Barrington Coffee – Boston’s Finest

Extraordinary quality coffee. Direct from the world’s finest farms. Grown with environmentally sustainable methods. Purchased far above the pricing floor established for equitable trade. This is Barrington Coffee.

Advertisements

This week we wanted to showcase one of our fabulous roasters: Barrington Coffee. They have two cafes in Boston and recently was named Boston’s Best coffee roaster by The Improper Bostonian. Here is a peak behind the scenes. You can find a full array of coffees at www.emerycoffee.com.

OUR HISTORY

Gregg Charbonneau and Barth Anderson founded Barrington Coffee Roasting Company in 1993. Having met in college, they quickly discovered their common love of everything coffee. Barth, an environmental scientist by education, was drawn to coffee at the age of 14 and he clearly hasn’t shaken it since. Gregg started roasting coffee during his college years for a local coffeehouse and continued while building a career in art restoration. This combination of art and science is the foundation of their success.

Devotion, total commitment, fanaticism: these are good words to describe the power-coffee duo. Their commitment at Barrington Coffee is hands-on. Decidedly not a giant corporate empire, on any given day Gregg and Barth can be seen unloading bags of green coffee, cupping the new crop of Ethiopian beans or roasting for the day’s production.

Over the years, Barrington Coffee has grown to include a select staff of coffee driven professionals. Together with Gregg and Barth, this team is responsible for preparing coffee each day at the Roastery in Lee, MA. A steady stream of coffee-centric conversation with customers and local devotees stopping by to pick up a quick bag of Barrington Gold Espresso Blend are all part of the daily culture at the Roastery.

If you would like to learn more about the personal history of Barrington Coffee, check out Rebecca Gray’s book, American Artisanal: Finding the Country’s Best Real Food, from Cheese to Chocolate. An entire chapter of her book has been devoted to Barrington Coffee.

Barrington Awards

  • Boston’s Best – The Improper Bostonian
  • Top Three Coffees of 2013 – Coffee Review
  • Good Food Award Winner 2011
  • Featured in the Boston Globe, Forbes, and Martha Stewart Living
  • Boston’s Best – CBS 
  • Seven 95+ Coffee Scores

OUR MISSION

Our passion is to discover the finest and most exciting coffees from around the world each season, roast them to perfection and deliver them fresh to our customers. We believe a truly great coffee should be roasted to highlight its inherent quality without imparting overwhelming roast. This is why you will notice such a difference in Barrington Coffee.

The unifying thread that ties our coffees together is the exceptional quality they offer in the cup. They hail from the finest coffee farms in the world and come to exist, first and foremost by virtue of the great effort and care that has been devoted to their production. We applaud the individuals that grow our coffees by paying generously for the fruits of their labor and singing their praises on our website. We believe that directly supporting quality driven producers is the ideal manner in which to promote sound, responsible growing practices, economic sustainability, and ultimately the best quality coffee.

QUALITY IS SUSTAINABLE

We identify and source extraordinary quality coffees from the finest coffee farms in the world. These coffees exist first and foremost by virtue of the great care and effort that has been devoted to their production; the farmers we work with who pursue excellence in coffee. Each growing season we select our coffees from these farms and each day of the week we carefully roast them for you.

Quality. We select coffees based upon their extraordinary quality in the cup. Our coffees regularly score 90 points or above when vetted by professional coffee quality analysts.

Direct. We source our coffees from multi-generation family farms, cutting edge farming collaborations, and coffee growing cooperatives. In some instances, the relationships we have cultivated date back to our earliest days sourcing coffees in the early 1990’s.

Sustainable. Our coffees are grown in complex natural agricultural systems by farmers who employ environmentally sustainable methods for their coffee production.

Equitable. We purchase all of our coffees at prices far above the pricing floor established for equitable trade.

Extraordinary quality coffee. Direct from the world’s finest farms. Grown with environmentally sustainable methods. Purchased far above the pricing floor established for equitable trade. This is Barrington Coffee.

Barrington Coffee Reviews

Kickapoo Coffee – El Salvador La Roxanita

kickapoo-coffee-el-salvador-la-roxanita-banner-cut

Kickapoo CoffeeEl Salvador La Roxanita

Ignacio Gutierrez

Notes of Green Apple, Pecan & Nougat

Altitude: 1400 meters
Varietals: Pacas
Process: Washed
Region: San Ignacio

About The Growers
This is the first El Salvadorian coffee we’ve purchased in the last few seasons. While we love the quality and flavor profiles the country produces, we have a wide range of existing long-term relationships in Central America, so we usually prefer to continue to deepen those partnerships year in and out.

However, when we tasted Don Ignacio Gutiérrez’s lot this year, we had no trouble finding room in our roster of seasonal Central American favorites. Ignacio was previously a woodworker and grew tomatoes; he started his farm, La Roxanita, in 2000 with 500 coffee trees and deep, rich soil that sweeps across his 5-manzana (about 12-acre) farm.

