Production Partner Spotlight – Panama Cafe De Eleta

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Cafe de Eleta is situated in Panama in a region called Piedra Candela, two hours north of David and one kilometre from the border with Costa Rica. The beauty of this special coffee farm is that it is set within a rainforest in La Amistad International Park. The farm was established in 1972 to breed cattle, sheep and pig livestock. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Eleta Group started growing coffee. Over the following years, the group bought more land and the farm grew to 420 hectares. The first coffee export from Cafe de Eleta took place in 1998 and was sent to Europe and the USA.

The Eleta Group is a well known family enterprise in Panama and was started by Don Fernando Eleta. Today it is a highly respected team within the business world as owners of media and insurance companies as well as breeding high level race horses. For the past twenty years the group has become renowned for its excellent specialty coffee. Cafe de Eleta has thousands of coffee plants planted over 150 hectares of their farm.

They have six varieties of coffee including Geisha, Bourbon, Jardin, Typica, as well as Catuai-Caturra which is a natural blend and takes up more than 85% of the farm. The Eleta Group built a beneficio (mill) onsite which allows for full control of their processing methods. The coffee from Cafe de Eleta is becoming world renowned and now exports to countries such as Italy, Japan, Holland, USA, and here in Australia where it is exclusive to Genovese Coffee.

Cafe de Eleta is active in supporting and developing their community. A high percentage of employees of the farm belongs to the ethnic Ngobe Bugle, one of the largest and most representative indigenous groups in the Republic of Panama. They live in the province of Chiriqui, bordering Costa Rica. During the harvest months, from October to March, Ngöbe families leave their lands and homes of origin to join the group of harvest on the coffee plantations of productive regions. Café de Eleta has built a residential complex with all facilities for employees and their families live in. This project includes areas of healthy recreation for the sport. We believe it is essential to support and develop this aspect among our people. It has implemented a program of both child and adult education. Ngobe collaborators have learned to read and write, and have received some basic math skills. After reconsidering the restrictions imposed by their culture, indigenous women collaborators are already included in the academic programs.

Cafe de Eleta’s Child Labour Free project states “We believe that we contribute in some way to the growth of Panama and its people, which is, without doubt, the best resource we have as a country. Any support we can provide to provide a better quality of life to our women, men and children is a contribution to national future.” The wages for coffee plantation workers in Panama is one of the highest in the region, with pickers able to earn up to $100US per day. Most of the Ngobe Bugle moves to coffee farms with their wives and small children. On our farm, children do not work: during the months when their parents are engaged in their work activities, children receive education, play and build relationships of mutual respect with the non-indigenous community in the area. The program for the eradication of child labor, holding coffee Eleta comprises aspects of education, nutrition, health, recreation and cultural exchange. The program takes place during the harvest months (November to February) and welcomes all children, sons and daughters of employees, aged between 4 and 14 years. For us it is essential to respect all children and educate them holistically as individuals, provide academic instruction and knowledge of urbanity, civic and moral values. To this end, we have established a partnership with Casa Esperanza, an NGO in Panama, which promotes the elimination of child labor and ensuring education for indigenous children in schools also are areas where children are cared while their parents work. By experience, and by a sincere desire to make positive changes in our people, we have built an educational center. Coffee Eleta covers expenses related to operating costs (including home for educators), food, educational and teaching materials, in addition to the daily transportation to and from school.

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Single Origin – November – El Salvador Espana Honey

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Country: El Salvador
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec, Ahuachapan
Farm/Co-operative: Espana
Altitude: 1400m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: Bourbon
Processing Method: Honey
Supplier: Melbourne Coffee Merchants

Tasting notes: Tropical fruit sweetness, syrupy body and notes of plum wine, honey, red apple and blueberry. 

Nora Lemus De Diaz Nuila is a third generation coffee farmer from El Salvador and is the proud owner of Finca España, a small 22 hectares located in the Quezalepa canton of the Apaneca municipality, on the Apeneca-Ilamatepec mountain range in the Ahuacapán department of El Salvador.

