Tasting Notes: December 2021 Coffees

 Tasting Notes: December 2021 Coffees

Rogue Wave Corvus Coffee Uncommon Blossom Machina Tasting Notes

Corvus is a small batch specialty coffee roaster in Denver, who pride themselves in only working with single estate and privately owned farmers. Whilst today's 'cold brew' is a widely known term, Corvus were actually one of the very first adopters of the beverage type, such is their progressive work within the world of coffee. Simply put, Corvus were quicker to nitro cold brews than nitro ever was to Instagram.

Working directly with coffee farmers to build a supply chain of better coffee for coffee enthusiasts who are searching for exciting and interesting coffees, Corvus come superbly well respected. Arguably one of the best North America has to offer, and with unique packaging to match their discoveries, you're in for a small batch coffee treat.

Corvus Coffees  |  USA

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Finca Zapote, Guatemala Wilfredo Perez has taught us what it looks like to be a good steward of the earth. He and his workers are kind and gentle, and they deeply trust the land. I have always been so impressed by how attentive the pickers are – they're diligent about only picking the ripest cherries, and they have a lot of old trees on the farm that haven't been stumped (which is unusual!). They truly believe that if they care for the earth she will always bear the best fruit.

This culture of care and excellence, paired with rich Guatemalan soil, has given us the best version of a classic Guatemalan coffee.
Decadent, pleasantly balanced chocolate and caramel

Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
Gelena Geisha, Ethiopia Ethiopians were the first people to drink coffee, and you can easily see where the history and the future of coffee meet while sharing a beer with Israel. He embodies a deep connection to the origins of coffee, and he's "all in" on producing exceptional harvests year after year. Even though he's a large producer, he is continually looking for new ways to better his craft.

Israel Degfa showed me that passion transcends all boundaries – he is masterfully forward thinking, and he pursues excellence without any thought to alternatives. It is rare for a farmer to produce high volumes of superb Geisha, but Israel's creative processes have made this possible. Join us in Yirgacheffe where Israel has dedicated an entire farm to produce an exotic and rare variety of coffee, a really great, everyday drinking Geisha.
Delicate yet complex, sweet summer-peach and a hint of tart raspberry

Process: natural
Plus 87, Rest of World
KII AA Kenya Coffee has the ability to change people's lives in very tangible ways, especially when coffee buyers partner with leaders in a community who understand how to help their fellow farmers reach new levels of success. Finding the right partners who are already working to better the lives of those around them is one of the major keys to being a good coffee buyer.

As we began to explore Kenya a few years ago, we met a man named Fredrick who managed the Kii Rung'eto Cooperative in Kirinyaga. Fredrick was a renaissance man who saw that coffee had the ability to improve quality of life for the farmers in his cooperative and their families. He was passionate about equipping them to save and reinvest their livelihoods, so he opened a bank and created systems for them to get paid quickly and directly. When he noticed that the members were buying cows (which is a common method for holding wealth in Kenya) he also opened a dairy cooperative. This drastically catapulted peoples' ability to grow their income, and when we visited last they had outgrown their initial dairy building and purchased a larger one so they could keep expanding.

Kii has been one of our favorite coffees year after year, and the cooperative has proved to produce coffees with some of the most tropical notes from this region. It's a must-try for the flavors and vibrance in the cup, but it's also easy to appreciate for the good it has created in the lives of those who grew it.
Tropical pineapple and papaya

Process: washed
Plus 87, Rest of World
La Vega, Colombia Some areas of the world have that impossible feeling to them. They feel unconstrained by normal limits of physics and space. When you leave the small mountain town of Tarqui and begin the climb up to La Vega, you get this feeling of impossible ambition. The road is cut into green mountains whose slopes are beyond 45 degrees of inclination as far as you can see. It's what a bug on the side of a wall must feel like, and yet everywhere you look there's coffee growing!

The type of people you find in these impossible places are a unique breed. To flourish with optimism clinging to the side of a mountain is impressive. Hanging tightly as you grow coffee is a massive feat. It's up here in the clouds that we find Christian Osorio and his family. They have cut out a spot for a small house and raise their kids and care for their parents while growing some of the most spectacular coffee we've had.

Drinking this coffee is a special experience. All good coffee does good- but this one feels really personal to us. We were the first specialty roasters to buy coffee from Christian and his family, and now we buy everything they produce. In addition to our farm gate price is a 10% premium that goes back to whatever projects at the farm Christian believes will increase quality and future price. This has enabled them to build drying beds, plant new tracts of Pink Bourbon (more on this in the future! Stay tuned!), and farm without any chemicals.

