Honduras Natural Sundried
The FTO COMSA Marcala co-op produced a full 300 bag lot of natural sundried coffee this year. This coffee particularly stands out because instead of being mechanically washed, it is a dry process (natural) microlot that was sundried on a patio and hand-processed -- this is extremely unusual for Honduran coffee, but it cups fantastic.
It was grown at an altitude just under 5,000 feet. At medium roast level it has a pleasant acidity and a lot of sweetness coupled with savory notes. The most prominent flavor is watermelon. It is juicy with flavors ranging from tomato to caramel to strawberry. The rest of the cupping notes include such flavor descriptions as watermelon, chocolate, grain/hops, and pine nuts. It is smooth, with no earthiness, and sweet pleasant brown sugar aftertaste. Great complexity. This is particularly interesting in the mouth because it has both sweet and savory, and there's a lot going on.
It is certified fair trade and organic.
Only organic coffees from high altitude farms (1600-2200 meters) are considered. Only the best tasting lots of Bourbon and Caturra varietals are selected. Then only the few super-large 18+ screensize beans are sorted out and sold as “Proprieter’s Reserve Colombian” — a cup with complex flavors of raisin, chocolate, cherry, and walnut. A creamy silky body, engaging mild acidity, and clean sweet aftertaste.
It’s sold by the La Minita guys — they know fine coffee, and only put their name on the best of the best of the best. And yeah, this is a great Colombian, no defects, no earthy-dirtyness in the taste, pleasant acidity, no bitterness, nice flavor with a hint of black cherry under tones and a buttery mouthfeel. It’s also worth noting that despite Colombia being the 2nd largest producer of arabica coffee in the world, it’s hard to find an organic Colombia, which just makes this all the better of a deal.
Sometimes we end the roast right before the 2nd cracks begin for a great medium roast and drink it straight. We also take it dark and enjoy it as a french roast. If you enjoy a cup of old fashioned plain Colombia, but know the difference between good coffee and cheap coffee, then this is your bean. This is the brand new 2016 crop. It arrived in the US in November 2016
Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend
Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend was developed pretty much by Annie and I liking different coffees. She leans towards a Medium Roasted Peru or Colombian and I lean towards a Darker Roasted Uganda or Sumatra. After many a morning of us rushing to make the coffee first to make what we liked, one day I decided to use 2 scoops of Peru Medium Roast and 1 scoop of Uganda Dark Roast in our French Press. Voila! Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend was born. We experimented with different ratios and different coffees. In the end Annie liked the 2 Peru & 1 Sumatra best, I like the 2 Peru & 1 Uganda. They both have the right amount of dark roast flavor that does not over power the nice floral and fruity notes of a medium roast. This blend is truly our favorite coffee to drink every day.
The Name Sandwich Bay Breakfast Blend Comes from the fact the Annie takes our boat, the Saint Anne's Reel, to work many mornings from our dock on Sandwich Bay. She drinks her coffee as she putts along to RDC watching the mist rise off the lake.
This coffee is grown by the villagers of San Pedro Costa Rica. It is a washed process microlot from the Tarrazu region. It is made up of Caturra and Catuai and grown at an altitude of 4000-5000 feet above sea level. This is part of a community initiative where the coffee farmers are paid and rewarded well for their crop, but also, money is used to build bridges, schools, and water holding tanks in the village. It's part of the Coopetarrazu Fair Trade co-op and everything this coffee stands for is worth supporting.
This bean is best at Full City. I take it maybe 10-15 seconds darker than most Costa Ricans. You're not QUITE to the 2nd cracks, but you're definitely heading that direction. Another 30 seconds and you'd be there. The sweet spot at Full City gets you a REALLY nice coffee: creamy, floral, perfect acidity.
I highly recommend this coffee, not just for those who want to experience something new, but for anyone who likes Central American coffees. Put it side by side with our other Costa Rica coffees, and they really are all so similar, but this one is brighter, less sweet, and more complex. This is the 2015 crop.
Ugandan coffee is not your “Typical African” mug of sweet fruity acidic tones. It is low acid, even mildly earthy and bold tasting in darker roasts. It’s our suppliers #1 best selling coffee, both roasted and unroasted. It's one of our favorite origins to support, and here's why:
The Bugisu co-op is the only organic certified coffee in Uganda, and it's also Rain Forest Alliance Certified. These beans are grown near a town called Sipi Falls, which is near Victorian Falls and several other waterfalls — one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Ugandan people need our support to improve their processing mills, afford certifications, and attract larger buyers so that their industry can continue to grow and get better reputations. Supporting this co-op’s efforts is essentially supporting all of Ugandan’s specialty coffee industry, and every year this crop tastes better and gets bigger. It’s a mug of coffee you can really be happy about.
We like to do this coffee as dark roast, 25-30 seconds into rolling second cracks, and it's a mug of coffee that tastes like a triple picked premium Sumatra Mandheling. We sometimes like it as a Full City Plus roast of 10 seconds into second cracks, and it's a rich mug of coffee with raisin cookie, figs, brown sugar, baker's cocoa. This is the 2016 crop.
"Cooperative Agraria “Frontera San Ignacio” Ltda was officially established in June 1969. Gender equality was an important factor when the land was purchased and divided among producers. This particular cooperative is unique because they empower and promote “women grown” coffee. These women contribute to the physical and sensory quality of the coffee. They are always managing new projects and developing new ways to improve the lives of their families.They focus their efforts on improving quality and delivering consistent coffee to different markets. In 2016, a committee of women was created by the cooperative and they are responsible for distributing loans which will enable producers to improve their own land while also taking part in new developments for their kitchens, crafts and livestock. They also created a computer lab which allows all members to stay up to date with modern technology. A high grown fair trade coffee. Well balanced and sweet, with a creamy body reminiscent of caramel. Vanilla like flavors pair with a sweetness that lingers in the aftertaste.