The Apaneca Ilamatepec mountain range is a chain of four volcanoes that lies between the towns of Santa Ana and Apeneca. This famous growing region is home to many past Cup of Excellence winners, and recently farms from this region have been been certified under the protected Denomination of Origin (DO) classification due to the unique terroir and high cup quality.

Finca España sits at the privileged elevation of 1,400 to 1,450 meters above sea level. Bourbon and Pacas varieties are planted in rich volcanic soil on the farm, under the shade of Ingas and natural forest trees.

Shade grown coffee, like that at Finca España, plays a vital role in preserving this regions precious ecosystem and landscape. Growing on lava formations, the coffee trees provide important ground cover and let water infiltrate into the groundwater reserves in the soil. Shade trees help to protect the biodiversity in the region, and provide a santuary for hundreds of the migratory and native bird species found in this part of the world.

Coffee is harvested at Finca España during the final weeks of December through until March. All coffee from the farm is carefully harvested by hand and meticulously sorted before being delivered for processing to the nearby Beneficio El Carmen on the same day. Fernando Alfaro, the owner of the mill and El Carmen Estate, works with the family to process their coffee to their specifications so as to assure its quality and consistency.

Currently Finca España produces wet process and natural coffees and has only recently begun experimenting with honey processed lots, such as this one. This lot has been first pulped and is then delivered to dry on raised beds with the mucilage still attached. The coffee is regularly turned in order to ensure even drying.

We cupped this special 5 bag micro lot in June this year and fell in love with the cup profile. It’s the first time we have purchased from this farm, but we hope to work with them for many years to come.

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Single Origin – October – Kenya Thiru

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Country: Kenya
Region: Kiambu County, Kenya
Co-operative/Wet Mill: Thiru
Altitude: 1400-1550m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: SL 28, SL 34
Processing Method: Washed and Sun Dried
Supplier: Small Batch

Tasting Notes: Juicy and rich with a complex acidity, intense brown sugar sweetness and notes of red apple, currants and grapefruit.

Just a 45 minute drive north from Nairobi – Thiru Estate sits at approximately 1590 meters above sea level. The soils here are deep red volcanic soils, rich in organic matter, with mostly SL28 & SL34 varieties being grown over 20 hectares of land, owned by Mrs Ann W Gichuhi.

At Thiru, cherries are selectively picked at just the right time, with cherries being delivered to the washing station on the same day. Cherries are sorted prior to processing, and are processed using clean river water, which is then re-circulated before disposal into seepage pits. The pulped and washing coffee is then dried in the sun on raised tables (which are covered during the middle of the day to keep the drying temperature process consistent), before being sent to the dry mill to be hulled and graded by size and density – it is then packaged into grainpro prior to export.

This lot of was graded as an AA, which refers to the screen size used (in this case 18/64 inch and up). While the ‘grading’ concept often implies a differentiating quality, it is actually just a way of separating the beans into sizes that can be categorised – the processing and flavour quality of an AA is most often at the same level as an AB (which is graded using a screen that is 16/64 inch and up).

 

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Single Origin – September – Costa Rica Finca Tono

Country: Costa Rica
Region: Los Robles de Naranjo, West Valley
Farm/Co-operative: Finca Toño
Altitude: 1450m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: Villa Sarchi
Processing Method: Natural
Supplier: Cafe Imports

Tasting notes: Raspberry, chocolate, cherry, caramel and juicy with a sugary finish.

Café Imports is excited to be working with the Aguilera Bros in West Valley. The Aguileras are 12 brothers and sisters, all of whom are involved in coffee as inherited from their parents. The brothers work the mill and farms themselves with basically no hired labor, other than pickers during the harvest. With the help of the third generation, they work the mill and drying patios, prune the coffee fields, fertilize, etc, year-round. The Aguilera Bros understand quality at the farm and mill level, and this is why we are excited about working with them.

