This month's featured coffees:
Ethiopia: "Aricha" Dry process Yirgacheffe
Aricha is grown and in the Gedeo region of Yirgacheffe at 1950-2150 meters and processed at the Kebel Aricha mill. The coffee is carefully sorted and dried on raised beds yielding an unusualy clean and defect-free natural process coffee with clear notes of raspberry and floral aromatics. Yet another standout in the best year of Ethopian coffee anyone we know can remember.
Honduras Santa Elena
At altitudes of 1,500-1,640 meters, the villages of Los Patios, Aguacinga, Aguanqueterique and Guasore dot the western slopes of Honduras in the Municipality of Santa Elena, La Paz. Here a group of twelve farmers, each managing about an acre and a half, work as a self-managed cooperative with the educational help of Royal Coffee in Oakland, California, to optimize the quality of coffee production, mostly of Catuai and Bourbon varietals which is all milled in Santa Elena. The results exemplify the dual benefits of education and self-empowerment for indigenous people in coffee growing regions: the farmers themselves enjoy the economic benefits of direct trade, and the end users are beneficiaries of truly spectacular coffee. Larger-scale production simply can’t be relied on to produce coffee of this delicacy and consistency and we feel lucky to have access to such special coffee to roast.
Guatemala: Finca El Limonar
Finca Limonar has earned a big reputation among Guatemalan coffee estates, for producing clean and attractive washed coffees that display a wide range of aromatics. Located in the Libertad, Huehuetenango region near the border with Mexico, the Limonar property includes terrain ranging in elevation from 1300-1800 meters. The owner, Rosa Maria Ovalle Mont, has made sustainable farming a priority including the installation of a sophisticated water treatment facility on sight to protect local water sources, as well as the planting of indigenous shade trees that help the coffee and the soil, and the use of organic farming practices. With it's fresh lemon and tangerine acidity, and delicate floral aromatics, Finca Limonar is a great demonstration of how responsible environmental practice goes hand in hand with quality where coffee is concerned.
Kochere Washed Yirgacheffe
Veteran importer Royal Coffee has scored again with this beautiful washed coffee from the Beloya region in Yirgacheffe. A cooperative of 500 farmers carefully tends the coffee grown at 1800-200 meters and selects and processes the coffee with great care and precision. Final processing is carried out at the Kochere Mill and the final effect is a coffee possessed of clean fruit and kaleidoscopic aromatic potential. The coffee is especially intriguing for roasters as it shows well with a variety of different approaches and a compelling case can be made for the final effect across a wide spectrum.