Posts

Real People, Really Good Coffee March 2016 Update

The Curibamba Coffee Project

We will be promoting Curibamba at the Specialty Coffee Association of America conference where we are exhibiting this April. (Photos!) 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.

The first of the Curibamba workshops for the growers will be in late April. After these meetings, we’ll have a better idea what’s happening for this year in regards to what we can do at a A Little Further South to continue the work for the overall community.

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. Recently, we’ve heard news that Brazils production will be lower this year, and perhaps prices will rise from multi-year lows. We’re anxiously watching world markets for some guidance. Read more

Real People, Really Good Coffee Update December 2015

December is the month of short days in the northern hemisphere. As I write this today, however I’m in Peru where summer has recently started. Yet, in spite of the disconnect from my “normal” winter hibernation mode, it is still a time of reflection and remembrance as the year ends and a new one soon starts.

The year in review: From the farms

The Curibamba Coffee Project

This year we started to see good things at every level. The farmers seem to be more enthusiastic about the project than ever, and it’s no wonder with coffee prices being in the basement. Overall quality of the coffee has improved each year, and with a large effort to get solar drying tents and tables into the majority of the smallholder farms we’re expecting that quality will be better again with the 2016 harvest.

Meanwhile, we’re streamlining the purchase process, and 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.

Curibamba was featured in Expo Milan this year, as well as the Mistura Foodie Fair in Lima. It’s currently being sold and enjoyed mainly in the southwest states of Colorado, California, Arizona, Nevada, & New Mexico, but also as far east as Ohio 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.

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. Read more

Real People, Really Good Coffee Update November 2015

November has been a busy month once again, and many good things are happening.

Green coffee sales are on the rise with several new customers & roasted coffee continues to sell well.

The new look website is up and running with an easier to use shopping cart, and a fresh look. If you see anything that doesn’t look or respond right, please let us know.

Dago and Cesar Marin from Chacra D’dago

A Visit from the Farm – Chacra D’dago

We’re pleased to announce that Cesar Marin from Biodynamic Chacra D’dago will be visiting in February.

He’ll be presenting on biodynamic farming methods and speaking about what’s happening for harvest 2016. Locations and a schedule to follow. He will be making presentations in LA, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Mohave County. Anyone interested in either hosting, or attending please drop me an email. Read more

What’s After Organic? Biodynamic Farming is the Future

Demeter Biodynamic Logo

 

Organic food standards have raised not only the quality of many common foods, but perhaps even more importantly raised consciousness about what we consume. Some wonder what is the next level? It’s here and it’s biodynamic.

 

A recent article in a popular health magazine touches on the subject of biodynamic agricultural methods which have been around for over 90 years, but only more recently have begun to attract a following of health seeking individuals.

(We’re proud to offer Biodynamic Certified Coffee from Chacra D’dago in Peru. (See below.)

What’s After Organic? The Rise of Biodynamic Farming

Free from synthetic pesticides and chemical herbicides. Non-genetically engineered seeds. No industrial solvents. These attributes are hallmarks of USDA Organic, the strict, government-regulated label that determines how foods ranging from produce to dairy to meats are grown, raised and managed.

Chances are, a large percentage of foods you buy in your natural products retailer are organic—and for good reason. A 2015 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that participants who usually ate organic foods had lower levels of organophosphate pesticides in their urine than people who never ate organic foods. Plus, organic farming practices can mitigate climate change effects by reducing—and even capturing—carbon emissions from the atmosphere and storing them in the soil. Read more

Real People, Really Good Coffee Update September 2015

Coffee arrives from the farm

 

Update: 9/22 We’ve passed Customs Exam! We now await pickup by our warehouse, which should be by mid-day today. We’ll next return to Arizona where we’ll be cupping and roasting.

The “buy” buttons will soon be active, and we’ll announce it here when your fresh coffee is ready for purchase. Meanwhile, sign up for our email list in the box on the right.

See this years coffee lineup below.

Our ship has come in (literally) and we just now await Customs inspection and release. We’re already FDA approved. From there, our coffee will head to the warehouse, and we’ll be heading over to California in order to pick up a few bags so that we can begin roasting and cupping (tasting) again prior to sending out roaster samples to our wholesale customers.

Meanwhile, if it seems a little quiet on the online side of things, it’s because we’re buried in the details of our upcoming “official” launch. Being somewhat of a geek, I maintain the website, do some social media promotion, and coordinate all of our online payment systems etc. It’s a big task on top of selling, roasting, cupping, and all the other “hats” I end up wearing in the coffee business.

We’re also wired from all of the excitement. We went to the farm, bought some amazing coffees, and somehow managed to work our way through the myriad details involved in international shipping. We did it!

Support your “local” coffee farmer!

Click “continue reading” below  (if you are on the home page, and not already reading this full article) to see the latest coffee offerings. Stay tuned for purchasing details which will be announced later this week.
Read more

Real People, Really Good Coffee, Update August 2015

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.

Read more

Real People, Really Good Coffee Update July 2015

Here’s the final 2015 Coffee lineup:

It’s all happening right now! We’ll be traveling back to Villa Rica for the final peeling, cleaning, weighing & rebagging of the coffee for export this week. From there, it’s off to Lima and Customs before shipping to LA.

Curibamba – This is year three of the Curibamba Coffee Project, and we’re seeing wonderful results from the growers. We should end up with about 1,400 pounds. A bright acidity with light fruit & herbal overtones, plus a hint of nuts.

This is the coffee that launched our company – A Little Further South. Your purchase helps support small family farmers as we buy this coffee directly from the producers. More Than Fair Certified.
Read more

Tarapoto to Villa Rica – A Long Strange Coffee Trip (Part 1)

 

The last week or so had been a series of trips to internet cafes & “locutorios” (where one can make phone calls.) In between the details of organizing a coffee buy, we did manage to enjoy one of favorite places in the world – Tarapoto.

It’s been somewhat frustrating to try and post on the blog. I picked up some malware in one café, and was afraid to log on and compromise the site.

Alas, duty calls and we’re off again (and off the computer again too.) We left Tarapoto in order to get to Villa Rica, and the Chacra D’dago to get some more samples and confirm our final order there, meet some new potential suppliers, and make our way to San Ramon for the second series of Curibamba Workshops this weekend. We’re also making arrangements for the distribution of solar coffee drying tents to the growers in the Curibamba Coffee Project.

It’s a two day journey via land, and there isn’t really any airport option short of flying back to Lima, and then flying to Jauja, which is still several hours to Villa Rica by bus or car. (As an afterthought – flying would have been worth it!) We’re finalizing our purchase of some wonderful coffees that we’ve tested, and visit with our friends, and make some new ones. 

(For more on Tarapoto see here, for more on Chacra D’dago, see here.)

 Here’s what it’s like to travel in Peru to the more remote provinces: Read more