This is the first lot we’ve purchased from Ignacio, but we have kept an eye on his farm for a number of years. In 2011 and 2013, he earned first place in the highly competitive El Salvador Cup of Excellence, so when we had the chance to bring this lot in, we pounced on it. We’re extremely excited to share this year’s lot with you all. Initial roasts are producing notes of green apple, pecan and nougat.

Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

*Photo courtesy Kickapoo Coffee

Coda Coffee – Costa Rica Santa Elena Estate

coda coffee costa rica santa elena estate

Coda CoffeeCosta Rica Santa Elena Estate

Notes: sweet. buttery. crisp.

Sourced from La Finca Santa Elena in the heart of the Tarrazu region in Costa Rica, this is one of the finest coffees you will ever taste. The beans are “honey processed” at origin during production, giving this coffee a unique delicious flavor.

Coda Coffee is dedicated to promoting sustainability in every sense of the word; having an ongoing commitment to both the environment and the quality of life experienced by individuals in the coffee industry. Coda’s own Farm2Cup certification ensures that you can feel good about the coffee you drink. By initiating best practice sharing and quality control, investing in the farming communities and bring a better quality of life for farmers, we are able to bring you the highest quality coffee possible: it tastes good, it feels good.

We are extremely proud to share that we were named Roast Magazine’s Macro Roaster of the Year for 2014.

Available now at http://www.emerycoffee.com
*Photo courtesy Coda Coffee

Passion House Coffee Roasters in Chicago

AMEbanner

Passion House is a small batch roaster in Chicago, IL with the idea that coffee can be playful, while still being sophisticated, complex, and nuanced. To make specialty coffee more accessible and approachable to customers, they separate their coffee offerings into three distinct genres: Ambient, Mainstream and Experimental. Creating a common language that goes beyond tasting notes, origins, and farm names.

  • Ambient: These simple beauties allow you to be either fully engaged in its subtle complexity or just gulp it down
  • Mainstream: You don’t need to be embarrassed because you love them, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the balance we expertly craft.
  • Experimental: These coffees push the boundaries of what you know coffee to be.

Finding unique coffee takes their search all over the globe to bring you a quality cup from truly special small lot focused farms. They support farmers that dedicate their time to the intense care that is needed to grow and process coffee with intricately developed flavor profiles that end up in your cup at home.

Try this beautiful Guatemalan coffee and watch the video below for more information about Passion House.

Passion House CoffeeGuatemala El Limonar

El Limonar is owned by Rosa Maria Ovalle and her son Rogelio Aguirre Ovalle. The two are focused on attention to detail. Rosa Maria oversees the receipt of the coffee from the pickers every day during harvest. Rogelio not only walks the farm regularly but also keeps a fluid and constructive interaction with the field workers. Only 1,600M of the farm is coffee and the rest is shade trees and native plants. They also grow Macadamia trees and have a forest.

Region: La Libertad, Huehuetenango
Farm: El Limonar
Varietal: Bourbon, Catuai, Pacamara, Marago
Elevation: 4300-6000M
Process: Washed and sun dried

Tasting Notes:
Hi: lime juice, green apple, mint
Mid: sweet corn, brown butter, pecan
Lo: caramel cream, tobacco, baker’s chocolate

Puerto Rico’s Signifcance in Coffee History

In an effort to help Puerto Rico regain its status in the coffee world, some small production farmers have concentrated their efforts on specialty and high-quality coffees.

Coffee_free_atop_the_Maricao_mountains_in_Puerto_Rico_(5661610485) - wikiApril 25, 2011-Maricao, Puerto Rico. Photo by Lilibeth Serrano, USFWS. – Wikimedia

In the 1500’s, in the Sufi Muslim monasteries of Yemen, coffee was first roasted. In the 16th century, coffee reached the Middle East, Persia and Africa. Coffee reached the shores of North America during the Colonial period, however, it was not as popular as it was in England, as people in the colonies preferred alcoholic beverages over fresh roasted coffee. America’s taste for coffee grew after the Embargo Act of 1807 restricted trade with both Britain and France, leading to the War of 1812. Today, coffee is a vital and important cash crop for developing countries. It has become the backbone and primary export for the African countries of Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Today’s leaders in the production of green (unroasted) coffee are Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Columbia.

There are two main types of coffee grown, Arabic and Robusta. Arabica coffee is generally preferred over Robusta, as Robusta tends to be bitter with less flavor but has better body than Arabica. Robusta contains almost 50-percent more caffeine as well. In the United States, coffee is grown in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. In fact, back in the day (100 years ago), Puerto Rico produced some the world’s best coffee. The production of whole bean coffee decreased and the export of coffee ceased due, in part, to the damage caused by hurricanes in the 1800’s. When the United States gained control of the island in the late 19th century economic development became more of a focus. Affluence led to agricultural work being stigmatized and coffee’s decline continued.