This coffee is characterized by Blackberry brightness! It's a full bodied and sweet coffee - as are many Colombians - but shines with extra vibrance due to that note of Blackberry!
Blackberry, toffee and sweet chocolate

Process: washed
Single / Light, Plus 87
San Pedro, Colombia Ciro Lugo is a coffee "Llanero" through and through. A tough Colombian cowboy who embodies self-reliance, positivity, and grit. He's the type of person we created Corvus Coffee to partner with and help succeed. With or without specialty coffee buyers he would be (and was) producing the best coffee he possibly could every year. Up at the break of dawn, restless to the point where it's hard to have a conversation for more than a couple minutes before he heads to the next task, he inspires us to work harder, be better, and hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Meeting Ciro helped clarify our mission in the world. He greets you with a smile and a handshake that could crush the bones in your hand. He'll invite you immediately into his home for a meal. And as you eat at his simple table (some of the best food you'll ever have - his wife is an outstanding cook), you'll realize that this man puts his whole being into his work. He sees his coffee as a reflection of himself, and his work in light of the reverberations it will have for the future generations of his family. And for years he had no one paying him what his coffee was worth.

Over the last five years we've seen him and his son, Albiero, invest heavily in their coffee processing systems. They've been able to expand drying beds, add living quarters for pickers who work at their farm, upgrade their processing equipment, and invest in additional land and varieties.

This coffee is one of our proudest partnerships. We exist to showcase coffees like this; great without the story, but the love we have for this family makes the cup ten times better. It's characterized every year by a buttery smooth mouthfeel, apricot like acidity, and dominate brown sugar sweetness.
Buttery molasses and orange

Process: washed
Rest of World
Halcyon Blend, Latin America Halcyon is a blend created for richness and balance. It's designed to be a chocolatey, full bodied cup of coffee with just enough acidity to lift the flavor but not overpower the experience. It's currently a blend of a single estate Brazil, San Pedro from Colombia, and natural Sonora from Costa Rica. Full body, dried fruit and chocolate

Process: washed
Single / Light, Blend / Darker
Boji Bonde, Ethiopia Ethiopians were the first people to drink coffee, and you can easily see where the history and the future of coffee meet while sharing a beer with Israel. He embodies a deep connection to the origins of coffee, and he's "all in" on producing exceptional harvests year after year. Even though he's a large producer, he is continually looking for new ways to better his craft.

He introduced me to Lemu, the engineer who oversees Boji. Lemu joked about joked about how he "retired 5 years ago," but has yet to actually leave his position because of the community of people and continual innovation that happen here. Join us in Kochere to celebrate the people who are pioneering one of the first Carbonic coffees in Ethiopia.
Orange and peach

Process: natural
Single / Light

Recently named Canada's National Brewing Cup champions, as well as 5th placing at the World Brewers Cup Championship, there isn't very much that Rogue Wave don't know about coffee. With a tireless obsession, Rogue Wave bring you delicious and exciting coffee from around the world and roast it to as exacting a degree as possible.

Rogue Wave also endeavour to bridge the gap that often exists between roasted beans as a product and the cup of coffee that marks the end of a roasted bean's journey. As such, Rogue Wave are continually taking a deep dive into the science and craft of brewing - it is a descent that they will likely never truly find the bottom of and they find this never-ending aspect of the journey both exciting and reassuring, one they want to share with you. Simply, they cannot imagine coffee without innovation and a quest to be better.

For a deeply satisfying cup of coffee when brewing at home, say hello to Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave Coffees  |  Canada

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Duraznales, Guatemala Antonio Tomas is a second-generation coffee producer in San Antonio Huista in Huehuetenango region. Before the harvest Antonio focuses on the post-harvest practices and trains his pickers to be motivated for the harvest time. During the harvest he makes sure the cherries are picked when ripe and de-pulped the same day of the picking. After the de-pulping the coffee is being fermented with water for 36 hours in ceramic tanks, washed and soaked for another 12 hours in water. Eventually the coffee is dried in the sun on a patio for six days. Every day during the harvest Antonio makes sure the sacks, de-pulpers and patios are cleaned.

The name of Antonio’s farm, Los Duraznales, comes from the peach variety Duraznal, which Antonio’s farm had growing on it before cultivating coffee plants. There are some of these plants still left which create shade for the coffee trees.

