Before I describe the new coffees arriving this month, I must touch on events unfolding around the globe with respect to COVID-19. The virus is having a devastating effect on thousands of lives, some with tragic consequences. Our thoughts remain with those who have lost loved ones, and those who may see their lives change through the economic resonance of COVID-19. It certainly has had a deep impact on our business, although thankfully none of our staff or family have seen ill health through the virus. Our business will survive, as long as our people do.
How I communicate new coffee arrivals must now change, or at least be added to, by writing about it here. With the closure of our weekly farmers’ markets, writing will be the only way to tell you about the ‘roasters choice’!
Friday will see the delivery of four new coffees for us. Another coffee from Peru and a grower called Susana Hurtado Inga with a washed Caturra. One from Norma Iris Fiallos of Honduras and her organic 90 hour macerated washed Lempira, a new cultivar for me to roast. Likewise another never before roasted cultivar, Tekisic from a farm we have been buying coffee from over the past four years, Los Pirineos in El Salvador. Then to finish, a Burundi from the Kayanza Province grown by smallholders on 7 hectares of land near the forests of Kibira and Nyungwe.
Peru, Susana Hurtado Inga
Susana Hurtado Inga is a coffee producer who lives in the El Diamante village in San Jose de Lourdes. Susana owns around 1.5 hectares of land which is planted with Caturra at a density of 4000 plants per hectare. The altitude at the farm ranges from 1800 to 1900 masl and the coffee grows under shade from banana and some native fruit trees. Susana picks her coffee with the help of her family, who also own coffee farms within the area. However, she doesn’t have adequate space or correct infrastructure to dry her coffee, so she drys the parchment at a neighbour’s farm, Roger Chilcon Flores, who receives the parchment at around 40% and then dries it down to the desired 11% before delivering the coffee to our import partners, Falcon Speciality, warehouse in Jaen.
Honduras, Norma Iris Fiallos
Norma owns the farm San Rafael, located in the Los Limos area of Corquin, Copan. Norma is one of the most innovative producers in the area, with a vast array of different cultivars, including Bourbon, Catuai, Maragogype and Parainema. The farm is nestled within a pine forest, which greatly acidifies the soil, giving the coffee a very unique cup profile. The coffee is completely shade grown and the production area represents a fraction of the total land. This lot is Normas Lempira cultivar which has been processed by 90 hour washed maceration.
El Salvadro, Los Pirineos Lot 18
Los Pirineos Coffee farm has been in the Baraona Family since 1880. The current owner, Gilberto Baraona, is a 15 times winner of Cup of Excellence in El Salvador, 6 of which were in the top ten. The Farm is located at the top of the Tecapa Volcano, in the Tecapa Chinameca Coffee Region. Gilberto’s obsession with quality means he pays well above the legal minimum wages to all his staff. He requires far more precision and attention to detail than the average coffee farm and so must invest time and money in the people who manage the processing. Gilberto’s dedication to quality is uncompromising. He has the largest coffee seed bank in private hands in El Salvador and is constantly testing and exploring new options for unique cup character. Lot 18, the elite Bourbon (Tekisic) coffee after selective picking is pulped with 100% of mucilage remaining. It is then transferred to raised beds in the sun. The coffee is left for 2 days without being moved and then moved 4 times a day whilst being covered at night. This drying time lasts for 20 days.
Maridadi is the name of the hill where this coffee has been harvested by smallholders farming 7 hectares of land. The hill is located near two main forests: Kibira and Nyungwe that both play a big role in influencing the weather conditions on the hill (wind and temperature). The soil in the area is a mixture of clay and stony components. Hay or dry grass is scattered at the end of the harvest to protect the soil from drought and weeds. Once harvested, the cherries are taken to the Mpanga Central Washing station located in Kayanza Province, Northern Burundi. It is managed by a 17-year coffee veteran, who oversaw the construction of the washing station back in 2008. The station processes coffee from approximately 3,400 smallholder farmers, who cultivate coffee on the hillsides that surround Kayanza, at elevations of up to 1,950 masl. To service these producers properly, the station is well-equipped to process volumes of speciality coffee and benefits from 450 drying beds and a McKinnon 6-disc pulping machine. Mpanga processes roughly 1,500 tons of coffee per season, with each producer lot separated and named according to the hillside upon which the coffee was grown. This year a lot of money has been invested in maintaining and fixing beds as well as building new ones. Mpanga has achieved incredible results at the Burundi Cup of Excellence, finishing 1st and 3rd in the 2014 competition. As a result of the hard work and diligence that has been implemented, Mpanga has become highly regarded for its consistently clean and complex coffees.
I haven’t yet chosen which coffee to test roast, profile and release first, but will do so by this coming Monday’s roast schedule.
Enjoy the coffee!