The nutrient rich volcanic soil and climate of Puerto Rico make it the perfect place for coffee to grown. Yauco or The City of Coffee, as it is nicknamed, is famous for its coffee. The most recognized, premium blend of coffee Puerto Rico has to offer is known as the Yauco Select brand. Another brand, a very special blend, is called Alto Grande. It is special because it is one of only three brands that are labeled superpremium in the world!

Puerto Rico produced 10-million pounds of coffee in 2014 but compared to Brazil’s 1.8-million tons, that’s a drop in the ocean. However, the island is taking measures to change that. Of late, Puerto Rico has seen a resurgence of cooperative’s and small producers growing premium coffee beans. Puerto Rico has many obstacles to overcome, including a shortage of workers to pick the coffee. There is no substitute for human workers, and as people become more educated, manual agricultural work is a last choice option. Insect pests such as the coffee leafminer can reduce crop yields by up to 40% and pests such as mealybugs and scale can cause yield losses of up to 15%.

In an effort to help Puerto Rico regain its status in the coffee world, some small production farmers have concentrated their efforts on specialty and high-quality coffees. Yet others are focusing on cultivating coffee beans in the coastal areas of the island. The hope is that planting in areas with high unemployment rates they will draw workers to the fields. In another effort to increase yield, Puerto Rico’s Agricultural Secretary signed an agreement to plant more than 16-million coffee trees over the next few years. Other improvements include the recent opening of the largest coffee processing facility in the Caribbean. Another significant development is the University of Puerto Rico’s new program dedicated to helping farmers improve the quality of their coffee beans.

Maybe some day in the near future we will talk about Puerto Rican coffees in the same breath as Kona coffees as some of the best in the world, again.

Find your coffee at www.emerycoffee.com today!

Irving Farm Coffee – Guatemala Santa Isabel Organic

In 2004, Santa Isabel experienced a pandemic of coffee rust disease. Producer Alex Keller experimented with a variety of methods to treat the problem, but finally decided that the only solution was to return to organic cultivation.

Irving Farm Coffee – Guatemala Santa Isabel Organic

In 2004, Santa Isabel experienced a pandemic of coffee rust disease. Producer Alex Keller experimented with a variety of methods to treat the problem, but finally decided that the only solution was to return to organic cultivation. 2007 heralded their first certified organic production.

Since then, Alex has continued experimenting with innovative cultivation at the farm. Nowadays, it is a model of biodynamic organic agriculture; producing two pounds of composted dirt/fertilizer for every pound of coffee produced. Alex proudly showed us around the farm, even unearthing the fungi underneath a tree log to display the symbiotic relationship between fungi—beneficial to plant root systems and allowed to thrive due to Alex’s organic conditions—and the tree root systems. He has also planted other flowering plants and trees around the farm to attract more diverse species of insects. Alex’s goal is to build a diverse and sustainable ecosystem within his farm, one that mimics the natural preserve surrounding it.

Along with precise cultivation, Alex is meticulous about processing. Cherry selection, washing and drying protocols are painstakingly followed, producing clean, consistent and delicious coffee. His grandmother Isabel would be proud that he has put her name on this full-bodied, chocolatey coffee.

This coffee is certified USDA Organic, meaning its production did not involve the use of synthetic substances such as most pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

COUNTRY Guatemala
REGION Santa Isabel
PRODUCER Alex Keller
VARIETIES Bourbon, Catuai & Caturra
PROCESS Washed
TASTING NOTES Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Spicy
Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Kickapoo Coffee – Project Congo

Project Congo marks our second philanthropic collaboration with our friends at On The Ground. In our Project Congo initiative, we will donate $1 for every pound of this exceptional Congolese coffee to promote and raise awareness of gender equality in the farming regions of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Kickapoo CoffeeProject Congo

About The Growers
Project Congo marks our second philanthropic collaboration with our friends at On The Ground. In our Project Congo initiative, we will donate $1 for every pound of this exceptional Congolese coffee to promote and raise awareness of gender equality in the farming regions of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Funds raised will work to break the chains of poverty and conflict while supporting women empowerment groups in coffee communities of the region. Women play a crucial agricultural role in Africa, providing the majority of the labor, but their contributions are often invisible since women are excluded from delivering and selling the crop. These realities are exacerbated by sexual gender-based violence in Kivu used as a tool to destabilize communities.

Despite the challenges, female coffee producers in Eastern DRC have the perseverance to move forward. Project Congo will provide transformative opportunities to these farmers by introducing practical initiatives supporting women’s empowerment at both farm and cooperative levels. Funds will be used to empower and educate female farmers to become entrepreneurs, taking control of their lives, and creating a brighter future for coffee communities affected by the civil war in Eastern DRC.

We’re honored to be working once again with On The Ground to make positive impacts in coffee producing countries.

