Sugar Glider, like all our seasonal espresso blends, is named for an animal as relentless as we are. When it locates sugary treats — tree sap, nectar, fruit — its descends in style to satisfy its sweet tooth. We enjoy the annual exercise of building this espresso blend from scratch because it places a heavy emphasis on sweetness while also exploring the most suitable accent notes.
Tag: New Releases
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.
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.
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.
The story of Geisha starts in 1931, when a group of botanists on an expedition in the forests of southwestern Ethiopia collected coffee seed from an area referred to by locals as Gesha. By the middle of the 20th century, descendants of the seeds they collected had made their way to a research center in Costa Rica, reaching Panama by 1963. More than four decades later, the coffee emerged from its anonymity when it floored a group of international judges at a 2004 quality competition in Panama, where it took first place and a new name, Geisha.
Guillermo Álvarez is balancing tradition with innovation at Finca Malacara, the fabled Salvadoran coffee estate established by his great-grandparents in 1888.
Back then, the stately Bourbon cultivar was dominant in El Salvador, and a key part of the country’s claims to be the source of the world’s finest coffee. So the Álvarez family planted Bourbon and nothing else. The wisdom of the selection seemed to be confirmed when their coffee won a gold medal at the 1900 world’s fair in Paris.
Coopedota is a smallholder coffee cooperative with an unusual commitment to quality. In our experience, very few cooperatives possess both the willingness and the ability to sift through the coffees of hundreds of growers to identify a handful of standouts like this one.