Buy Peru El Platanal here. DIRECT TRADE PARTNERAlcibiades MelquiFinca El Platanal REGIONJaén ELEVATION1765-1810 m CULTIVARSCatimor, Typica HARVEST DATESJuly-September 2021 LOOK FORCocoa | Orange | Cola We have been sourcing smallholder coffees from northern Peru for well over a decade. Until we started working with the…
Don Carlos Iturralde and his family saw opportunity in an isolated region of the Bolivian Andes where others had not. None of their neighbors had planted coffee, and conventional wisdom suggested much of the farm was simply too high and too cold for coffee to thrive there. That didn’t stop Don Carlos and crew, who forged ahead anyway with a few hearty investors who shared their vision of creating a world-class coffee farm in the shadow of a snow-capped Andean volcano.
This is Moka, a compact plant with small cherry believed to be a dwarf mutation of Bourbon. It has been less thoroughly studied than other Bourbon mutations, at least in part because it is so uncommon: it is rarely encountered anywhere, and almost never on smallholder farms in the mountains of Central America like the one where this lot was grown.
There is nothing especially conspicuous about La Mina. At first glance, it is virtually indistinguishable from any of the other small coffee farms scattered across the gently rolling hills of Buesaco. But the López family’s attention to detail sets La Mina apart. The farm’s selective cherry harvesting, obsessive selection, and meticulous processing have made it one of the country’s most decorated farms — five CoE wins and counting — and an exemplary deviation from the mean.
Every winter, the sun sends forth a solar wind so fast that it makes 100-million-mile odyssey to Earth in less than two days. Millions of hyper-charged solar particles ride that wind to the north pole, where they send technicolor cascades off the outer bounds of our atmosphere. The effect is something other-worldly.
Borealis is similarly meant to mark the season and inspire awe, both with the iridescent bag and the coffee that goes inside.
At Gesha Village, Adam Overton and Rachel Samuel Overton have taken an heirloom cultivar from the primeval forests where coffee was born and processed it with a modern twist on a time-honored tradition. The result is truly superlative, a 1931 Gesha varietal lot that combines the outsize flavors of the natural process with the crisp clarity characteristic of the best washed coffees.
Yemen presents a coffee paradox. This small country in the Middle East is the true birthplace of global coffee commerce and center of origin for the more than 70 countries currently occupied by the coffee diaspora. It is home to heirloom coffee types you cannot find anywhere else on the planet, cultivated using techniques completely unique in the industry. The landscapes in many of its growing areas are so startlingly rugged, steep, and rocky that at first glance they seem downright inhospitable to plant life, much less capable of producing some of the most astonishingly flavorful coffees you’ve ever tried.
There is no place on earth that produces more tantalizing, sublimely flavorful coffees than Ethiopia. The incredible range of tastes found throughout the country is a reflection of the harmony that exists between the noble coffee tree and the environment in which it was born.
This exceptional lot came to us thanks to the persistence of the good folks at Mighty Peace Coffee, a U.S.-based importer with boots on the ground in Eastern Congo committed to the vision of coffee as an engine of economic development, environmental conservation, and peace in the region.
The Cup of Excellence (CoE) is the world’s most prestigious coffee quality competition. It identifies the most exceptional coffees grown each year in 10 countries around the world through an exhaustive process that enlists some of the most discriminating tasters in the industry over multiple rounds of evaluation. Then CoE sells the best lots at auction, usually commanding high prices and generating substantial earnings for the farmers who grew them.
In 2018, we created a social impact event we call ECWx. It repurposes the format of the Extraordinary Coffee Workshop (ECW), our regular gathering of the sprawling Intelligentsia Direct Trade community, but diverges from the ECW script in two important ways.