Muungano Cooperative

Notes of Black Currant, Cola & Sweet Citrus

Altitude: 1500-2000 Meters
Varietals: Bourbon
Process: Wet Ferment, Soak, 14 Day Raised Bed Drying
Region: Kalihi, Southern Kivu

Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Photo courtesy of Kickapoo Coffee.

Klatch Coffee – Papua New Guinea AAK Bros

Papua New Guinea is responsible for approximately 1% of world coffee production. This is an elegant and multifaceted bean that offers bright and sweet notes of lemon, orange and hazelnuts in aroma and cup.

Klatch CoffeePapua New Guinea AAK Bros

Papua New Guinea is responsible for approximately 1% of world coffee production. “Quality of coffee produced in Papua New Guinea has received a boost in recent times with emphasis on setting up wet factories supported by adequate checks and assurances of excellence through a testing process in well equipped laboratories,” according to Wikipedia and evidenced here.

This is an elegant and multifaceted bean that offers bright and sweet notes of lemon, orange and hazelnuts in aroma and cup. It has a light and creamy texture that can be enjoyed hot or iced.

If you thought PNG was a unique coffee origin, then you’re in for a doozy with this AAK lot. AAK is the umbrella organization tying together 3 coops across the Western and Eastern Highlands – Apo, Anga and Konga Cooperatives, each of the 3 words meaning “brother” in local languages.

In a country whose coffee growers are famously independent and who have not traditionally formed many cooperatives or producer organizations, AAK is a newly formed body introducing radical practices to improve coffee quality and livelihoods.

klatch-coffee-PAP_NEW_GUI_AAK_BRO-2Coffee is its main economic activity, but AAK is much more. Its self-described holistic approach includes activities ranging from financial planning, to banking (mobile payment partnership with BSP Bank), to gender equality, to health, to education. On the coffee front (that’s why you’re reading this, right?), AAK takes a very localized approach to organization and coffee quality. 81 “base camps” across member areas form as community centers.

Each base camp servers as a training center for quality growing and processing practices, and 59 (and growing) are outfitted with tool sheds where members can rent supplies for use on their farms. While rich in expertise and ideas, AAK has only recently been able to open its own washing stations. It currently manages 3 stations, each quite small but well staffed with knowledgeable machinists and coffee handlers. Each station serves a handful of nearby base camps (currently base camps not near a washing station home-process and deliver parchment).

REGION: Goroka
VARIETAL: Bourbon
FARM: AAK Brothers Umbrella Cooperative
ALTITUDE: 1550 – 2100 M
FARMER: Apo, Anga and Konga Cooperatives
ROAST: Medium
NOTE: Wet Process

Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Photos courtesy of Klatch Coffee.

The Coffee Grinder You Have Been Waiting For

The Handground Precision Coffee Grinder has been a long time in coming. For much too long we have dealt with inconsistent grind, difficult grinder settings, and not easy to use hand grinders. This quality crowd-sourced little marvel has it all.

The Handground Precision Coffee Grinder has been a long time in coming. For much too long we have dealt with inconsistent grind, difficult grinder settings, and not easy to use hand grinders. This quality crowd-sourced little marvel has it all. It is available for pre-order now at a fraction of the cost of a good electric grinder and all the same benefits. Visit www.handground.com.

*Photo and video by http://www.handground.com
Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Toby’s Estate – Prima Filter Blend

The Prima Filter Blend is crafted as our new seasonal blend for spring. The combination of Colombian and Guatemalan coffees creates an inviting, clean and easily enjoyable cup. A peach-like acidity lends an effervescent mouthfeel, with a rounded cantaloupe body and soft vanilla finish.

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters – Prima Filter Blend

An inviting, clean and easily enjoyable cup. A peach-like acidity lends an effervescent mouthfeel, with a rounded cantaloupe body and soft vanilla finish. Colombia and Guatemala The Prima Filter Blend is crafted as our new seasonal blend for spring. The combination of Colombian and Guatemalan coffees creates an inviting, clean and easily enjoyable cup. A peach-like acidity lends an effervescent mouthfeel, with a rounded cantaloupe body and soft vanilla finish. Now available at www.emerycoffee.com
*Photo courtesy Toby’s Estate New York

Ayutepeque – 165 Years of Great Coffee

Topeca Coffee Ayutepeque Farm
The entrance to the Ayutepeque farm, established 1850.

Recently we were fortunate enough to welcome another great roaster, Topeca Coffee. They have been on Coffee Reviews list of top coffees for the past two years and ranked in the top six of all the coffees last year. Topeca owns their own coffee farm in El Salvador and is personally involved in aspect. Below is their story…..

Our Philosophy

Topeca is one of the few companies in the world with fully vertically integrated Seed to Cup model. Our family grows the coffee in El Salvador where we can oversee every step of the process. We have our hands in every step of process from planting the coffee plant to hand picking the ripest cherries to roasting it here in Tulsa, Oklahoma and serving it in our own shops in Downtown Tulsa.