Most of their coffee is of the Villa Sarchi variety, native to the area and excellent in the cup. Villa Sarchi is a Bourbon mutation (similar to Caturra and Pacas) found originally in Naranjo, West Valley. It is a dwarf variety with short internodes and usually higher-yielding production. The cup can be floral, with great intense and elegant acidity, high fruit tones (like passion fruit), and pleasing sweetness.


Coffee has been cultivated in Costa Rica since 1779. Currently, the regions producing the best quality are Tarrazu, West Valley, and Central Valley. Coffee production has been threatened the past decade due to a real-estate boom converting coffee-lands into prime development properties. San Jose, the capital, is right in the heart of Central Valley, where you will find private houses next to coffee farms. The value of these farms have now skyrocketed.

Café Imports bought its first Costa Rica microlot container at the end of the 2006/2007 harvest; at that time, microlot offerings were basically nonexistent. In six years, the Costa Rican microlot market has grown, and now Costa Rica is one of the most popular origins, delivering very consistent quality year after year.

The Costas Café Imports is carrying are all sourced directly from micromills, and producers were paid at the farm-gate level. We managed local transportation, dry-milling, consolidation, and exportation of the coffees. This experience is extremely valuable, as it gives us a better understanding of what it takes to get coffee from cherry to export quality in GrainPro and jute with its corresponding marks.

Café Imports is excited to bring you, once again, high-quality and traceable microlots from Costa Rica.

— Piero Cristiani

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Single Origin – August – Colombia Buenavista

Country: Colombia
Region: Pitalito, Huila
Farm/Co-operative: Buenavista
Altitude: 1600-1700m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: Caturra
Processing Method: Washed, Anearobic Fermentation
Supplier: Cofinet

Tasting notes: Very clean and sweet with notes of stewed apple, cinnamon, and buttered popcorn. Vibrant malic acidity and smooth mouthfeel. 

This coffee is produced by Finca Buenavista, owned by Ramiro Munoz. This lot was exposed to anaerobic under water fermentation for 30 hours, and shade dried on parabolic beds for 10 days until the moisture content reached 11%.

This microlot is 100% Caturra, a varietal that was developed in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is a mutation of the Red Bourbon varietal, and has a higher yield and better disease resistance.

Finca Buenavista is located at vereda el meson, in the Pitalito region of Huila, where Colombia’s most prized microlots are grown.

Colombia coffee picker exports

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Latte Art Smackdown at MIFF screening of “Barista”

Genovese is proud to present the screening of “Barista”, a documentary that follows the story of “Five top baristas find themselves pushing the limits of coffee perfection to win the National Barista Championship – a surreal competition where even one mistake is far too many.”

To celebrate the screening, and Melbourne’s great coffee community, we are holding a Latte Art Smackdown prior to the film, at The Forum Theatre at 5:00pm on Thursday 11th August. The film will screen across the road at ACMI at 6:30pm, and tickets for the film are available at www.miff.com.au

The format is simple – fast paced head to head knockout rounds with competitors facing off using the new Viper standalone steam wand units. Espresso shots will be pulled for them separately and the Baristas will get one go to pour a pattern of their choice, the judges will point to their top pick on the count of 3, and the pour receiving the most picks will win and move on to the next round!

Supporters of the event are: Dolo Cafe Supplies, Bombora Coffee and Water Supplies, Cafe Imports Australia, The Little Guy Espresso, Viper Steamer, Procal Dairies, and Bean Scene Magazine

Judges: Joe Tynan – Cafe Imports, Sarah Baker – BeanScene Magazine, Ben Toovey – Genovese Coffee

1st Place Prize Pack – Total Value $1200

SCAE Coffee Diploma Module of choice (Barista/Brewing/Green/Sensory/Roasting)
Dolo Cold Drip Tower 2713BK
Pesado Tamper Zebrano
1kg Single Origin Filter Coffee
Brewista Smart Scale
Rhinowares Shot Glass – Double Spout
Rhinowares Professional Milk Jug 360ml (12oz)
Rhinowares Stealth Milk Jug – 360ml/12oz – Black Teflon
Rhinowares Barista Cloth Set 4pk
World Barista Championship Apron
Ticket to the “Barista” Film

