It’s soon to be spring here in Arizona, and already talk is to the harvest of 2016. and we are making new friends and contacts, each helping to grow our direct trade coffee business, and hopefully impact a few more lives in the coffee supply chain. This month, not a whole lot new to report, but behind the scenes many things are happening in the fields…
The Curibamba Coffee Project
This year it appears that we’re going to see an abundant crop, and a return closer to production levels not seen since the coffee rust outbreak in 2012. The bad news is that commodity coffee prices are at multi year lows.
We’re working to streamline the purchase process & paying close attention to logistics and warehousing. Besides buying the higher quality micro lots, we’ll be also buying coffees that are specialty grade (although below the quality of the best lots,) and paying a premium to be able to fully support the coffee growing community in the hills above San Ramon.
Rather than picking and choosing only the “winners,” we’re taking a more holistic approach, and making sure that every farmer has an opportunity to receive a just price for their coffee. We will continue to test each and every lot in the lab, and work for the highest quality possible.
We’re in discussions to feature Curibamba at the Specialty Coffee Association of America conference where we are exhibiting this April. Curibamba is being sold and enjoyed mainly in the southwest states of Colorado, California, Arizona, Nevada, & New Mexico, but also as far east as Ohio, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.
We will continue to focus our support efforts on solar drying tents and tables, but we’re also working with agricultural engineers to see what might best serve the growers. It may be new coffee trees, or strategic washing stations; we’re awaiting input from the fields. This year we want to try and get more support to the communities that are remote & lack easy transport. By getting washing stations there, we believe that we can make a real difference in quality.
Every year brings more education on the specifics of harvesting, fermenting, and drying. Edegel will be funding not only the educational programs, but will continue funding for the agricultural engineers, organic fertilizers and assistance with promotional programs for the brand.
The visit from Cesar Marin of Chacra D’dago has been postponed. We ran into a visa issue, so until we can resolve it, we’ll have to wait to learn more about this amazing biodynamic farm.
What we like about the Marin family, and the surrounding coffee communities of Villa Rica is the willingness to work together, and a commitment to coffee quality at every level. We see an opportunity to build a sustainable coffee source that not only provides great coffee, but does so in a way that empowers a community. We’re in discussions via emails daily.
Besides amazing coffee, Chacra D’dago is involved in the Slow Food movement, in translating the presentation I learned many new things. We look forward to a future visit…
Fundo Santa Maria
We were extremely pleased to add Fundo Santa Maria & the Taipe family to our list of growers this past year. Working with the Cooperative “The Development of the Production of Cacao & Coffee in Agro-Forestal Systems” (my translation,) we hope to bring more of this fine coffee to the US this year.
This coop was one that came to our attention late in the buying cycle, and we were quite impressed with the quality and obvious care that went into their coffee. The remote Mazamari area in Peru has a history of poverty, and we look forward to seeing some community improvements as this area as the farmers work together for the good of all.
On a side note, Peruvian Airline LCPeru now offers weekly Saturday flights to Mazamari, which helps to avoid the arduous road trip from Lima, and provides easier access to not only Mazamari, but La Merced/San Ramon, Villa Rica, and onward to Oxapampa & Pozuso as well. (Author’s note: a week is a nice little trip.)
We still have some quantities of Chasqui & Apu Gourmet from Cenfrocafe. This Cooperative pays at or above Fair Trade minimum prices, and provides exceptional technical support, as well as strict quality control.
Cenfrocafe is a cooperative that brings together more than 1,900 families in 84 partner networks in 10 bases in the provinces of Jaén, San Ignacio and Bagua in northern Peru. Cenfrocafe through the years has been characterized as the promoter of sustainable development, focusing on four main basics: economic, social, environmental and institutional, and this commitment has generated loyalty and identity in their partners and family.
The development of its activities are based on principles and values of democracy, social justice, equity, transparency, freedom and others, they are constantly socialized all Partners through decentralization strategies designed by the leaders and team.
Finca El Dorado
The fine coffee produced by Horst Gehrmann of Finca EL Dorado was a tasty find for us this past year. Horst has made an investment in quality, and is painstaking about recording everything he does. Meticulous attention to detail can only improve quality, and we’re happy to have this connection. We still have a few bags of the honey processed Finca El Dorado. Call now!
February was a time of road trips and visits to new coffee shops and roasters across the southwest. We especially enjoyed our exhibit at the Santa Fe Land Owners annual meeting.
Thanks so much to our new friends! We appreciate your support of a sustainable coffee chain, and look forward to supplying your coffee needs.