From Planting the Seed

We believe that the best coffee is created by maintaining high quality standards every step of the way.  That is why we spend four years taking care of each new “cafeto” (coffee tree) until it grows into a mature plant ready to be harvested. Each year the cafeto blooms cover the landscape with white flowers and an aroma of sweet honeysuckle and jasmine. With good soil, great weather, and a lot of hard work each of those flowers will turn into a succulent coffee cherry containing 2 perfect coffee beans.

To Hand Picking the Coffee Cherries

The harvest begins in November, when the coffee cherries have a deep red wine color. We go around the finca (farm) as many times as necessary, allowing every single cherry to ripen; this meticulous hand-picking process finishes in March.

From Ecological Processing

After harvesting the cherries we proceed to the wet processing, where the pulp and the mucilage (fruit) are carefully removed from the coffee beans so as not to damage them. As a part of our ecological process, we use collected rainwater to wash the beans, and then use the removed fruit to help fertilize our cafetos.

To Patio Drying

Once the mucilage has been washed from the coffee seeds, they are ready to dry. The method in which you dry the beans has dramatic effect on cup quality. We utilize various methods of drying including, patio (sun dried), raised bed (sun dried), and mechanical drying to achieve optimum results for each lot.

From the Perfect Roast

Our roast master carefully roasts the coffee to bring out the full flavor and complex aromas found in the bean; this ensures you will enjoy the true essence found in the coffee rather than merely the degree of roast.

To the Edge of Your Cup

At the coffee shop, the barista carefully grinds and brews the coffee so as not to undo the years of hard work and perfection found in each bean. Now you have the opportunity to enjoy the complex sweetness, delicate aroma, and characteristic  smoothness of our El Salvadoran coffee. From our home to yours, we hope you enjoy every sip.

Read Topeca Coffee Reviews

Topeca Coffee is now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Big Island Coffee Roasters – Hawaiian Puna Coffee Excellence

We are wild coffee lovers. Our farm and roasting company grew from a penchant to explore our senses, develop our skills, and help anyone else do the same. With attention and taste, our mission is to weave the best coffees from Hawaii’s wild and beautiful places with fine craftsmanship and display.

Look what Santa brought us for Christmas! A new roaster!  We are happy to welcome Big Island Coffee to the Emery Coffee Company lineup of award winning roasters. They roast coffees from all the growing regions of Hawaii including their own farm in the Puna region. In 2013, their Puna coffee won the Hawaii Coffee Association’s Statewide Cupping Competition and became the first non-Kona or Ka’u farm to do so. But let them tell you their story…

OUR STORY

We are wild coffee lovers. Our farm and roasting company grew from a penchant to explore our senses, develop our skills, and help anyone else do the same. With attention and taste, our mission is to weave the best coffees from Hawaii’s wild and beautiful places with fine craftsmanship and display.

BIG ISLAND, SMALL OPERATION

In 2010, the opportunity emerged to buy a small coffee farm in a disregarded, impoverished region of Hawaii. With little to lose, we thought, “Why not?” As we integrated with the community of farmers and sampled coffees from around the Big Island, we were surprised by the variety and quality that goes largely overshadowed. We wanted to change that.

Over the next years we taught ourselves to cultivate, process and roast. We then trialed and tasted the differences between coffee washing experiments and roast profiles. Our end-goal was always the same: the objectively best coffee we could produce from our land. When we discovered methods and flavors we liked, we taught neighboring farmers to do the same and offered them higher wages for their coffees than they’d ever seen before.

To our amazement, our efforts began paying off.

In July of 2013, one of our Puna coffees won Grand Champion in the Hawaii Coffee Association’s Statewide Cupping Competition and became the first non-Kona or Ka’u farm to do so. The same year, the USDA honored our efforts to improve high-quality coffee output by providing us a grant for importing specialized coffee grading equipment. With this machine, we can help independent Puna and Hamakua farmers improve their coffee quality, reputation and livelihood effortlessly. (And later that year we were awarded a Hawaii Senate Certificate for doing just that!) Finally, as the year closed, our Honeyed Yellow Caturra coffee placed in Coffee Review’s ”30 Top Coffees of 2013″.

bicr-Home_Story1
Today, we serve on the board of directors for the Hawaii Coffee Association – Hawaii’s largest organization serving all islands and industries, from cherry to cup. We’re excited to continue serving Hawaii’s coffee lovers, from retailers to roasters, baristas to farmers, and at-home drinkers.

Since moving, our lives have been full of sweat, adventure, discipline and persistent learning. What began as a charming coffee farm in the rainy jungle-town of Mountain View has become an award winning farm, micro-roaster and processing mill for boutique Hawaii coffees.

A love for wild and beautiful places brought us to the Big Island. Respect for the terrain and appreciation for the farmers who craft from it has kept us here. And the repeated patronage and support from our customers — like you — has made this entire transformation possible.

