Update 09/12: The coffee has passed FDA inspection, it should clear Customs in the next few days!
In this post see the 2015 coffee lineup!
At this writing we’re waiting for the coffee to be loaded into a container & sent to Peruvian Customs. Just a few more hurdles & it should be on it’s way to your cup. (yes!)
The time has flown by, and at last we can look back and realize that we’ve accomplished our goal, which was to find excellent coffee & buy as much as possible direct from the grower. There are only so many things that a class or school can teach about importing coffee. Ultimately, you just have to do it, and roll with the punches as they come.
What They Don’t Teach in Business School
I’m sure on many college & University campuses today one can find a program designed for import/export. One can research the numerous pages available on coffee, and on importing, and read the nuances of logistics and of course, all the rules from Homeland Security to FDA.
What all that study doesn’t do is prepare you for the reality of coffee logistics, the importance of personal relationships, and endless emails/communications associated with the import process. Since we also handle the “export” part here in Peru, we also have to comply with all those requirements and the little surprises that crop up too.
In hindsight, it’s not the most complicated endeavor that we’ve ever encountered, but quite stressful and detailed. Every year, it seems that there are more requirements not only in Peru, but in the US as well.
Long before the coffee ships, you have to figure out how to get it processed & where to put it when you are ready. Moving a few tons of coffee from point A to point B is not just as simple as loading a truck. One must pay attention to what else is on that truck (i.e. nothing that will adversely affect coffee flavor,) and of course if you overpay for transport, your profits are being eroded. Big truck, little truck; they all have different prices.
So at long last, the coffee is at the warehouse awaiting assignment to a ship, and inspection via Peruvian Customs. Documents, telephone calls, & emails fly back and forth for days, and finally, you have a ship lined up, and after all the inspections etc. your cargo can leave. Meanwhile, you just wait…and wait.
It’s All About the Network
It’s the part before all the above though that requires more than just being educated. One must form good relationships with the growers/processors/transporters and anyone else in the chain from field to ship.
Existing relationships are the way of doing business here, and of utmost importance. One can be a textbook expert, but the reality of logistics in Peru (or any emerging nation,) can be daunting without the right help. For example, with a little digging we were able to reduce our transportation costs for moving coffee around by up to 70% by looking for good references from friends & avoiding the “gringo” tax. It really does make a difference. Forget what you learned in that MBA program. Trust your network!
Call to Action
Please join us in supporting direct market coffee. Your purchase of our coffee contributes to a more sustainable long term future for the coffee growers. If we are to have high quality specialty coffee in the future, it is imperative to make it more economically viable for the small growers.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be updating our site to be able to offer online ordering of our green (as well as roasted) coffee. Meanwhile, spread the word!
I posted this in last months update, but it bears repeating here. There are limited quantities of all our coffee, thus it’s not too early to stake your claim. We should have pricing soon & expect delivery to be available by mid-September.
Curibamba – This is year three of the Curibamba Coffee Project, and we’re seeing wonderful results from the growers. We were able to procure 1,500 pounds. A bright acidity with light fruit & herbal overtones, plus a hint of nuts.
Your purchase helps support small family farmers as we buy this coffee directly from the producers. More Than Fair Certified.
Chacra D’dago (Wet Processed) – We’re purchasing 5,000 pounds of this tasty water processed coffee. Certified biodynamic & produced using ancient agricultural methods in conjunction with a complete circle of composting & natural fertilizers, we’re pleased to be able to obtain some of this fine coffee.
Excellent in the cup with fruity overtones & a crisp acidity, it’s become a favorite now. We buy all Chacra D’dago directly from the Marin family. If you buy only one or two coffees this year, make sure you get some of the Chacra D’dago. Excelente!
For more about Chacra D’dago see our post here.
Chacra D’dago (Natural) – We have some limited quantities of this labor intensive, natural dried (no water used) coffee. Each selectively picked coffee cherry is carefully fermented, and dried with full cherry. In the lab, this coffee had amazing blueberry & cherry tones. I wanted some immediately upon tasting it. Expensive, but worth it. Yum!
Chacra D’dago (Honey) – We have some limited quantities of this honey processed coffee. In the lab, this coffee had excellent fruity tones, and a sweet aftertaste. Yet another excellent coffee. Limited supply – only small, less than bag lots available
Horst Honey, Finca El Dorado – A neighboring farmer of Chacra D’dago has been working hard to produce fine specialty coffee. We’ll have a micro-lot of this honey dried coffee. It also has excellent acidity & fruit overtones with just a hint of nuttiness.
For more on Finca El Dorado see here.
Fundo Santa Maria, Urbano Taipe – This wonderful coffee is produced at high elevations (1,800 m – 5,900 feet) and is a dense bean, rich in flavor, and we’re pleased to have a micro-lot of about 1,500 lbs. Urbano is serious about quality, and it shows. A very happy “find” for us. For more info on this grower and coffee see here.
Chasqui – this is a great coffee from a well know cooperative – Cenfrocafe in the Jaen/San Ignacio area of northern Peru. We’ve been enjoying this coffee for many years, and it’s one of our favorites. With a bright acidity and a nutty aftertaste with hints of oranges, this coffee is sure to please. We have committed to buying quite a few bags of this coffee, including some that is certified 100% Organic.
Apu Gourmet – Also from Cenfrocafe, we’re purchasing 2,500 pounds. Most of this coffee is exported to Japan. We feel that it’s perhaps the best commercially available coffee in Peru.
Thanks for the many kind notes, and the tremendous interest in what we’re doing. We appreciate it, and can barely wait for you to taste these wonderful coffees.
We go to the farm, so you don’t have to!
© 2015 Ben Gangloff
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