- John Gibson
On the green coffee side, we are continuing our work in origins familiar to us. Our Head of Coffee, Mikkel Selmer, is currently travelling to Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador, along with our Bar Manager in Aarhus, Veronika Julinkova. They will visit our exporting partners at Exclusive Coffees in Costa Rica and Primavera in Guatemala, and our producer friends, including Mauricio at Altos in Costa Rica, and Jorge Raul at Finca Santa Rosa in El Salvador. The people behind the coffees we source are the most important part of what we do, so to visit and engage with them directly is integral to our work. In recent years we have begun to add one country to our direct trade program every year, tightening connections with producer and export partners on the ground, fostering more sustainable and consistent trading, and hopefully gaining access to the most delicious lots possible. This year, we are hoping to continue our work in one of the more difficult countries to work in as a coffee buyer, Ethiopia. Benjamin Evar, partner, is currently in Addis Ababa, visiting our new friends at Moplaco, who featured in our September 2018 subscription. We hope to work more closely with Heleanna and her team this season, to source ever more delicious and traceable lots from the birthplace of coffee.
Which brings us onto our coffees this month. We are constantly searching for new origins to engage in more directly, tasting hundreds of samples both from import/export companies, and directly from producers. Therefore, we thought we would share some of this journey this month, with one origin we have occasionally bought from, and one brand new origin for us here at La Cabra.
The first coffee comes from Honduras, where we have previously bought a few lots through our close partners at Collaborative Coffee Source. Their work in the Santa Barbara region has led to some outstanding lots, including this washed Red Catuai from Nelson Ramirez. The Santa Barbara Region provides some challenges to those hoping to grow high quality coffee. The location, close to a large area of jungle, and at high altitude, means a great deal of rainfall, especially during harvest season, leading to great difficulty in consistently drying coffees. The low night temperatures here, along with the wet climate, can also lead to ‘freezing’ of the coffee plant, where cherries cease to mature on the tree, leading to crop loss. However, all of these challenges only serve to strengthen the resolve of the farmers here, and the vast majority of Honduran Cup of Excellence winners have come from Santa Barbara, since the inception of the competition here in 2005.
Nelson’s lot of Catuai has incredibly clean and fresh notes of raspberry and pomegranate, alongside a soft cocoa bitterness in the finish. A testament to his hard work against the odds in this challenging region.
Your second coffee is processed at a private Coffee Washing Station in one of our favorite districts, Kayanza. Producer Salume Ramsdahn is dividing his coffee based on the area they are grown and harvested. As they are also separating their coffees based on daily pickings and different processing methods it is possible to make a very specified selection of micro lots based on the different flavor profiles.
Farms in Burundi are small, often below one hectar each with some hundred trees. This means that a daily lot of e.g. 25 bags of greens can consist of coffee from some hundred growers.
Salume is systematically separating the coffees based on where they are grown, and by the date of processing. Post harvest we are cupping through some hundred samples to select the ones we find outstanding. They generally collect cherries from a range of areas with different altitudes, growing conditions etc, and the flavor range is pretty wide spread according to that.
La Cabra is a modern coffee roastery based out of Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark. Every month we ship out two unique coffee experiences and provide insight into how these coffees were grown and processed by talented producers.Subscribe Learn More coffee line-up