Mahalo,

Kelleigh & Brandon

Big Island Coffee is now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Kickapoo Coffee – Ethiopia Hama Organic Special Prep

When we first visited the Hama Cooperative back in 2011, we were greeted by three adorable Ethiopian children. We’d tasted coffees from Hama previously and found them to present ‘classic’ Yirgacheffe characteristics: candied lemon, intense florality, and refreshing, citric acidity.

kickapoo-coffee-ethiopia-hama-special-prep-organic-banner-cut

Kickapoo Coffee – Ethiopia Hama Special Prep

This coffee scored a 91 from Coffee Review!

Intensely floral and lush with notes of candied lemon and key lime pie. One of our top coffees of the year.

Notes of Lime, Spring Flowers & Candied Lemon

Altitude: 1800-2300 Meters
Varietals: Kudhume, Dega, Wolisho, Heirloom types
Process: Wet Ferment, Wash, Soak, African Raised Bed Drying
Region: Kochere, Gedeo

About The Growers
When we first visited the Hama Cooperative back in 2011, we were greeted by three adorable Ethiopian children. We’d tasted coffees from Hama previously and found them to present ‘classic’ Yirgacheffe characteristics: candied lemon, intense florality, and refreshing, citric acidity.

Three years later, Hama and other cooperatives within the Yirgacheffe Union umbrella are operating with a marked increase in sophistication. Most of the washed coffees that the Union puts out are grade 2, meaning that there are a good amount of defects. As of late, however, the Union has asked some of the larger producers to bring in strictly ripe cherry from the peak of the harvest to be kept separate from the standard lots.

We’ve tasted several of the special prep lots from washing stations all over Yirgacheffe including Biloya, Adamegorbota, Aramo, and Idido and have noticed a marked increase in quality by several points across the board.

This Hama lot is our absolute favorite of what we tasted from this year’s harvest and perhaps our favorite coffee that we will release all year. The intense florality, sparkly crispness, and candied lemon characteristics remind us of top Gesha lots, but for a fraction of the cost.

Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

*Photo courtesy of Kickapoo Coffee.

Toby’s Estate – Honduras La Escuela

We are proud to have Toby’s Estate as one of our newest roasters. In addition to great coffee, they have the farmer’s interest in mind as well. Earlier this year Toby’s Estate raised over $4,500 for La Escuela De La Piedrona during their Honduras Education Drive. Below is a large excerpt from the Toby’s Estate Blog.

tobys-estate-honduras-la-escuela-banner

We are proud to have Toby’s Estate as one of our newest roasters. In addition to great coffee, they have the farmer’s interest in mind as well. Earlier this year Toby’s Estate raised over $4,500 for La Escuela De La Piedrona during their Honduras Education Drive. Below is a large excerpt from the Toby’s Estate Blog.

We arrived with the plan to help seal and paint the cinder block school, and were able to spend the week helping to do so. But, while the Honduran government helps the school by supplying beans and corn flour for the children’s lunch, the school’s only storage room also had a leak in its roof. The silver lining to the current drought in Honduras is that reduced rains had meant less ruined food, but the structure still needed fixing. During our time painting, Moises helped to oversee a complete replacement of the roof, ensuring better weather-proof food storage.

Now, with the painting all done, the school looks like a brand new building, and the classrooms are a much brighter and better place to learn. There are also still funds available to help improve the school. Currently, the head teacher Allan Omar Pineda Vasquez is the only instructor in charge of six grades, sixty students, and two classrooms. The school will greatly benefit from having another educator so one teacher can remain dedicated to each classroom and the pressure on Allan is halved. Marysabel and Moises are excited to make this a reality and are helping to find a quality teacher.

The other major problem the students face involves their parents, who bear the burden of paying for all the books, uniforms and supplies their children will need. In poor, rural districts that responsibility can easily become overwhelming, so any leftover funds will be used to help subsidize the purchase of books and supplies for the school. We are excited to see the final results of this endeavor and to continue to find ways to work with and support La Escuela De La Piedrona.”

Well done and keep up the good work!

*Photo courtesy of Toby’s Estate.

Panther Coffee – Ethiopia Suke Quto

This impeccable Suke Quto microlot grows in the Guji Zone, the Southern part of the Oromia Region that borders the Sidama and Gedeo Zones.

panther-coffee-ethiopia-suke-quto

Photo courtesy of Panther Coffee

Panther Coffee – Ethiopia Suke Quto

Light and refreshing. Notes of pineapple, mango,  blueberries, champagne grape, malted milk & cocoa powder.

This impeccable Suke Quto microlot grows in the Guji Zone, the Southern part of the Oromia Region that borders the Sidama and Gedeo Zones. The volcanic soil on the farm is highly nutrient. Generally, the soil is fertile, friable, and loamy with the depth of at least 2 meter. One outstanding characteristic of the soil is that its fertility is maintained by organic recycling through litter fall, root residue from perennial coffee and shade trees.