2nd Place Prize Pack – Total Value $760

Little Guy Induction Top
Brewista Pouring Kettle
Aeropress Coffee Maker
Rhinowares Hand Grinder
Flatex Filter V01
Aeropress Flatex Filter
1kg Single Origin Filter Coffee
Voucher for $200 off Little Guy Espresso Maker
Rhinowares Shot Glass – Double Spout
Rhinowares Professional Milk Jug 360ml (12oz)
Rhinowares Stealth Milk Jug – 360ml/12oz – Black Teflon
Rhinowares Barista Cloth Set 4pk
World Barista Championship Apron
Ticket to the “Barista” Film

3rd Place Prize Pack – Value $280

Little Guy 58.4mm Tamper
Little Guy Tamping Mat
1kg Single Origin Filter Coffee
Rhinowares Professional Milk Jug 360ml (12oz)
Rhinowares Barista Cloth Set 4pk
World Barista Championship Apron
Ticket to the “Barista” Film

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Single Origin – July – Rwanda 3 African Sisters

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Country: Rwanda
Region: Gakenke
Farm/Co-operative: 3 Aftrican Sisters, CWS #7 washing station
Altitude: 1750-1850m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: Bourbon
Processing Method: Honey Process, Sun Dried on Raised Beds
Supplier: FTA Specialty Coffee

Tasting notes: A juicy bodied coffee with notes of blackberry, dried fruits, molasses, and a lingering sweet finish.

Our story of 3 African Sisters comes from the African custom where extended families are referred to as sisters and brothers. Lake Kivu shares its borders with Rwanda, Burundi and D R Congo. These shores were once one land. We source our green beans from these three countries – Today the coffee beans from each of these origins are distinctive in their aromas and flavours.

It is very common for a Rwandese family to have sisters residing in these neighboring countries. Like sisters from one mother they too were separated each developing their own unique qualities, hence the story 3 African Sisters.

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”

3 African Sisters strives to improve the economic opportunities for Rwandese women coffee farmers, by empowering them with the prospect of marketing their unique Specialty Coffee to the world.

Living in Rwanda amongst the coffee farmers, at grass root levels, gives us the inspiration and motivation to make a sustainable difference in their daily lives. 

By giving the support needed to improve the quality of the coffee here in Rwanda, paying attention to every aspect and detail from the nurturing of the coffee plants to the harvesting, the processing and all the way throught to the final cup, we at 3 African Sisters secure a promise for a sustainable, richer future.

Our women farmers are an integral part of the value chain from the grower to the consumer. We work closely with with them and our partner washing stations, making sure the coffee you are drinking has been grown and harvested in a sustainable, ethical and responsible way.

We promote transparency, traceability and accountability.

“We created the 3 African Sisters brand, as we wanted a coffee that portrayed Rwanda and its people for who and what they are today, a positive light and rising star, going forward with strength. Our coffee represents the heart, soul, and determination of the Rwandese people in this tiny oasis in the heart of Africa.

We chose the face of women as our brand image, as I found it has been the women here in Rwanda who have played such a great part and been instrumental in changing the image from one of hate to one of hope. I too would like to contribute and influence changing the coffee culture here in Rwanda together with our 3 African Sisters coffee brand.” – Tanya

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Single Origin – June – Guatemala Puerta Verde

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Country: Guatemala
Region: Antigua, Ciudad Vieja, Sacatepequez
Farm/Co-operative: Puerta Verde
Altitude: 1540m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra
Processing Method: Fully washed
Supplier: Melbourne Coffee Merchants

Tasting notes: A heavy bodied and transparent coffee with notes of dark chocolate, cherry, red apple, and blackcurrant, and a lingering sweet finish. 

Puerta Verde sits at 1,540 metres above sea level near Ciudad Vieja, Sacatapequez in Antigua, Guatemala. The farms name, ‘Green door’ derives from its unique position in the magical Panchoy valley, home to rich volcanic soil, plentiful water and (accordingly) some of the best coffee grown in the area.

