and tribes have been at war. However, with the addition of coffee cultivation, the region has become less hostile. This specific coffee is a product of a multitude of small holders’ crops originating in many different villages throughout the valley. The cherries produced by these small holders are taken to the Goroka mill and thoroughly checked for quality control before being prepared for export, resulting in a clean and consistently smooth cup quality.
About La Meseta: The coffee tradition of our country and especially the central coffee-growing region has lead this family group to create, for more than 25 years, a beautiful plantation farm of Colombian soft coffee, blended with the richest flavors and aromas that Colombian mountains have to offer. We also have the tenacity and strength of the region’s hardest working people who contribute to reach our shared objective.
Crop: 2018 Variety: Geisha Elevation: 2000m Fragrance: Honey, Floral Tasting notes: Notes of peach, apricot, tangerine, delicate body Price: $22.50/340g
What’s a Geisha?
It’s not Japanese! It’s a coffee variety. In wine, the analogy might be pinot noir variety.
From another-jim over at home barista:
All Gesha/Geishas are a single coffee varietal introduced into Central America in the 1930s from a Kenyan nursery, which had produced it from Ethiopian seed stocks of unknown origin. It was initially widely planted because it was purported to have superior resistance to some of the then common coffee diseases. However, this was not true, so the varietal was never replanted. Nevertheless, some of it survived by growing from the berries of the originally planted trees. How much these trees changed and hybridized in the few generations since the 1930s is unknown.
The Peterson’s discovered a stand of Geishas on their farm in 2005 (I think), and won the Panamanian COE hands down with a lot taken only from those trees. The lot also set a record at auction. The taste of the coffee was that of a southern Ethiopian coffees, but without the interfering tannin flavors usual in many southern Ethiopian coffees and with a very pleasant sweetness instead. So the hunt was on for these trees, and more were discovered in forgotten corners of central American coffee plantations. The resulting plantings are maturing now, so we are getting a lot of new Geisha/Geshas offerings.
“Geisha” is the actual name given to the coffee in the Kenyan nursery that exported them to Central America. People looking for the original varietal in Ethiopia speculated that the Geisha name was a misnomer for the Gesha province in Ethiopia, so they started using what they assumed was the correct version of the name, “Gesha.” However, none of the coffee varietals located till now in the Gesha province are anything like the Geisha; so the Gesha name may be a complete misnomer, and the original nursery may have called it Geisha for some completely different reason.
About the Producer
In our Company, pay equality is preached, this principle ensures worker’s special protection in decent and fair conditions; therefore, we practice equality.
One of our Company’s greatest objective is to propagate the necessary conditions to attract and train workers with qualified job skills that can enable them to contribute and achieve our Company’s main goals. To accomplish this, our work environment is based on the principles of respect, mutual collaboration and permanent communication.
Our facilities are designed to provide the greatest comfort for our workers, with lodgings, showers, restrooms; complete and healthy meals, and above all, each of our employees is fairly treated.
All of the aforementioned creates affinity from the workers towards the Company’s farms which are characterized by a young, productive and technified coffee-culture.
The peaberry coffee is a perennial favourite around here – with our customers!
Crop: 2018 Variety: Bourbon and Kent Elevation: 1000 to 2000m Fragrance: honey, nutmeg, cardamom Tasting notes: Brown sugar, hazelnut, silky body Price: $16.95/400g
What is Peaberry?
Known in Spanish as ‘caracolillo’, it is a type of coffee bean that is separated after drying. Normally the cherry fruit of the coffee plant contains two seeds that develop with flattened facing sides, but sometimes only one of the two seeds is fertilized. All coffee plants experience this small natural mutation, and the single oval bean develops rather than two beans with flattened facing sides. Peaberry coffees are particularly associated with Tanzanian Coffee. The peaberry beans are separated from the flat-sided beans using a sieve.
Coffee is shade-grown in areas inter-planted with bananas which are used for local food and beverage consumption. The banana leaves canopy act as a filter for sunlight. All farmers’ coffee is hand picked and wet processed in a traditional way.
About the Producer
Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union is nestled at the foot of the great Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania that produces mild arabica coffee. We serve close to 70,000 small producer members on the slopes of the mountain in the districts of Rombo, Moshi Rural, Hai and Siha. We serve because we see small coffee farmers as a unique mechanism to produce high quality mild Arabica coffee that is grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Kilimanjaro. The farmers are the owners of the Union; they are expecting to sell their coffee at highest price through the Union that was formed for social and economic emancipation.
We are certified by Naturland since 2004 for our organic coffee. This guarantees the end customer that our coffee has been produced without the use of agriculture chemicals during production process from our farmers. This certification confirms the high level of quality worldwide.
Organic and quality improvement programs are provided to farmers.
Using Fair Trade premium money, KNCU has established an Education Fund to help less privileged farmers to send their qualified children to school. At present KNCU gives scholarships to more than 400 Secondary School Students. The future plan of the fund is to cover for tuition fees for those students who will make to the University.