Ever changing KenyaApril 15, 2020
If you ask most green coffee buyers about Kenyan coffees they will reminisce about back in the day, when Kenyan coffees used to taste the way Kenyan coffees should taste. How much of this is due to nostalgia versus reality, even I am unsure. What we do see is that the landscape of Kenyan coffee …
Why transparency matters part 3: creating a specialty coffee pricing mechanismSeptember 18, 2019
Today the specialty coffee sector is still dependent on the C-price in varying ways. Even when we make our best efforts to pay prices that are not influenced or related to the C-market, we are compared to it. In order to break entirely from the C-price, the specialty industry needs its own pricing mechanism for distinct high quality coffees.
Why transparency matters part 2: the real power of price informationAugust 7, 2019
Beyond simply publishing numbers, price transparency is important for understanding the supply chain, for valuing the different parts of that supply chain and most importantly for stimulating a greater responsibility to pay producers a price that not only makes their production sustainable but profitable and enriching.
Intibuca, Honduras: increasing profitability through micro-lot separationJuly 19, 2019
Honduras presents as an exception in Central American coffee production, being the only country to increase volume, and at a rapid rate. Steadily holding its place within the top ten producing countries of arabica coffee, Honduras went from the fifth largest producer of arabica in the world, to the third in 2018, overtaking Ethiopia. Yet …
El Salvador report: yields are down but quality is upMarch 27, 2019
Responding to market demand Two years ago we had a conversation with our partners in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador, Andres and Jose Antonio Salaverria from Jasal, about changes we could see in the market. We realised that the volumes of washed El Salvador coffee we were buying didn’t allow for enough variation …
Brazil harvest update 2018 and effects of the C marketSeptember 25, 2018
We are excited about the Brazilian coffees we have coming in this year. We have a group of 6 producers, mostly small to medium and one larger in size that we are working with consistently and have agreed on fair prices that are not determined by the current market price. These producers are committed to …
El Salvador end of harvest updateSeptember 13, 2018
We have been privileged to work with producers in El Salvador who we have a long relationship with and who have really enriched our business and have given us a unique range of coffees that have always made us proud to have on our offer list. Working with Gilberto Baraona from Los Pirineos, and Andres …
Shade dryingJune 26, 2018
It is commonly accepted that the drying phase of coffee production is essential in maintaining the qualities and characteristics that already exist within the bean, and extending the longevity of the product. Initially coffee parchment will have a moisture content of around 45%, and at this stage the coffee is at high risk of being …
Coffee ClubFebruary 6, 2018
We’re sponsoring a new educational project in Tanzania called Coffee Club, with the aim to improve the future for the kids in the regions we are buying coffee from, and increase the quality of the coffee in this region long term. We will sponsor Coffee Club in one school, the school is in the area …
Origin trip report from Brazil, 2017October 24, 2017
On my most recent trip to Brazil I visited the three main partners we are working with in Minas Gerais. Two of the coffees we work with are in Sul de Minas area of Minas Gerais, Jaguara and Diquinho. We also work with Augusto, in Mantiqueira. He is a 5th generation coffee farmer following in …
Tanzania update 2017September 14, 2017
Tanzania has been the most exciting country for me this year, largely ignored and marginalized for never quite having good enough coffee, well I am happy to completely disagree! While there is no doubt there are some areas of concern one should pay serious attention to, and a certain effort in finding great coffees and making sure they arrive in your warehouse tasting as great, what would the point be in only looking in places where good coffees came easily.
Burundi update 2017August 14, 2017
Burundi is a tiny country with a history of conflict and struggle, known for its close relation to its neighbour in the north. Yet whenever I have crossed from Rwanda into Burundi I have felt a stark contrast between the two countries. Of course, I see the rolling hills unfold as you travel through Kayanza, …
Rwanda update 2017July 19, 2017
I have just returned from a trip to Rwanda where we visited our partners and cupped through a wide range of coffees coming out of this season’s harvest. We are excited about the coffees we will have in this year!
We love Rwandan coffee and have been working with many of the same suppliers for the last 5 to 6 years. They have consistently been working on their production, and we have seen the coffees being produced have great consistency in cup quality.
First shipment of current crop Ethiopia has arrived!April 12, 2017
we have an established office and lab space that has been fully operational throughout this season, this has given us an ability to function on a much broader scale in our efforts to find coffees that are cupping great and show a good range of what can be produced in Ethiopia. It has also facilitated building relationships with new suppliers and stronger relationships with our existing partners.
Kenya 2017 PreviewApril 3, 2017
Kenyan coffees are important to us, and we love both the big classic fruit profiles as well as the subtle, herbal-like Kenyans. It has taken a little more cupping work this year to find the kind of coffees we love Kenya for and we realise they are expensive, we have been extra careful to only buy coffees that at the time we cupped them for purchase were tasting outstanding!
Rwanda update and incoming coffeeOctober 21, 2016
This year’s production volumes in Rwanda have returned to a more normal level after last year’s huge harvest. As a whole the production volume appears to be average, though some rule changes in how cherries are delivered has caused some regions to drop in volume more than others. Overall we have less coffee available than last year but the quality of the coffees is generally improved.
Lalo – an Ethiopian single farm projectAugust 22, 2016
We are introducing a selection of coffees for the first time, through a new project were we are working with a single farm. The farm is able to produce lot separation according to different parts of the farm and by varietal, with complete traceability. This is the first opportunity these coffees are being exposed to the market in this way. We have been working with Mohammed Lalo over the four or so months I travelled to and from, as well as around Ethiopia. The anticipation of the final results from our investment and the investment from our new partner has been mounting.
Ethiopia – ECX colour wheelJune 13, 2016
We both want to maintain transparency in what we do and communicate why we chose any one of the coffees we sell over the many others we cup through. So we have looked at the kind of profiles we work with from Ethiopia, we have associated these flavor profiles to colors that make sense to us and we have created a color wheel of Ethiopian coffee profiles.
Ethiopia 2016 – Part 1May 23, 2016
Working in coffee in any producing country is like working in a shifting landscape, and for me no landscape shifts quite so much as Ethiopia. Still a magnificent landscape all the same.This 2015/2016 season has been really exciting for us because of developments in our own business which have lent us far greater scope to explore and uncover the coffees of Ethiopia.