Puerta Verde has been meticulously operated by the Zelaya family since 1999. Overseen by Roberto Zelaya, one of Guatemala’s most renowned coffee farmers, the farm’s daily management falls to Marcos Rompiche, the Administrator, and Israel Yool, the farm’s Production Manager. Marcos is the 3rd generation of his family to work the farm and has, himself, worked there for 22 years. Israel is the 2nd generation of his family and has 16 years working on the farm under his belt. Together with Ricardo, they know every inch of the farm’s terrain and are keenly aware of minute differences in climate and soil composition between plots. This intimate knowledge of the farm’s terrain and plants is married with a commitment to quality and environmental preservation that is central to their coffee producing ethos. However, it is Zelaya’s forward-thinking and innovative approach to farming that helps the farm yield some of the region’s most interesting coffees.

Ricardo Zelaya comes from coffee farming royalty – he is the fourth generation to cultivate coffee in Antigua and owns and manages some of the country’s best and most recognizable farms, including Santa Clara) which we also work very closely with. Quality has always been a huge commitment for him and his family, and Antigua’s rich volcanic soil, its latitude, longitude and altitude, its crystal clear water, make for a naturally good ‘cup’. But Ricardo has been very proactive in selecting varieties suitable to the natural location that will produce an exceptional and unique ‘taza’. His farms are scrupulously managed, with great attention put into pruning schedules and pest and disease control. Since acquiring Puerta Verde, all but 1 of the farm’s 39 hectares have been replanted with primarily Caturra (60%) and Bourbon (20%) (of which this lot is comprised). The remaining 20% of the farm’s area has been planted in more unusual varieties, such as Villa Sarchi and Bourboncito.

The Zelaya family is passionately committed to both quality and sustainability. The family’s farms are scrupulously well-managed right from the careful selection of varietals planted, to the close supervision of the dry and wet mills. The coffee is shade grown under Gravilea trees, which protects the plants from direct sunlight, maintains soil health, and provides an important habitat for birds and insect life. Ricardo’s mill is also eco-friendly, and every step of the way Ricardo ensures all organic by-products are recycled and reused. The water used in the wet processing of the cherries is drained into sedimentation tanks to prevent pollution of the local river systems and the pulp is transformed to humus by worm culture.

Workers on the Zelaya family farms are seen as members of the family, which is why, in 2010, Ricardo began a scholarship program to help workers pay for the education of their children. This program is funded by Ricardo and has the support of three buyers from abroad, who have supported the cause since 2012. Managed, now, by his daughter Bel, who has a degree in Special Education, the dream is for the project to achieve formal non-profit status and expand to include not only all the children whose parents work on the farm but also those from surrounding communities.

The Zelaya family treats their employees like family and many have been with the farm and the family for generations. For instance, the farm Administrator, Marcos Rompiche, has worked for the Zelayas for 22 years and is the 3rd generation to work the land. The Production Manager, Israel Yool, has 16 years working for the family and is the 2nd generation to do so. Including them, the farm provides work for 25 permanent employees year-round, all of whom help Ricardo manage the processing and production for Fincas Juaja, Santa Clara, Puerta Verde and San Augustin. The family hires an additional 332 additional individuals during the harvest (including 250 for picking alone!).

Under Ricardo’s watchful eye, coffee cherries are picked by hand using his skilled picking team who are trained to only select the very ripest cherries. This team of pickers are paid more than neighbouring farms pickers, to compensate for their lower yields but higher skill level in coffee picking. During the harvest Ricardo instructs at least 5 passes through the farm, and puts the pickers in rows to ensure that everything is being done as methodically as possible. Coffee cherries are delivered to the wet mill each day between 4-7pm and piped immediately. They are then put in fermentation tanks and fermented for 12-20 hours until around 75% of the mucilage is removed. The remaining mucilage is removed using mechanical washers and then the clean coffee in parchment is dried on raised beds in Ricadro’s custom built greenhouse until they reach 10.5% humidity.

