Jon’s coffee special features three of our most popular coffees.
This bundle includes:
Guatemalan Premium Huehue. – Francisco Mendez Top Lots
The Mendez family produces some fantastic offerings. Good buddies with Edwin from FVH (whos coffee is not going to arrive until August), we have loved some of the other family members coffee before but this is our first lot direct from Francisco.
Francisco, along with his uncles Gabino and Gilberto, work an entire mountainside side of a mountain in remote Northwest Huehuetenango. While working in coffee alongside family members is not rare in Guatemala, the depth of collaboration and transparency with which they partner is remarkable. Year after year, they share successes and misses, working together to make each other’s lots thrive. They operate like a co-op, each member making their contributions.
Of the three, Gabino is focused most on quality improvements, so he travels to Guatemala City to take courses at Anacafe, learning about innovations in varieties and processing. Recently, he implemented his learning by lengthening the washing channels on their central wet mill to improve processing, and this year’s crop showcases brighter, crisper profiles as a result. Another example is shade: Gabino utilizes mostly Chalum shade, as Gravilea trees make the soil more acidic. Chalum leaves biodegrade four times faster than Gravilea leaves, and he and his sons are monitoring the longer-term soil impacts as a result. Francisco Florencio supports his uncles with the water from his ground springs, and Gilberto makes structural improvements around the farm. Gabino’s sons have also studied soil science, and support with soil analysis and fertilizer on each lot. The result is that each lot improves significantly and all family members benefit.
This harvest, we worked with the Mendez family to carefully blend lots based on cupping, analysis, and conversation, keeping each member’s lots separated to showcase their work. Francisco’s small lots, including El Barranco, El Peñazco and La Joyada, create a distinct creamy sweet, caramel and pear profile.
Tasting Notes: A great cup of Guatemalan coffee, not too acidity, a real sweet edge to this cup. Good from light to dark. Lighter roasts show a little more tart apple like acidity with just hints of a darker tone. Medium roasts have a nice sugary sweetness upfront, medium bodied, low acidity with more of a creamy malty tone that gives some hints of caramel. The winning roast level in our book. The beans hold a dark roast very nicely, touching 2nd crack did not introduce too much smoky or roasty tones, still sweet but much stronger, hints of a winy floral aspect mixing with darker chocolate and malty-ness.
Roasting Notes: A nice medium roasts presents this cup at its best – lighter roasts give a bit more crispness but lacked darker tone balance. Medium roasts have the best balance and will make anyone happy. Dark roasts will get a bit stronger without being a roasty smoke bomb, which many will love as well.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Washed – Gedeb Worka – Daniel Mijane Gr. 1
Recent changes in the Ethiopian export rules have opened new opportunities to develop relationships with vertically integrated suppliers. Mijane Woresa, who has worked in coffee for more than 30 years, recently seized on the opportunity and establish an export company along with his sons, which allows them to directly offer lots from their two washing stations, Halo Hartume and Worka-Sakaro, located within the Gedeb district.
Tasting Notes: This Ethiopian cup is a bit more delicate and complex than your average Ethiopian. Light & medium roasts are where this cup will shine.
Decent brightness, stronger lemony/floral tone, some soft fruit accents down the peach and grapefruit alley. Stellar aromatics, jasmine & lavender with a little spice note, I love grinding awesome Ethiopians. The lighter tones pull some balance with spice/tea chocolate undertones, traditional for a bean from the Yirgacheffe region.
Medium roasts really mellow out the acidity and reduce the fruit tone, create a bit more body and a much more recognizable chocolaty factor. A very smooth, balanced and rich cup with exotic highlights. Darker roast burn out all the fruity and acidic notes, gets a little smoky roasty with strong bakers chocolate, unique aromatics but much more plain tasting cup.
Roasting Notes: Easy to roast and shines at the lighter roast points. Good to get a little past first crack but will dull in its tastes if you get it too dark or too close to 2nd crack. Even roasting with medium to low chaff. A longer setup time will promote a greater depth of flavor but will taste real good the next morning after roasting.
Worka Sakaro is a small municipality located on the eastern edge of the Gedeb district, part of the highly-coveted Gedeo Zone, a narrow section of plateau dense with savvy farmers whose coffee is known as “Yirgacheffe”, after the zone’s most famous district. Worka Sakaro’s contributing farmers number 410, and farm sizes range from 1 to 10 hectares. The Mijane family’s involvement with farmers begins long before harvest in the form of harvest trainings and the establishment of seasonal cherry collection sites—local delivery points that reduce overland travel for farmers and provide a quality inspection point for the washing station. During harvest season, bulk deliveries come in from the collection sites around 6pm, where Worka Sakaro staff conducts a final inspection for uniform ripeness, foreign matter, and overall quality, before admitting cherry to the evening’s processing. After depulping, coffee typically ferments for 48 hours, is rinsed, and then skin-dried in the shade until no longer wet to the touch. Once ready to transport, skin-dry parchment is moved to full-time drying beds in the sun where it will be continuously rotated and aerated for one week, and typically covered during the hottest hours of the day, 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when the intensity of the sun can potentially crack the coffee’s brittle parchment.
As a family owned business, Mijane and his sons emphasize social impact in the communities where they source coffee. They have invested in more localized cherry collection sites to reduce the transportation cost for small producers. Mijane’s family have also contributed to road construction projects that make travel for everyone a bit easier. They are also responding to the local needs for investing in school infrastructure projects and making sure the children have equipment to play sports.
Mexican Chiapas Nueva Paraiso La Concordia
Mount Everest comes to mind when looking for words to describe coffees from Chiapas. And even though Chiapas has coffee production reaching an impressive 1700 meters above sea level near the El Triunfo biosphere reserve, we’re not talking about elevation when we say Mount Everest. Rather, the reference is to the level of difficulty in cultivating heirloom varieties like bourbon and typica despite the devastating toll of leaf rust throughout Mexico.
Getting our hands on some of the best coffee from Chiapas is no accident. Rather, results come from a complex and meaningful supply chain. This particular lot was sourced from Azahar, a trading partner we first discovered in Colombia. Azahar has taken their model to Mexico and established a network of growers who understand the specialty market potential, and markets their coffee directly to buyers internationally on a quality-based pricing scale. Price transparency is at the core of Azhar’s trading ethics. The producers of this particular lot were paid $2.45 per pound for their dried parchment. Which is pretty crazy high for Mexican coffee.
Each producer uses their own micro-mill to depulp, ferment and wash their harvest coffee and then dry the coffee in the sun on patios before transporting the coffee in parchment to a centrally located dry mill facility where the coffee is prepared for export.
Tasting Notes: A stellar Mexican & great daily drinker! Very nice and chocolaty cup of coffee with some nutty accents and a hint of caramel. A clean lemony floral crispness upfront, only at the light to medium roasts, accentuates as the cup cools. A great cup from light to dark. Lighter roasts promote the floral crispness, caramel like tone, and nuttiness of the cup. Medium to dark will promote the more chocolate like tones, reducing the floral/caramel. Dark roasts into 2nd crack have some complimenting roasty notes and will be fuller bodied and very chocolaty.
Roasting Notes: An easy coffee to roast. Medium chaff, nice screen and pretty even roasting. This cup will mostly appeal to medium and dark roast fans. A little longer setup helps smooth out a bit of acidity if you roast it a bit too light for your preference.
Bill M. –
I always love this coffee. It has a lovely and complex flavor. No one element dominates. I like to roast it medium to medium dark. Each pound I roast is a different variety, but every time I roast this one, both my wife and I absolutely love it.