|Notes||Walnut, Maple Syrup, Banana|
|Origin||Sitio Sao Francisco, Divinolandia, Media Mogiana, São Paulo, Brazil|
Jose Avila lives and works on the 30 hectare Sitio Sao Francisco with his wife, son and father. The farm, located in the Alta Mogiana region in the east of Sao Paulo state, is small in comparison to the enormous estates that tend to be found in the main coffee growing regions of Brazil. The size of the farm allows Jose and his family to tend to their crop with particular care. The lot sizes and the amount of coffee picked each day is determined by the amount of space available on the drying patio next to the family house. The coffee is fully sun-dried, aided by the cool wind found at this altitude.
This year Jose has separated this 100% Yellow Catuaí lot, and it represents the very best coffee produced on the farm this year. With notes of walnut, maple syrup and banana, it is like French toast in a cup!
|Notes||Hibiscus, Orange, Caramel|
|Farmer||Jesus Albeiro Piamba Zetty|
|Origin||Finca Juan Tama, Caldona, Cauca, Colombia|
Project 121 was set up by UK based coffee importers D R Wakefield in 2013 with the aim of promoting sustainable and traceable coffees. The project teams roasters with smallholder farmers with the aim of promoting a long-term relationship. In addition to ensuring a fair price for the coffee taking into account fluctuating market conditions and costs of production, the farmers benefit from the security of knowing that they will have a buyer for their crop each year. The roasters on the other hand receive an exclusive, high-quality and fully-traceable coffee.
This is the first time we have participated in Project 121. We cupped a number of coffees grown by members of the CENCOIC cooperative in the Cauca region of Colombia. After years of armed conflict in the Cauca region, the current progress towards peace and stability has allowed groups such as CENCOIC to flourish, helping member farmers to improve the quality of their coffee and access the better prices paid by the speciality coffee market. Of the coffees that we cupped, it was the coffee grown by Jesus Albeiro Piamba Zetty that stood out with notes of hibiscus and orange.
Jesus Albeiro lives on his 0.5 hectare farm with his wife and their two children. They are part of the Nasa ethnic group who work to preserve their own culture and Páez (or Nasa Yuwe) language, part of a more widespread movement across Colombia to preserve indigenous cultural heritage. The coffee is hand-picked by Jesus and his family. On the farm it is then pulped and fermented for 15 hours in cement tanks, then washed in clean water and dried to 11.5% moisture in a parabolic drier. It is then transported to the dry mill in Popoyan where it is graded, hulled and bagged for export.
Penny Rock is our signature Great Taste Award winning seasonal espresso. Named in homage to a beauty spot on the shores of Grasmere, our spiritual home, we select Penny Rock from seasonal crop to deliver a balanced and full-bodied espresso that can be enjoyed both with and without milk. The coffee is well-developed during the roast to accentuate body and sweetness, but is tempered to allow the coffee's character room to shine through and express itself in the cup.
Our latest iteration of Penny Rock comes from Brazil's famed Fazenda Daterra. This is the first time that we have offered Penny Rock as a single-origin as opposed to a blended coffee. In the cup it delivers everything that we want Penny Rock to deliver, namely good body, sweetness, and a soft, balanced acidity. To blend for blending's sake makes no sense, so this season let us instead doff our cap to this wonderful coffee from Fazenda Daterra. With notes of chocolate, praline and nougat, it is pure satisfaction in a cup.
|Notes||Chocolate, Praline, Nougat|
|Origin||Fazenda Daterra, Patrocinio, Alto Paranaiba, Minas Gerais, Brazil|
|Process||Natural, Pulped Natural, Pulped Raisin|
|Notes||Hazelnut, Muscovado Sugar, Green Apple|
|Origin||Melkodige Estate, Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka, India|
We met Lloyd and Ben at Push Cartel in Ambleside at the beginning of 2016. Like most road cyclists they are fuelled predominantly by caffeine and they were looking for some deluxe beans to supplement their high-end bikes. After trying a few of our more subtle origins on them we soon realised that they were looking for maximum impact - for a coffee that whacks you in the chops, that gives you that extra kick, whether it's to get your bike up The Struggle, or just to get up in the morning!
Our current offering is this wonderful Selection 9 varietal from the Melkodige Estate in Karnataka, India. In the cup it has great body with notes of hazelnut, muscovado sugar and apple.
The story of Melkodige Estate started in 1945 when Alex Leo Rodrigues migrated to this beautiful area in search of better prospects. After working as a supervisor at the British run Balur Estate for a couple of years, he managed to buy a 20-acre estate in 1947. In the seventies, his son A.S. Rodrigues, armed with a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, started implementing a more scientific process of cultivation. He also expanded the estate into a 250-acre plantation. Today, his grandson Aveen Rodrigues and grand daughter-in-law Yogitha, both with MSc Horticulture degrees from the prestigious University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, scientifically manage the plantation.