“I started growing coffee 30 years ago with barely 300 plants. Seeing the profitability we continued to plant more. In the beginning we had very small de-pulpers which we turned with our hands and instead of the fermentation tanks we used wooden canoes. In 2010 and 2011 we suffered from the rust but through the training with ASIAST we have managed good results”, tells Antonio.
Plum, cocoa, toffee and almond

Altitude: 1700 masl, Process: washed
Rest of World, Selected Mix
Finca El Pastoral, Nicaragua Coming soon Guava, cocoa, plum, melon and botanicals

Process: honey processed
Plus 87
Santa Maria, Colombia The Santa Maria microlot blend is named after the Santa Maria municipality that is located in the northwest region of the Huila department. This area lies on the central range of the Andes mountains where it receives fresh water from the Baché river and the Saldaña river basin. There are around 1,784 coffee farms residing in this area, which represents 85% of Santa Maria's economy. The advantage in this area is that it is in close proximity to Colombia's highest volcano, the Nevado del Huila, which provides a unique terroir and clean ecosystem for high quality specialty coffee production. Other common crops grown in this area include bamboo, avocado, citrus fruits, and banana trees. Cranberry, cocoa, almond, caramel and mandarin

Altitude: 1700 - 2000 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Basha Gansamo Bombe Village, Ethiopia This coffee was produced by Basha Gansamo as part of the producing group started by Asnake Bekele and Aklilu Admassu. They focused on quality and advancing coffee processing method and traceability of single-producer Ethiopia coffee.

Asnake has been in coffee for many years and was the pioneer of the use of African raised beds in the drying process of coffee to increase the quality. African raised beds are now being used world wide to dry coffee. Asnake had also helped organized several producer group in collaboration with Catalyst Trade, in various part of Ethiopia. Basha Gansamo farm is also part of the latest project of single producers collaboration in Sidama Region.

Asnake said "Red Cherries are harvested by hand-picking. This is very labor intensive, and around 86 seasonal and daily laborers are employed for selective harvesting, transporting, sorting and drying. Pickers may have to return to the same tree multiple times as the coffee cherries don't ripen all at the same time. Carefully harvested cherries are then are loaded into bags or baskets and taken to the drying location. The cherries are spread out in thin layers to dry in the sun. Only special raised drying beds or tables, which are made out of wood posts, are used and covered in bamboo mat. In order to ensure even drying and to avoid mold, fermentation or rotting, the cherries are turned 6 times per day. It could take 15 – 21 days for specific lots to reach optimum moisture content depending on the sun access and temperature. This is determined by observing brightness of the skin and cracking sample dried cherries by teeth. When the drying is complete, the dried cherries are loaded into poly bags and stored in temporary warehouse. It will then ultimately transported to the dry mill and warehouse located at Daye town.” At that point the dried cherry is removed and a phase of pre-cleaning is done by hand before the coffee is loaded into bags for transportation to Addis Ababa for further export preparation at the final dry mill.
Apricot, raspberry, orange soda and white wine

Altitude: 1900 - 2200 masl, Process: natural
Rest of World
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica The full name is Santa Teresa 2000, because its located at 2000 meters where the air is cold, the wind is of medium intensity and the coffee plants are incredibly gorgeous.

The operation is run by a father-son combo, Roger and Alex Ureña. They are two humble gentlemen who are well-versed in coffee processing. They have 13 small farms throughout the Dota Valley that collectively add up to about 30 hectares. The recurring theme of these farms is the high altitude, 1600m and above, and exotic varieties planted throughout them, including Geisha, Pacamara, Villalobos, Ethiopia, Typica, Mejorado, and more.
Toffee, strawberry, orange and chocolate

Altitude: 2000 masl, Process: white honey
Plus 87, Rest of World
Qore Biloya, Ethiopia Approximately 340 smallholder farmers from the area around Qore Biloya bring their cherries to the washing station, where coffees are accepted or rejected based on quality and then sorted by hand before pulping. Like in most of Ethiopia, growers in the Kochere district are smallholders, aka “garden farmers,” so called because most of them are producing coffee in the “garden” areas around their homes, and often harvesting cherries from coffee occurring naturally on the land where they live. Farm sizes tend to be between .5 to 2 hectares in size on average, though occasionally can reach upwards of 10 hectares. The average yearly yield in green coffee from the smaller farms is around 2 to 4 bags, and may be the family’s main cash crop.

