Jon’s coffee special features our three most popular coffees.
This bundle includes:
Ecuador Pichincha and Imbabura Chirimoya
This is small holder coffee aggregated and milled by the award winning Galo Flores and his wife Maria Alexandra Rivera, of Finca Cruz Loma.
Galo and Maria Alexandra, in addition to personally producing some of the top coffees in Ecuador also aggregate smaller producers in their region with excellent coffee to sell. This coffee is a blend of various small family farms from the Pichincha and Imbabura provinces, 150 hectares in total, sourced and curated by Galo and Maria Alexandra. “Chirimoya” is the title for the small-farm blend, in honor of the native and uniquely delicious fruit widely grown and consumed across the Andes.
Principal harvest months in Pichincha and Imbabura are June to September, but farms often continue picking through December. Ecuador’s namesake position on the Earth’s equator means that medium-altitude coffee enjoys practically a perfect year-round growing season, often with flowering and ripe cherry sharing the same branch most months. For small farms this means a small but long-term labor force to manage the slow, perfectionistic work required for such a drawn-out harvest.
Tasting Notes: A nice and clean prime example of Ecuador coffee. One can see attributes of the more common neighboring countries in the cup but it has some cool spice tones that differentiate it a bit. Hints of acidity at the lighter roasts give the cup a nice floral overtone, this would still be considered a low acidity coffee. Some nutty and chocolaty tones poke out similar to a Peru or Colombian. What differentiates this cup for the neighbors is a hint of tea like spice and pepper, gives it a little kick in the aftertaste. We found the best balance at a strong medium roast, doesn’t mute all the crisp tones upfront and gives a smooth and nutty/chocolaty treat. Gets a bit edgy into the darker roasts but really builds the body and strength of the cup, mutes more of nutty tones and pronounces the bakers chocolate and smoky tones.
Roasting Notes: Easy to roast, a nice clean and super fresh washed processed coffee. Medium to low chaff. We would avoid light roasts, this cup mostly shoots for the creamier nutty and chocolaty tones which will come out a bit underdeveloped at light roasts. Medium roasts and beyond are very tasty, balanced and low acidity.
In addition to coffee it is common for farms in this area to grow any combination of potatoes, plantains, corn, sugar cane, cacao, soursop and chirimoya, and heart of palm. As everywhere in the coffee world, harvest on small farms typically involves the whole available family as well as hired pickers. Coffee in Pichincha and Imbabura is processed at home on personal equipment and dried on hand-made structures and greenhouses. Cherry is depulped immediately after picking and fermented in sealed tanks (known as “anaerobic” fermentation) for 1-2 days. After fermentation, the parchment is thoroughly washed and moved to raised beds under shade canopy for a slow and even drying stage.
Galo and Maria Alexandra, the managers and curators of this small-farm blend, manage their own Finca Cruz Loma, a 350-hectare plot in the community of San José de Minas, a small town in the northwestern part of Pichincha, a short trip north of Quito. The estate has been in Galo’s family going back 80 years. Galo’s experience in coffee began 20 years ago working alongside his mother on the farm; he would go on to work professionally in the coffee sector, for exporters and as a project manager, before returning to full-time farming. In Galo’s words, “cultivating my coffee is an activity that allows me to apply and develop the skills and habits I’ve learned over the years; it’s also an essential resource for my family, since my wife, my daughters, and myself are all involved with the production and marketing of our coffee. Everybody in the family has a critical role in the coffee’s success.” Galo’s experience in the value chain has positioned his family well to help create opportunities for other farms by representing their coffees to exporters and directly to Royal Coffee.
Kenya Premium Kiambu AA Plus
A very fresh fly crop Kenya! A beautiful AA screen. The main season arrivals are still a couple months away but much of Kenya’s coffee trees can fruit a second time within 1 year, this is called a fly crop. Usually a smaller crop (not bean size but total volume of coffee), the quality is top notch and these beans are much fresher than any other offerings on the block, giving them a nice edge against most other Kenya’s on the market, which will be 6 months + older.
Although not a single mill lot, Kiambu coffees are always stellar, really hold that classic Kenya profile of being bright, sweet, complex with strong herbal spice.
Some close buddies at Cafe Imports put this lot together from a couple different mills in Kiambu, they did a fantastic job. Real nice crisp, bright and clean cup.
Tasting Notes: A strong cup good from light to dark. Lighter roasts are pretty acidic, lemony with a grapefruit like overtone. Some would consider light roasts a bit too front loaded with the brightness but many Kenya fans love those sharp soury floral fruity tones, this cup will not disappoint. Right at first crack one does risk a little grassy but even a city + roast bring a very clean cup with defined acidity and balance. Medium roasts are where most should start, wonderful chocolaty spice notes with hints of a grapefruit like acidity, still a potent cup but will smooth out with a couple day setup. Darker roasts really pull some strong bakers chocolate, touching or into 2nd crack mutes up most of the acidity but one will still notice some floral tones especially in the aromatics. Stout like, semi-sweet and full of potent chocolaty spice and smoky tones.
Roasting Notes: This cup like most Kenyans, its best to avoid extreme roasts, too light or too dark will highly limit the fans of this cup. Very drinkable by anyone at a nice strong medium roast, only those who love classic Kenyan coffees will like it decently light or decently dark.
Peru FTO SHB – Finca La Lima – Top Lot
Not very often do we see single farm Peru coffees. The bulk of Peru coffee is co-op production, which helps the small holders by providing knowledge and milling services so they can cater to the international market (which is good) but loses transparency and doesn’t allow for a specific operation that excels to be singled out or a sturdy relationship to be built. The single farm model we always think is best, they tend to treat the workers better, while allowing for full transparency.
Certified up the wazoo, this super fresh top lot is from producer Amado Aniceto Linares Zeballosamado of Finca La Lima located in the Yamon district of Peru’s Utcubamba region.
This coffee was grown at heights reaching 6000 feet! Amado grows the arabica varietals of Catimor, Caturra, and Pache.
Tasting Notes: A lovely, very clean tasting Peru, good from light to dark. Lighter roasts accentuate the more floral fruity aspects of the cup, medium brightness with hints of soft fruit, sweet but a bit front loaded (only light tones) in its tastes. These beans have more of a limey acidity versus the traditionally lemon like acidity, a cool unique spin. Medium roasts bring much better balance to the cup and mute up a bit of that acidity. Nutty and chocolaty tones comingle with just a hint of that lime like crispness, quite tasty and differentiates itself from other South American cups. A little hint of a red fruit tone can be found as the cup cools. Dark roasts are nice as well but much rougher, kicks the delicate smooth tones out of the cup for pretty potent semi-sweet chocolaty tones.
Roasting Notes: Medium to low chaff and even roasting, these beans fall into the easy to roast category. Tasty from light to dark being a nice clean cup. If you don’t like acidity, make sure to go for the medium to dark roast marks.