Colombia is making great strides in traceability, quality, and responsible farming. This microlot comes from the Antioquia region which is from the northern part of the country up by Santander. It's the same region as the Santa Barbara Estate coffee, and much of the land is mountains and valleys since the Andes Mountains cut right through.
My favorite roast of this is just at verge of 2nd cracks, not quite yet there. It tastes sweet with chocolate, cherry, caramel and nut undertones, smooth, and a great Colombian. . This is how we're roasting it for our customers.These are Excelso beans, and the farm is Rain Forest Alliance certified.
This fresh 2016 crop of Grade 1 Sumatra Mandheling Fair Trade Organic has all the characteristics you would expect, low acid, bourbon-like complexity, herbal notes (think sasaparilla,), spice, (think clove), smooth, rich, not musty, great lingering aftertaste. We will be taking it dark, roasted about 40 seconds into second cracks (20 seconds into rolling 2nds) for a nice balance of complexity, body, and smoky characteristics. It's a rich dark dessert coffee that you can drink all day and not worry about heartburn — it’s very low acid.
For those of you who are concerned about the use of chemicals in the decaf process, Mountain Water Process Honduras is a crowd-pleasing choice. It’s sweet and flavorful and can pass for a non-decaf coffee. It is bird-friendly, certified organic, certified fair trade, and you can read all about the co-op here.
A nice clean sweet Central American coffee full of flavor, I roast it to a Full City+ about 5 seconds into the 2nd cracks. It’s a great cup of decaf.
The Santa Barbara Estate has a passion for quality. Because it is an estate, and not a co-op, it is not eligible for "fair trade" certification, but the workers and farmers are well-taken care of, and paid above-fair-trade standards. The estate has also chosen not to pay for organic certification, but their dedication to environmental sustainability and care includes a commitment to grow coffee in organic, traditional methods. The farmers are paid for QUALITY, not QUANTITY. This makes a huge difference. With the right incentives, only perfectly ripe coffee is picked, the cherries are sorted and processed carefully, so you end up with a Colombian that's sweet, creamy, and oh-so-drinkable without defects or off-tastes.
Colmbian Santa Barbara is Roasted to Full City+. Mild cherry notes, creamy milk chocolate, and mild acidity. Overall sweetness, no bitterness, and clean after taste. Sometimes we take it into the dark roast territory, 30 to 40 seconds into rolling 2nd cracks and still have a great cup of coffee.
Colombian Sundried: This is a natural processed coffee and we treat it delicately. We stop the roast when the first cracks are finished. This gives us a light roasted fruity sweet coffee. It has a thick body and low acidity. The flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and watermelon are the most prominent. This is the only natural processed Colombian I've seen on the marketplace. I would rank this as being on par with a nice microlot natural from Costa Rica or Honduras
Our Fresh Roasted Coffees
The Rwenzori Mountains are in Western Uganda, "the mountains of the moon", on the other side of the mountains is the Congo Kivu growing region. But the Ugandan side has the advantage of better infrastructure and technology and results in a higher quality export, so it's like a really, really nice Congo.
These are part of a fair trade and organic certified co-op and they meticulously hand pick, hand process, hand sort the beans. These Ugandan beans are similar to Bugisu in taste, but a little bit more fruity and a little bit more earthy. They roast the same and taste similar.
The starting point for this coffee would be a medium roast. Not quite into the 2nd cracks. At this level you will find a smooth sweet juicy coffee with slight raisin/chocolate tastes at the finish. We prefer it about 30 seconds into the 2nd cracks where it makes an awesome dark roast -- full body, smoothness, chocolate, dried fruit, and all-in-all deep flavor reminds us of an Indonesian coffee, but with its own sweeter African twist. At 60 seconds into the 2nd cracks, you can enjoy it as an Italian Roast, and it's a great choice because the big beans hold up very well to the high heat. This is the April 2016 arrival.
These beans are from a small co-op of farmers and are grown on the eastern slopes of the northern Andean Rain Forest at 5,000 feet above sea level. Certified Fair Trade Organic.
The purchase of this coffee supports the re-forestation of their Rain Forest, the growth of this co-op, improvements in processing equipment, and societal improvements such as roads, credit banks, and health projects.
This coffee shows off hints of cocoa with remarkable smooth, sweet, delicate flavor, a nice smooth, mellow, traditional morning brew. We roast it to Full City+, a few seconds into 2nd cracks, and sometimes as a delicious dark roast.
The farming region of Huehuetenango (pronounced way-way-tenango) has greatly improved quality over the past decade, making it one of our favorite in the country. The region borders the Mexican Chiapas mountain range, so it’s grown at higher elevations than any other region in Guatemala. Huehuetenango coffees tend to have chocolate and citrus undertones, and many of them suffer from a thinner body, but the highest altitude lots are the best bets for the best mouthfeel, and this one has a nice creamy mouthfeel that stood out to us.
ASDECAFE is an umbrella group that helps several co-ops within Huehuetenango achieve organic and fair trade certification, as well as improve coffee quality. ASODIETT is one of their co-ops within the ASDECAFE group, and that is where this coffee came out of. It is based in the town of Todos Santos Cuchumatan in the Tuiboch village at an altitude of over 4000 feet. The farmers grow bourbon and caturra varietals.
The roasting sweet spot is 10 seconds into the 2nd cracks where we find a creamy milk chocolate almond mug of coffee. Huehuetenangos are right up there with Atitlan and Acatenango coffees. Year round, it is one of our suppliers best sellers.