A few miles south of Yirgacheffe lies the district of Kochere, and while the geography may be similar, it is an entity all its own. Built in 2003, the Qore Biloya washing station has been operating for many years, and in 2018 passed into new ownership. The station employs seasonal workers during coffee harvest to help sort and process the ripe cherries.The washingstation processes both washed and natural coffees, with around 140 raised, mesh-lined drying beds to receive the beans once they’ve been carefully sorted and processed. Qore Biloya station produces both washed coffees and naturals. Natural coffee beans spend an average of 21 days in the intense Ethiopian sun, turned daily by workers to facilitate even drying. Once optimal moisture level is reached and the beans are stabilized, these natural coffees are dry hulled to remove the dried coffee fruit. At thispoint, both washed and natural coffees in the parchment stage are bagged and transported to the company’s processing plant in the capital city of Addis Ababa. This huge facility is equipped with modern machines for processing—cleaning, polishing, screening, color sorting and more.
Watermelon, meyer lemon, peach, orange and honey

Altitude: 1700 masl, Process: washed
Rest of World
Finca La Florida, Colombia Coming soon Grape, honey, cocoa powder and plum

Process: decaf

Machina was founded when it's founder decided to move on from the music industry and follow a new path. Coffee fitted the bill perfectly ~ less travel, but still bringing people together through a collective experience and still focusing on a creative passion that he could share with everyone.

Around 2004 the Edinburgh coffee scene had just started to enter the 'third wave', but it was definitely in its humble beginnings of hipster-dom, which was not really what the founder had in mind for Machina. With various Scottish barista qualifications under his belt, and drawing inspiration from coffee scenes around the world, be it Wellington and Auckland, LA, Portland and NYC through to Tokyo, London and more, Machina was born with a philosophy more akin to developing a new style driven by aesthetics and knowledge.

Today, Machina find themselves as a core part of Scotland's coffee scene, with an aspiration for even more.

Machina Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
Popayan, Colombia Replacing the hugely popular La Plata, this is another washed Colombian from the exact same region and has also been decaffeinated with the Sugar Cane Process. While La Plata had a heavy Muscavado like body, Popayan has a slightly more balanced profile, with less emphasis on just body and more of an even balance across body and sweetness. Expect a rich, but very sweet tasting decaf with a smooth cashew like mouthfeel.

Popayan is located in the South West of Colombia, and is the capital of the wider Cauca department. It sits between the Western and the Central Mountain Range. This coffee is grown across various farms across the Popayan region of Colombia, before being transported to Caldas in Paisa to be decaffeinated. Decaffeinating the coffee in Colombia means that more of the profits stay in the country of origin, while also reducing the extra costs and food miles that incur when coffee is shipped to decaffeination plants in countries such as Mexico, Canada or Germany.
Brown sugar, cashew and tangerine

Altitude: 1500 - 2070 masl, Process: sugarcane decaf (EA)
Villaure, Guatamela Finca Villaure is a coffee that comes from one of our favourite suppliers, who only offer coffee from Guatemala. It's a fantastic example of a premium washed coffee from Guatemala — rich, sweet and smooth, full of milk chocolate and almond flavours and a hint of pear. It's a great all rounder coffee, which sits amazingly well served as espresso or in a cafetiere. A coffee for everyone.

This is the filter roast, which is roasted considerably lighter. This version is much more delicate and brighter cup. It offers a more refreshing profile, with a layer of almond, supported by a red apple acidity.

This coffee is produced by Villatoro Aurelio, of which ’Vill’ and ‘Aure’ make 'Villaure'. Since day one, he worked hard and dedicated his time to producing high quality coffee. He has been awarded many national and international awards. Villaure has competed in the Cup of Excellence four times. He has also been awarded by Illy as the Best Farmer in Guatemala and Best Farmer in Huehuetenango.
Almond, pear and milk chocolate

Altitude: 1380 - 1750 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Halo Beriti, Ethiopia Halo Beriti is our latest of the new season of Ethiopian coffee. It's light, sweet, floral, and gently acidic - emblematic of washed coffee from the famous Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. This particular coffee is a result of the collective effort of hundreds of smallholder farmers, and truly showcases how delicious coffee can be from regional lots, as opposed to single estate coffees.