All of the coffee at the Melkodige Estate is grown under a three-tier shade system. Once fully mature the cherries are hand-picked and visually sorted to remove any unripe cherries. The ripe cherries are then pulped and fully washed before being moved to raised trays to drive out surface moisture. They are then spread thinly over patio bricks and sun dried for around seven days until the desired moisture level of 11% is reached.
|Notes||White Chocolate, Sugar Cane, Peach|
|Origin||Finca La Bolsa, Huehuetenango, Guatemala|
Finca La Bolsa is located in La Libertad in the renowned Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. The land was bought by Jorge Vides, a distinguished medical professional, in 1958 as a hobby project whilst he continued to work full time as a doctor. The land was covered in forest, and Jorge proceeded to cultivate bourbon and caturra coffee varieties. In 1980, he founded a school that still runs on the farm, which has since been named after him and authorised by Ministry of Education. Four years later, Anacafé accredited Jorge as a 'Distinguished Coffee Grower' and his endeavour has seen the farm win a number of subsequent awards for coffee production and for services to the region of Huehuetenango. Jorge even had the National Hospital of Huehuetenango named after him!
The farm sits between two mountains, which provide a very stable, humid microclimate. Once picked, the ripe coffee cherries are fermented for between 18 and 24 hours. They are then cleaned of mucilage, graded in channels and soaked overnight before being sun-dried on patios. The coffee has a syrupy body in the cup with notes of white-chocolate, sugar-cane and peach.
The farm is Rainforest Alliance certified and all of the temporary and permanent staff have access to schooling for their children. The workers are incentivised to leave their children at school or nursery through food donations. When a child attends the school or nursery for 5 consecutive days they receive a weekly supply of rice, beans and corn. Prior to the introduction of this scheme it was very difficult to get people to leave their children in the care of others, and schooling wasn’t necessarily valued as there is a greater pressure to earn more money to feed the family. As a result there are no children working on the farm, and the school and nursery classes are full. Accommodation is provided for permanent and temporary workers, with separate facilities for men, women and families, bathrooms and kitchens. Sections of the farm are reserved to promote biodiversity, and to reduce exposure to wind and soil erosion. Inga trees are used as shade trees and to fix nitrogen in the soil which is essential for plant and cherry growth.
SPARKLING WATER DECAFFEINATION PROCESS
The sparkling water decaffeination procedure is a gentle, natural and organically certified process which involves the following steps:
The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
The beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.
The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.
The good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees high retention of other coffee components which contribute to taste and aroma.
|Notes||Pear Drops, White Grape, Ginger|
|Origin||Gacokwe Washing Station, Rango, Kayanza|
|Varietal||Bourbon, Jackson, Mibirizi|
Gacokwe washing station is located in the town of Rango in Burundi's Kayanza province. The washing station is supplied by roughly 2,000 coffee producers in the area, either directly, or to six local collection points that are affiliated to Gacokwe. Farmers here own less than half a hectare of land, on average, and in addition to growing coffee, they also grow crops like bananas, beans, yams, taro, and cassava, both for sale and for household use.
Due to the small size and yield of the average coffee farm or plot, washing stations are the primary point of purchase in Burundi. Unlike other coffee-growing regions in Central and South America where landholdings are slightly larger and coffee-centric resources are more available, most producers do not have space on their property or the financial means to do their own processing. Instead, the majority of growers deliver cherry to a facility - in this case, the Gacokwe washing station - that sorts, blends, and processes day lots to create different offerings.
Since 2006 our importing partner Cafe Imports has cupped coffees from more than 50 washing stations in an attempt to pinpoint those with the best practices, cleanest cups, and most high-quality nearby farms, with Gacokwe being one of those selected. In the cup this particular lot reminded us of boiled-sweets, particularly pear-drops, with additional notes of white-grape and ginger.
|Notes||Blackcurrant, Vanilla, Hops|
|Origin||New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative, Gondo Factory, Mathioya District, Murang'a County, Kenya|
|Varietal||SL28, SL34, Ruiri 11, Batian|
This stunning micro-lot from the New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative in the Mathioya District of Kenya was the highlight of this year's London Coffee Festival and was the only coffee we committed to buying right there on the spot. Sometimes a coffee comes along that is so damn tasty that you just have to get it to share with your customers, no matter the cost. Last year it was the beautiful Suke Quto from Ethiopia. This year, this is that coffee! It has all the classic hallmarks of great Kenyan coffee with intense fruit flavours, but it is also incredibly clean with a hoppy bite that made it stand out from the other Kenyans that we cupped.
The Gondo factory is owned and operated by the New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative which has 560 members. The coffee is picked and brought to the factory the same day for selection and separation, and is hand-sorted before de-pulping begins. The ripe cherries are washed using fresh water from the nearby Kananahu stream, and the coffee is sun-dried on raised beds.