For processing the coffee they use an Agared machine to pulp the coffee without removing the mucilage. Then they ferment the coffee in tanks between 35-48 hours, depending on the climate. There are 3 treatment tanks for the waste water. Coffee in parchment is dried on elevated beds between 9 and 15 days.
The Suke Quto farm also has a nursery with coffee seedlings to provide the farm but also the outgrowers in the area. There are 9 permanent employees and about 250 seasonal workers. Suke Quto also buys from about 70 outgrowers. Each of them has about 7ha of coffee trees planted. Other crops that they grow are false banana and fruits.
Producer: Various Small Holders
Zone: Guji
Region: Oromia
Altitude: 1,800-1,930 m.a.s.l.
Latitude: 5°40’ N
Variety: Mixed Heirloom Varieties
Process: Washed
Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Colombia Huila Jose Nolvis Rodriguez Finca El Mirador

victrola-coffee-colombia
Photo courtesy of  Cafe Imports

Victrola Coffee – Colombia Huila Jose Nolvis Rodriguez Finca El Mirador

Facts
Farm:  Mirador
Town:  Alto de los Pinos
Region: Pitalito, Huila
Elevation: 5250 ft
Process: Washed, Sun Dried
Varietals: Caturra
Producer: Jose Nolvis Rodriguez

Tasting Notes
Fragrance/Aroma: Cinnamon, Roasted Barley, Molasses
Flavor: Cinnamon, Molasses, Chocolate, Lime Leaves
Body: Buttery
Acidity: Bright

Roaster’s Notes
We are grateful for the opportunity to offer this exceptional micro lot from the Huila department of Colombia for the second time.  Producer Jose Nolvis Rodriguez consistently offers high quality, meticulously processed coffee and this year we found his samples particularly impressive.

Coffee from Finca El Mirador is washed processed and sun dried, as is the traditional process in Huila.  However, Mr. Rodriguez employs distinct techniques to ensure high quality, including a pre-wash 12 hours into the 24 hour fermentation period before washing the coffee and a 3 day pre-drying phase  before the coffees are moved to another drying bed where they receive more intense heat.  In the final stage before coffee is packaged for export, it is put through a sieve so that any small imperfections can be sorted out.

The result of this meticulous processing is a bright coffee with a buttery mouthfeel, cinnamon and roasted barley in the aroma, and spice, molasses, chocolate, and hints of lime leaves in the cup.

Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Ethiopia Chelelektu – Coffea Roasterie

coffea-roasterie-ethiopia-chelelektu Photo courtesy of Coffea Roasterie.

This coffee comes from the Kochere region of Ethiopia, a subsection of the Gedeo zone, located south of Yirgacheffe. The Kochere zone has long been known for its incredible coffee. It is easy to produce amazing coffee when you have some of the best growing conditions in the world. High elevations and fertile soils combined with strict processing produce some of the best coffees you will ever taste.

This coffee came through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). Some words on ECX from http://www.ecx.com.et/.

“The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) is a new initiative for Ethiopia and the first of its kind in Africa. The vision of ECX is to revolutionize Ethiopia’s tradition bound agriculture through creating a new marketplace that serves all market actors, from farmers to traders to processors to exporters to consumers … ECX represents the future of Ethiopia, bringing integrity, security, and efficiency to the market. ECX creates opportunities for unparalleled growth in the commodity sector and linked industries, such as transport and logistics, banking and financial services, and others.”

Still, sourcing can be tricky through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. Traceability is becoming more transparent for roasters and buyers but it still remains a challenge. We worked with Royal Coffee Importers on this particular coffee.  This is one of our favorite coffees this year. We hope you enjoy it!

Region: Kochere, Ethiopia
Varietal: Heirloom
Process: Fully washed and dried on raised beds
Elevation: 1,850 – 2,000 masl

Now available at www.emerycoffee.com

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Sulawesi PT Toarco – Beansmith Coffee

 

Photos courtesy of Beansmith Coffee.

Coffee was introduced to Indonesia in 1699 and by 1711 was being exported to Europe. Indonesia, which includes Java of the famed “Mocha Java” blend featuring coffee from Yemen and Java, has an ideal geography for coffee plantations. The low acidity and strong body of Indonesian coffees makes them ideal for such blends.

The island group also produces unique micro-climates for the coffee. Sulawesi soil, for example, is rich in iron content which affects the coffee flavor.

Wikipedia describes Sulawesi coffees as, “… clean and sound in the cup. They generally display nutty or warm spice notes, like cinnamon or cardamom. Hints of black pepper are sometimes found. Their sweetness, as with most Indonesian coffees, is closely related to the body of the coffee. The after-taste coats the palate on the finish and is smooth and soft.”

 

SULAWESI-320x320-3

THIS COFFEE
Flavor: Transparent and citric with caramel, green grape and floral flavors.