Halo Beriti is named for the washing station, which processes coffee cherries from around 750 smallholder farmers. Each farmer typically grows on less than one hectare of land, sometimes as little as one eighth of a hectare. In pooling their harvests and processing as a whole, no farmer relies on singularly producing enough coffee for export in order to make a living. Both cherries and beans are thoroughly sorted by hand at the receiving and drying part of the process, meaning only the best beans make it to your cup.
Nectarine, sweet jasmine and honey

Altitude: 2100 - 2300 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Clockwork v6.2, Colombia A great all-rounder, Clockwork is made up of two seasonal lots. From Brazil, Salto Estate, is a naturally processed coffee of the Yellow Bourbon varietal that gives Clockwork its body and creamy mouth-feel. We have paired this with a Colombian regional lot called La Union, a washed coffee of the Castillo, Caturra and Colombia varietal. This coffee brings tangy sweetness to the blend, as well as giving it a layer of complexity to counter the body.

Created to offer a speciality grade blend to those needing a great all-rounder, it’s a versatile and easy to use coffee that can be served black or white in a range of brewing styles. It offers great body and sweetness, but also has a good level of acidity that is not overpowering. It's sits well as either a classic flat white, an old school moka pot or a Sunday cafetiere.

From Brazil, Salto Estate is a naturally processed coffee of the Yellow Bourbon varietal that gives Clockwork its body and creamy mouth-feel. This is paired with a Colombian regional lot called La Union, a washed coffee of the Castillo, Caturra and Colombia varietal. This coffee brings tangy sweetness to the blend, as well as giving it a layer of complexity to counter the body.
Milk chocolate, honeycomb and malt biscuit

Altitude: 1080 - 2100 masl, Process: natural, washed
Blend / Darker
Jose Filadelfo, Honduras Jose Filadelfo is a real find of a coffee. It's a washed single estate Honduran of the Catimor, Catuai and Lempira varietals, produced by Jose Filadelfo Garcia Jimenez. Honduras is an origin that is fast becoming one of our favourites, and definitely one to watch for years to come. As a guide, expect a well balanced cup, that is as sweet as it is pleasantly acidic. It has a smooth chocolatey body, uplifted by a mix of orange tang and honey sweetness. We think Jose Filadelfo is going to be another huge coffee that will be enjoyed by all, across a range of coffee drinkers and brew methods. This filter roast is a great all rounder coffee that we think will really hit the spot for filter machines, Aeropress and cafetieres.

Jose Filadelfo Garcia Jimenez first began growing coffee at 23 years old, when he inherited approximately 1/3 sq m of farming land. Everything he learned about growing coffee - how to plant a nursery, how to sow coffee in the final field, how to manage a coffee farm - came from his time working on other people's farms in the area. Together with his stepfather, also a coffee producer, he learned how to pulp his coffee, and through years of hard work managed to expand his farm, and now grows on an area of 4 hectares.
Chocolate, orange and honey

Altitude: 1500 masl, Process: washed
Blend / Darker, Single / Light
Capucas, Honduras Capucas is another real find of a coffee. It's a washed Honduran of the Catuai varietal, produced by Cooperativa Cafetalera. Honduras is an origin that is fast becoming one of our favourites. It's sourced through the same channels as our Cosecha Azul coffee, representing a great example of regional lot coffee that offers not just great quality, but also a fantastic story of socio-economic benefits that we are proud to be associated with.

Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (Cocafcal) or Capucas as they are better known, is situated on and around the Celaque mountain, which is the highest peak in Honduras. Capucas was founded in 1999 by Jose Omar Rodriguez and takes its name from the local town of Las Capucas. In 2004 Omar was chosen to become the general manager, a role he continues today.

The cooperative has many initiatives to improve the lives of workers and the local community, for example; they pay for a GP to treat workers for free in their health centre which is in the centre of Las Capucas. In 2016 Capucas partnered with the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) to provide a university education, the virtual classroom was opened in the community of Capucas in a rural part of San Pedro Copan, UNAH provide the technical support, teachers and subject matter for the students. They also have a football academy which is free to join and a virtual library for members, children and partners of Capucas Cooperative.
Cocoa butter, caramel and hazelnut

Altitude: 1450 - 1600 masl, Process: washed
Blend / Darker
Ruarai, Kenya Ruarai from the Ruthaka Farmers Cooperative Society is the first of our new season Kenyan coffees from our amazing suppliers Nordic Approach, a coffee hunter that is renowned for sourcing some of the best coffees in the world. It's a prime example of how good a washed Kenyan can be, amongst the vast range of lots that are on offer. 2021 was a year that (in our humble opinion), Kenyan coffee was maybe not at it's best. There are years when selection is hard, simply due to how many amazing lots there are on offer. This year it was more a case of lots of underwhelming coffees, with just a few that really stood out as exceptional. This is one of those lots.