This is the 7th year in a row we [Melbourne Coffee Merchants] have purchased Puerta Verde. Every year we are impressed with the quality and consistency of this coffee as well as its versatility. You can see photos of Puerta Verde here and read more about Ricardo here

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Single Origin – May – El Salvador Miravelle

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Country: El Salvador
Region: Palo de Campana, Santa Ana
Farm/Co-operative: Finca Miravelle
Altitude: 1800m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: Bourbon, SL28, Pacas, Bourboncito
Processing Method: Fully washed
Supplier: Melbourne Coffee Merchants

Tasting Notes: Fruit-driven, complex and elegant, with rich winey acidity, and notes of cherry, honey, berries and dark chocolate.

Finca Miravalle is located in the fertile foothills of the Santa Ana volcano, at an altitude of 1700 – 1800m above sea level, on the Ilamatec mountain range in El Salvador. The farm is owned by Dr. Jaime Menendez, whose family have been producing coffee in El Salvador for several generations. Although Jaime has a full time job as a doctor, he still maintains the love of coffee farming that runs deep in his family. His legacy, in turn, is some stunning coffees produced on Miravalle’s high slopes and a passion for farming coffee that he has been passed on to his son, Jaime, as well.

Dr. Menedez’s father, Amadeo Riera y Solsona, purchased this farm in 1980, naming it Miravalle (Look at the Valley or Overlooking the Valley) for its spectacular view. The farm is located along the same ridge as some very high profile coffee farms, including Las Delicias, Suiza, and Aida Battle’s farms, all of which are renown for their high quality and unique cup profiles.

When Amadeo first purchased the small 12-hectare farm it was only planted out with two hectares of wild Bourbon trees, many which were more than 2.5m high. He set about pruning back the trees and renovating, establishing a great foundation for quality coffee that has benefited the farm today. Dr. Menendez inherited the farm from his mother after his father passed away. Today he manages the cultivation of its 12 hectares with the help of his son, Jaime Menendez Junior, and the farm field manager, Luis Flores, and his son (also Jaime). Luis has worked on the farm for 7 years and managed it for the last 4, and his meticulous execution of Dr. Menendez’s farming plan has resulted in a farm that not only has won the Cup of Excellence 3 years running but is also nearly untouched by the rust that has ravaged other areas of El Salvador.

Today Miravalle is planted out with a wide range of varieties. Around 85% of the coffee planted is Red and Orange Bourbon, while the remaining 15% of varieties planted include Yellow and Pink Bourbon, Pacas, Bourboncito (Dwarf Bourbon) and SL28. These varieties are dispersed in between the Bourbon trees, and this lot (like every lot from Miravalle) is made up of a mix of all of these varieties. Jamie likes to experiment and believes that variety diversity strengthens the plants as well as the coffee. Jaime makes a point of not separating the lots by variety, attributing this unique variety mix, along with the farm’s location and altitude, as the key to what makes it unique. He explainied, ‘This is what makes the cup profile of Miravalle so special’. According to Dr. Menendez, when they’ve separated individual varieties out for cupping in the past, the coffee loses its magic. And indeed, the coffee is special, a fact that has been recognised in the Cup of Excellence competition. For the last seven years, Miravalle been an award winner in the Cup of Excellence competition (most recently placing 13th in the 2015 competition). Their winning strategy is simple. They simply enter the same coffee that they produce ‘every day’ rather than selecting out a special or unique lot. Their COE lot & sample is representative of their entire production.

Coffee on the farm is grown in the shade of native Ingas, Cypress and Gravileo species. Under the watchful eye of Luis, the very ripest cherries are selectively hand-picked. On our recent visit to Miravalle we were interested to note that the cherries they select are super ripe, and in the case of the Red Bourbon, they wait until the beans have reached almost a rich purple colour, which may explain the very fruit-driven cup that Miravalle produces. Typically they do three to four passes of picking throughout the season to ensure only the very ripest cherries are selected.