Origin: TOARCO owns Pedamaran Plantation at 900 – 1250 masl and purchases wet-parchment (at 40% moisture) from small producers at 1200 – 1800 masl. Coffee is trucked to Pedamaran Plantation immediately and coffee gets dried on patios at their mill facilities. If a producer wants to sell their parchment coffee to TOARCO they need to get certified to their standards as far as selective-picking, storage, transportation, moisture levels, etc. Farmers are issued ID cards that allow them to sell their coffee at various purchasing points in the Tana Toraja region during the market of the week. This coffee comes from small producers at the higher altitude areas.

Now available at Emery Coffee.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Kona/Ka’u Hawaiian Espresso Blend

klatch-coffee-hawaiian-espresso-banner-cutPhoto courtesy of Klatch Coffee.

This new espresso is a collaboration between Mike Perry (roastmaster) and Miguel Meza (developer), highlighting the sweet and delicate flavors of this magical bean. With keen attention to quality control, component coffees have been selected from Kona and Ka’u on the Big Island, Maui, Oahu and Molokai. In the 100% Hawaiian espresso blend, Miguel has highlighted the characteristics admired in island coffees; mild, sweet and syrupy with subtle notes of red fruit, macadamia nuts and brandy nuances. The acidity is pleasant and restrained, resulting in an approachable straight shot even at lighter roasts. Since 2007, Miguel has been a top developer of specialty Hawaiian coffees.

REGION: Regional Blend (Kona, Ka’u)
VARIETAL: Caturra, Catuai, Typica
FARM: Various
ALTITUDE: 1500 – 2000 M
DEVELOPER: Miguel Meza
ROAST: Medium – Dark
NOTES: Washed process, Natural dried

Now available at Emery Coffee.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Peru Huabal Fair Trade Organic Coffee

SO-PERHUA-bannerPhotos courtesy of Kickapoo Coffee.

Organic Peru Huabal – Cenfrocafe Cooperative

Flavors of plum and dark cherry with citrusy acidity and a rich, almond sweetness.

Notes of Plum, Black Cherry & Citrus

Altitude: 1450-1900 Meters
Varietals: Typica, Caturra
Process: Washed
Region: Huabal, Cajamarca

This lot from our partners at Cenfrocafe marks a new phase in one of our oldest relationships. Cenfrocafe was founded in 1999 with 220 small-scale coffee farmers in 11 community-based organizations. Today it serves 2,000 farmers in 52 organizations. As the cooperative has grown, our direct contact with individual growers has diminished. This lot is the result of a new initiative that seeks to change that. Working with Cenfrocafe, we’ve arranged a direct relationship with the farmers surrounding a single village, Huabal–an arrangement that provides us with more consistent coffees and an avenue to work directly with the same growers year in and year out. On the whole, the village produces around three containers of coffee a year; we’re buying a third of that. Like all of Cenfrocafe’s coffees, this lot’s been sorted and separated meticulously. Huabal boasts some of the highest altitudes within Cenfrocafe with some areas situated above 1,900 meters. We’re pleased as punch with this release from the Huabal growers: plumy and rounded with notes of dark cherry and citrus.

SO-PERHUA-photo

Maintaining truly direct and meaningful relationships with farmers is extremely difficult for coffee roasters, as importing and communicating with farmers takes resources most small companies do not have. To overcome this obstacle, Kickapoo Coffee is an owner-member of Cooperative Coffees, a fair trade importing business owned by 23 like-minded roasters who are actively engaged in supporting our own importing cooperative. We import over 85 percent of our coffees through Cooperative Coffees, and this number is increasing each year as we develop partnerships with new producers around the world.

Through Cooperative Coffees we set the bar higher for the fair trade world. Our pricing minimum is set at a price that is substantially above fair trade standards. We also offer our farmer-partners much-needed pre-harvest financing.

Fair trade at Kickapoo Coffee goes beyond pricing to building relationships and partnerships with our growers. Because we import our own coffees, we are communicating with growers directly, not through a middleman. Maintaining direct relationships with producers is very different from buying and selling fair trade coffee from an importer. We get to participate in the lives of our farmers directly, seeing where the roadblocks are, and devising solutions for a more sustainable partnership.

Every year we invite and often sponsor farmer coop representatives to our annual meetings and give them a voice in our business decisions. Cooperative Coffees also sponsors an annual meeting with representatives from a dozen Latin American farmer groups. These meetings allow roasters and farmers to learn from each other and look for ways to improve trading relationships. What’s more, farmers from different countries are able to share their experiences and learn from each other. This kind of involvement is very difficult to achieve as a small, independent coffee roaster.

Visiting our growers is a very important part of what we do. Our cooperative makes annual visits to each of our producer groups. These trips are focused on mutual benefit. We want to make sure farmers are treated fairly and that we in turn are getting the best quality possible. Our goal on these trips is to better understand the conditions that our farmers are working under and to find where we can encourage further quality initiatives.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.