Nordic Approach have the experience and reach to find exceptional lots that seem to go beyond what many others can source. This often means that they (and we) pay beyond the market rate for these coffees, but the resulting coffees are not just good, but amazing quality.

The name Ruarai is taken from the name of the washing station that the coop's coffee cherries are processed in. This is a common occurrence in Kenya, where most small holder farms are not large enough to produce whole lots themselves. So instead the coffee name tends to get taken form the farm name as a collective effort. Ruarai is a Kikuyu name meaning “a place of rocks” due to the rocks in the river that flows alongside the factory. Within the vicinity of the factory, there is the famous Gakindu open-air market, which deals with farm produce and livestock.
Strawberry jam and brown Sugar

Altitude: 1780 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87

Every coffee has its own uncommon story; its own unique microclimate, variety, altitude, and processing methods. Based in Amsterdam, Uncommon Coffee's ethos is building close relationships with the people who produce their coffee. In their quest to learn more about their producers and their land, Uncommon have witnessed countless instances of crop disease, unpredictable rainfall, and price fluctuations. More importantly, they've seen the exceptional accomplishments, bravery, and creativity that their producers and their communities show in the face of such complex environmental and socio-economic challenges. Uncommon have the privilege to share these untold stories with you; stories that are as rich and diverse as the terrain from which the coffee cherries grow. Uncommon are excited for you to be part of this ongoing journey - each cup is a homage to the legends behind these remarkable and uncommon coffees.

In their Amsterdam cafe, such a place is that of vibrance and friendliness in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the exciting city. The aesthetically calming interior of Uncommon's space in the heart of Amsterdam invites you to take a moment out of your busy day to highten different senses.

Uncommon Coffees  |  Netherlands

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
El Palto, Peru This sweet organic coffee supports women's equity in the Amazon. Peru, in our opinion, is one of the most exciting origins at the moment; boasting high elevation, great washing stations, heaps of organic coffees and increasing cup scores year after year. Last year this coffee was already great - sweet and syrupy - but this year it is extra juicy, vibrant and more refined; expect tasting notes of dark chocolate, orange zest and molasses. We are very excited to work with El Palto another year in a row. This coffee is organic, rainforest alliance certified and supports women's equity and agricultural projects to protect indigenous forests. The Mujeres program helps women develop their skills in decision making, leadership, entrepreneurial management and teamwork. Dark chocolate, orange and molasses

Altitude: 1300 - 1800 masl, Process: washed
Blend / Darker
Los Nubarrones Java, Nicaragua This smooth, stonefruit like cup showcases the aromatic Java variety from its reclaimed farm beautifully. Like most coffee farms in Nicaragua Los Nubarrones has a rocky past. Mariano and Emir’s story is no exception! From 1975 to 1979, the Nicaraguan revolution hit the entire country, but it was even more intense at the Honduran border where this farm is located. This forced the family to emigrate to the USA. They returned to Ocotal six years later to find that their house and much of their farmland had been seized by the government.

From the 70 hectares of land they previously owned, the Government kindly returned 5.6 Hectares to Mariano and Emir. Due to low coffee prices the Montealegre family decided to grow speciality and create their own dry mill in addition to the wet mill, adding value to their product. Having this milling station so nearby allows them to process the coffee without delaying, this often leads to a higher quality cup. Their mill submits lots to the national Cup of Excellence every year, and always ranks highly!
Aromatic, lychee and peach

Altitude: 1600 - 1700 masl, Process: natural
Plus 87
Kiangai AA, Kenya A super bright, layered, luscious cup by a sustainably proactive coop. This Kenya is like sipping on fruit juice - there’s no other way of putting it! A super bright, layered, luscious cup, tasting like blood orange, rhubarb and blackcurrant. From the village of Kiangai in Central Kenya comes our newest micro-lot, Kenya Kiangai AA. This bourbon-typica varietal is grown high in the rich volcanic soils near Mount Kenya where the climate produces two distinct harvest seasons. Once the coffee cherries are picked by hand, they are taken to a centralized wet mill to be washed, pulped, fermented, and dried in the sun. The beans are then transferred to a dry mill for further processing and grading. Blood orange and lemon curd