The harvest at Miravalle is slightly later than other farms in El Salvador (typically running from mid Feb to late April). This is due to the high altitude, which means that the coffee cherries tend to ripen slowly, allowing a higher concentration of sugars to develop, and resulting in a sweet and complex coffee. After picking, the coffee is pulped and fermented and then dried on clay patios in the sun.

During harvest Finca Miravalle employs around 35 selected pickers from the surrounding areas. Finding workers around this area is very difficult because many people migrated to the lower plains after Santa Ana’s eruption in 2005. As a result Miravalle pay their pickers almost 40% above the minimum wage.

Jaime is highly motivated to keep up with the high standards he has set and to continue to improve the quality each year. He thinks the key to this is motivating the people that work on the farm, teaching them the importance of their role, and improving and sharing the benefits to everyone involved.

Fleur and the team at Melbourne Coffee Merchants have visited the farm numerous times and have this to say: “From our perspective, there’s very little room for improvement! We have been lucky enough to have been purchasing Miravalle for the last six years. Every year we fall in love with this coffee all over again. It is always incredibly complex, fruit-driven and elegant, with enough weight for espresso and enough elegance for filter.”

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Single Origin – April – Peru Cajamarca FTO

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Country: Peru (Fairtrade Organic)
Region: Cajamarca
Farm: Smallholders
Altitude: 1200-2200m above sea level
Species: Arabica
Varietal: Typica, Caturra, Bourbon
Processing Method: Fully Washed and Sun Dried
Supplier: Cafe Imports

Tasting notes: Smooth, clean and tart with caramel, lemon and sweet/savoury flavours, citric and tartaric acidity.

CENFROCAFE is one of the strongest cooperatives in Peru, both in terms of volume and quality. They have programs in place to increase production through organic fertilization also keeping plants healthy which is extremely helpful during coffee leaf rust outbreaks. CENFROCAFE produces about 120,000 quintales (1 quintal = 100 lbs) of coffee per year being one of the leading cooperatives in the country in volume. The average production per hectare is about 22 quintales which is high for organic production around the world. CENFRO recommends its producers to fertilize with Guano de Isla, phosphore ore, and Ulexite to achieve these yields.

In terms of quality, CENFROCAFE is one of the top exporters in Peru as well. They have placed in the top spotsin national competitions, thehaving a big potential for microlots,and they have excellent delivery with consistent full containers. Beginning in 2013 we began offering microlots to complement the APU full containers.

Prior to the 2013 harvest I had cupped delicious 90+ coffees from Southern Ecuador but nothing above 86+ from Northern Peru and the coffee growing regions are right next to each other with extremely similar conditions. CENFRO’s producers have heirloom Typica and Bourbon varieties with altitudes of 1600+ and 1800+. We are extremely happy with the quality of the microlots we bought last year and will continue to expand this volume as the harvests keep coming in.

Coffee came to Peru in the mid 1700s and was most likely introduced by Dutch immigrants. The Dutch brought the Typica variety which still dominates especially amongst the older farms and micro-farms. The first coffee plantings were in Chinchao, Huanuco in Selva Central and disseminated from there to the Northern (Cajamarca) and Southern (Cusco and Puno) regions of the country. Peru had its first coffee shop in 1771 in Lima and started exporting coffee in 1887.

Peru is a country which has great potential but for particular reasons it is extremely hard to find 87+ coffee landed in consuming countries. The potential is there: the country is the 8th largest producer of coffee in the world, has plenty of farms at and above 1600 and 1800 meters, and has predominantly Typica and Bourbon varieties; all of these conditions should give us, in theory, 88 – 90+ coffee. But this is not the case, high-end coffee out of Peru is very scarce due to the challenges they face. Most farmers own a couple of hectares only and are in remote areas. Many times their farms are 4 hours by foot from the nearest town and the town could be 8 hours by truck from the nearest port. This means coffee can sit at the farm unnecessarily for extended periods of time after it is dried. During the drying season climate conditions tend to be very humid with precipitation. Without proper storage, such as GrainPro, coffee will gain moisture and destabilize cup-quality.

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