NEW PRODUCT ALERT!
1 - Los Machos, Zapoteca, 180 producers from Sierra Sur de Oaxaca, Mexico. A blend of Typica, Mundo Novo, Bourbon varieties, washed process, scoring 84.5 specialty points.
Los Machos, the group who produce this Zapoteco coffee, is led by Romulo Chavez. Romulo has been working for several years now to establish direct relationships with buyers in order to obtain higher prices for the producers of Los Machos. He has also fostered a very strong communal outlook for the association and its producers. Most members of the association are of Zapotec heritage and speak Spanish as second language after Zapoteco. There is a very strong, communal aspect to Los Machos across its three towns that is deeply rooted in the historical ties of the community to the region.
Farm sizes range from 0.5 to 5 hectares but the average member of Los Machos has less than one hectare of coffee and produces between 100 and 150 kilos of parchment per year. The coffees are pulped and fermented, often in hand built, wooden tanks, then dried on petates, traditional woven mats.
2 - Odaco Washing Station from Odako, Kebele, Sidama, Etrhiopia. Heirloom varieties, naturally processed. Scoring 89 specialty points.
This coffee from the Shantawene community is a micro-lot and has been called “Odako” to reflect the powerful culture of Shantawene, Sidama people. Odako is a popular tree name in Shantawene, Bensa. The Odako tree is where the Shantawene community meets under the tree to resolve the conflicts in the area. There is a similar tradition in other parts of Ethiopia as well for example the 'Oda' tree in Oromo.
The coffee is sourced from 563 Daye Bensa member farmers from the Shantawene area and Gatta Daye Bensa Farm. Daye Bensa micro-lots are a limited production, this approach help them to focus on the quality of the beans. As soon as the coffee is received it gets sorted by floating and picking out the ripe cherries.
The coffee is then dried on African beds for 13-15 days; one person is assigned per each individual bed to rotate the cherries every 15 minutes to ensure uniformity of drying. At Daye Bensa traceability is extremely important for their micro lots. The record-keeping book is carefully handled and separation is key to guaranteeing the highest level of quality. When the cherries are received they get separated, the coffee is then kept separate throughout drying, processing, and storage. Label state the delivery dates, farm name, lot number, and other details related to the particular lot.
3 - Bumbogo Washing Station from Gakenke District, Rwanda. Red Bourbon, natural process. Scoring 88 specialty points.
The Gakenke district where Bumbogo is located, is also an area known for high-quality coffee production in Rwanda. It is a highly competitive region, and home to several winning Cup of Excellence lots in recent years.
The station has more than doubled their production since 2018, with an impressive expanse of drying beds covering the hills surrounding the washing station itself. The station works alongside the community in ways external to the purchase and processing of its coffee. This value added when paired can massively improve not only quality but the yields of a producer’s land.
All cherry is hand-sorted before a pre-pulp float, underripe or damaged cherry is removed, along with any foreign objects. Cherry is then floated in pre-pulping tanks removing any floaters and later pulped.
Once the cherry is sorted and cleaned, it is ready to be dried. The cherries are laid out evenly across raised beds, providing consistent airflow, and height away to prevent moisture and animals coming into contact with the cherry. The cherry is dried for 30 days, turned constantly when the sun is high and covered during the night. Once the cherry has dried, the now dried outer fruit is removed, and the coffee beans are ready to be organised for packing.
4 - AMACA Women's Producers from Cauca, Colombia. Castillo / Caturra / Colombia. Washed Process. Scoring 86 specialty points.
AMACA (Asociación de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca) is a group of women producers located in El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia that was formed in 1999 by 80 women from El Tambo, in Colombia’s Cauca department.
Now AMACA is 140 smallholder members strong, all women farm owners and heads of household—and their coffees are fantastic. All of the members derive their livelihood and the livelihoods of their families from the cultivation and production of coffee.
In 2008, AMACA partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, the governor of Cauca, and the municipality of El Tambo to increase the production and quality of coffee on 80 members’ farms. In 2010, the organization “Social Action” supplied 22 farms with new wet mills and processing tanks.
Today, 140 active members from three different villages across the El Tambo municipality make up AMACA. The average farm size is 1 hectare (5,000 trees) per member, some members have 3+ hectares and many members have less than one.
You can read more about our trip to meet the women of AMACA here.
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