Altitude: 1700 - 1800 masl, Process: washed
Plus 87
Las Lajas, Costa Rica A sweet, vibrant cup, honey processed by this legendary organic farm. This year we are featuring two honey style processes from Las Lajas! This Red Honey is rotated more often leading to a sweet focused cup. We taste candy floss, blackberries, and red grape. The owners of Las Lajas, Oscar and Francisca Chacón, are third-generation coffee producers. After losing their father due to a pesticide-caused illness, the two made the conscious decision to start growing the coffee organically. To this day, Las Lajas remains one of the only certified organic farms in Costa Rica. The couple is seriously committed to quality and innovation, and are also among the very first farmers in Costa Rica to produce Honey and Natural process specialty coffee. The Chacons produce a wide range of Honey process coffees, modulating the drying time in order to create different effects in the cup. Plum and raspberry

Altitude: 1450 - 1600 masl, Process: red honey
Rest of World
Suke Quto, Ethiopia (Natural) This funky, organic Ethiopian is blockchain-based and finances new schools for surrounding villages. Refined, juicy natural with raspberry jam notes finishing with a crisp acidity. Suke Quto is a progressive washing station made up of 171 small holders. Over the years we have always loved the profile of Suke Quto and this year's harvest is no exception! This refined, balanced natural is super jammy and has a beautifully crisp acidity. Owner Tesafye is focused on environmentally friendly coffee and on the economic growth of the community. He keeps the soil in shape by organic recycling through litterfall, root residue from coffee and shade trees. Suke Quto coffees are all Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. Sweet, raspberry and white chocolate

Altitude: 1700 - 2100 masl, Process: natural
Selected Mix
Suke Quto, Ethiopia (Honey) This dynamic, honey-processed, organic Ethiopian is blockchain-based and finances local schools. Suke Quto is a progressive washing station made up of 171 small holders. Over the years we have always loved the profile of Suke Quto and this year's harvest is no exception! This refined, balanced natural is super jammy and has a beautifully crisp acidity. Owner Tesafye is focused on environmentally friendly coffee and on the economic growth of the community. He keeps the soil in shape by organic recycling through litterfall, root residue from coffee and shade trees. Suke Quto coffees are all Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. Fudgey and sticky peach

Altitude: 1700 - 2100 masl, Process: honey
Rest of World, Plus 87
Suke Quto, Ethiopia (Washed) This bright, washed, organic Ethiopian is blockchain-based and finances new schools for surrounding villages. Expect a clean and charismatic washed Ethiopian with notes of candy lemon, earl grey and butterscotch. Suke Quto is a progressive washing station made up of 171 small holders. Over the years we have always loved the profile of Suke Quto and this year's harvest is no exception! This refined, balanced natural is super jammy and has a beautifully crisp acidity. Owner Tesafye is focused on environmentally friendly coffee and on the economic growth of the community. He keeps the soil in shape by organic recycling through litterfall, root residue from coffee and shade trees. Suke Quto coffees are all Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. Clean, candy lemon, pineapple and butterscotch

Altitude: 1700 - 2100 masl, Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix

A very sustainability-focussed speciality coffee roasters in the heart of Manchester, Blossom have the aim of making good coffee simple, exciting and accessible, and doing so in a way that is responsible towards people and the planet. Blossom simply want people to fall in love with speciality coffee and encourage everyone to be part of a movement that helps to protect it for future generations.

With a Pending B-Corp certification to their name, whilst not yet fully certified, to make it even this far means passing a rigorous, independently assessed certification process, for which it's members are required to meet the highest standards of transparency, accountability and social and environmental performance. Kudos to Blossom, let's raise a cup of good luck to them soon becoming fully certified...

Blossom Coffees  |  UK

Coffee Story Notes & Essentials Packages
La Estrella Decaf, Colombia Coming soon Apricot, brown sugar and orange zest

Process: decaf (EA)
Festive Brew, Mexico For our first ever Christmas coffee, we’re delighted to share this beautiful lot grown in the south of Mexico by Adonai Sanchez. Sweet, smooth and satisfying, this is the kind of comforting coffee that is perfect for the festive season, and one that we could drink every day. In the cup, we find a balanced profile reminding us of sticky dates and caramel, lifted by a soft citrus acidity.

Adonai Perez Sanchez’s farm is located in Amatenango de la Frontera, Chiapas, on the far southern border of Mexico, mere steps from Guatemala’s famous coffee producing region of Huehuetenango. Chiapas shares many key characteristics with the growing conditions for which Huehuetenango is renowned, from the climate and volcanic soils to the high altitude mountains where the farms are located – in Adonai’s case, the Sierra Madre de Chiapas.

Amatenango de la Frontera is not a well-known region within the speciality coffee industry, but we believe the quality of coffees from this area is comparable to any other in Central America. Together with our importing partners Osito, we look forward to exploring and sharing these coffees for many years to come.
Dates, clementine and caramel

Process: washed
Blend / Darker, Selected Mix
Chelichele, Ethiopia The arrival of fresh Ethiopian coffee to the roastery is one of the highlights of the year and we’re so pleased to be sharing beautiful coffee once again from Chelichele, a washing station which showcases everything that we love about this origin. With complex aromas of jasmine and bergamot and a delicate yet juicy cup profile reminding us of fresh stone fruit, this washed lot from Chelichele is an absolute classic.

This coffee was produced by smallholders who deliver to the Worka Chelichele washing station, located in the village of Chelichele in the district of Kochere, which in turn is located within the famous region of Yirgacheffe. Most farmers surrounding the station own very small areas of land, (many counting their coffee farms in terms of trees rather than area), and selective handpicking is often done by the immediate family. Farming methods in the region remain traditional, and most are organic by default as farmers in Yirgacheffe typically use very few (if any) fertilisers or pesticides.

After harvesting and delivery to the station, the coffee cherries are pulped and fermented for 36-48 hours, before being washed, cleaned and transferred to raised drying beds, where they are left to dry for 18 days. The results are immaculate and we’re so happy to be drinking fresh Ethiopian coffee once again.
Bergamot, apricot and jasmine

Process: natural
Single / Light, Selected Mix, Plus 87
El Mirador, El Salvador Beautifully balanced and sweet with a juicy, round texture, we’re so pleased to be sharing coffee from producer Fernando Lima for the first time. Roasted with espresso brewing in mind, El Mirador is clean and juicy, reminding us of honey and milk chocolate with a soft orange acidity.

El Mirador, named after the view towards Lake Coatepeque, is located in Palo de Campana in the Santa Ana region of western El Salvador. The still active Santa Ana volcano not only provides rich and fertile soil, but also a microclimate of dry winters and warm summer in a country otherwise dominated by tropical weather. After harvesting, this bourbon variety was washed and then dried on patios at Fernando’s own mill, Los Balcanes, the results of which are a classic representation of El Salvador coffee.

Fernando Lima is a producer with a legendary reputation for high quality production, as proven by the record number of Cup of Excellence wins throughout his career. This is the first of several coffees that we have sourced from Fernando this season, selected not only for their excellent cup profiles, but because of the openness and transparency of those involved in the supply chains and the great potential for developing a long-term relationship with the Lima family.
Orange, honey and milk chocolate

Process: washed
Single / Light, Selected Mix
Blossom Espresso, Brazil The idea when building Blossom Espresso is simple: to create a clean, sweet and consistent espresso blend which you can rely on, all year round. While the components change seasonally, the flavour profile remains constant and is always packed with sweetness, round in body and with an emphasis on great balance. In this latest iteration we’ve paired Pe de Cedro and Las Laderas, the result of which is a blend which we think tastes like caramel, milk chocolate and plum jam.

60% of the latest iteration comes from Edson Morais de Barros at his farm Pe de Cedro in the Mantiqueira de Minas region of Brazil. Unlike most traditional farms in Brazil, all harvesting at Pe de Cedro is done manually. One of the essential practices is processing cherries the same day of harvesting, and in this case, Pe de Cedro uses a classic Pinhalense machine for de-pulping, which removes the cherry skin and almost all mucilage from the parchment before going to the drying patio. The result of Edson’s thoughtful processing is a fantastically clean coffee, which provides the blend with a creamy texture and pleasing sweet notes of caramel and chocolate.

The remaining 40% of the blend comes from Las Laderas, a farm owned by Fernando Lima in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador. This is a coffee which we’ve been excited to bring to the UK since we first started making plans with our El Salvador importing partners, Volcafe, early last year. Fernando is a vastly experienced producer with a reputation for producing the highest quality coffees, and we’re looking forward to coffee from the Lima family forming a core part of our offering for many years to come. This coffee is sweetness-forward, adding a ripe fruit character and a soft, clean acidity to the blend.
Caramel, milk chocolate and plum

Process: washed
Blend / Darker, Selected Mix

Coffee Subscriptions. Enjoy

GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.

GUSTATORY Curation TeamDecember 03, 2021