Blueberries, white chocolate and nougat.
Washing Station: Konga Sede
Region: Yirgacheffe, Sidama
Elevation: 1,800 - 2,000m
Varieties: Weleso Gurume
Sourced Through: Upstream Imports
This wonderful coffee is produced by Ethiopian exporter GnF at their Konga Sede washing station in the heart of Yirgacheffe, just a couple of miles away from the town that gave name to this world-renowned coffee. GnF is the husband and wife team of Gizaw (pictured) and Frehiwot Alemayehu who own three washing stations. The Konga station is managed by Yirgalen Melid who has been working there for almost 20 years; a producer himself, he coordinates the arrivals of coffee during the harvest as well as the processing of the coffee according to the strict GnF quality guidelines.
More than 400 farmers (known as 'outgrowers') deliver their fresh coffee cherries to the station on the same day they are picked. The farms, small in size, are situated at an altitude between 1800 and 2000 meters above sea level. The total annual production is of around 150 tonnes and the predominant Arabica variety planted is known in the area as 'Weleso Gurume'.
Outgrowers are paid their first installment on the spot and many times they stay around to overlook how their coffee is processed. Then during the offseason, they are paid the balance of the agreed price. This is not a condition imposed by GnF but a mutual arrangement with the farmers to help them plan their domestic finances. They do not have to go through the ECX (Ethiopian Commodity Exchange) but the outturn quality test is of the same standard. The additional transport expenses are saved by the outgrowers improving their bottom line revenue.
Blueberries, white chocolate and nougat.
Strawberry jam, candied pecans and px sherry.
Elevation: 1,600–1,650 masl
Variety: Caturra, Catuaí
Producer: Carmela Aduviri
Sourced Through: Melbourne Coffee Merchants
This coffee was produced by Carmela Aduviri from Copacabana, a small and remote settlement located 180 kilometres from La Paz in the heart of the Caranavi province. This region is the epicentre for specialty coffee production in Bolivia, with incredibly high altitudes, rich soil, and wide daily temperature ranges providing the perfect conditions for exceptional coffee.
The inhabitants of Copacabana first began farming coffee around 35 years ago. Farms here are small and traditional. Almost all work is carried out by the farm's owners and their extended families, with a handful of temporary workers taken on to help out during harvest. All of the producers at Copacabana were born into the Aymara, an ancient indigenous group which lived on the Altiplano (a vast plateau of the central Andes that stretches from southern Peru to Bolivia and into northern Chile and Argentina). The region was known for the world’s highest lake, called Titicaca, and when their families moved to Caranavi, they named their ‘colony’, or settlement, Copacabana.
Carmela has worked in coffee for fourty years while raising eight children. Her farm, “Carmelita”, is about 2 hectares in size, and is located at an altitude of 1,400 to 1,550 metres above sea level. Today Carmela manages the farm with her son, and together they have worked incredibly hard on improving and producing the best quality coffee they can. They grow a mix of Caturra and Catuaí variety trees on their farm, which grow in a rich clay soil under the protective shade of native forest trees, whose heavy leaf fall creates a natural mulch fertiliser, and whose canopy provides an important habitat for the many bird and insect species in the area.
The families who live in Copacabana, including the Aduviri family, used to depend on the local market to sell their coffee, meaning low prices and little reliability. Now they selectively pick their coffee cherries and are able to sell their top-grade coffees for substantially higher prices to MCM's partners at Agricafe, which processes specialty lots at its Buena Vista wet mill which is located in Caranavi.
The first of its kind in the country, the Sol de la Manaña program is aimed at sharing knowledge and technical assistance with local producers to create better quality coffees in higher quantities. By doing so Agricafe hopes that coffee production can be a viable and sustainable crop for producers, like Carmela, in the region for many years to come.
After the coffee was delivered, it was placed into a floatation tank and all floaters were removed. The whole cherries were then dried on on raised beds in the sun and turned turned regularly to ensure it dried evenly. The drying was then finished off at a very low temperature in a stationary drier. The coffee was then transported to La Paz where it was rested, and then milled at the Rodriguez family’s brand new dry mill. At the mill, the coffee was carefully screened again by machines and also by hand to remove any defects.
Carmela worked hard to collect and process the cherries for this special micro lot and carefully hand polished all of the cherries before delivering them to the mill! A whole lot of love and hard work has gone into this coffee.. we hope you enjoy it!
Read about the Sol de la Mañana program here and Pedro Rodgriguez here and about Bolivian coffee more generally here.
Toasted nuts, butterscotch and marmalade.
Region: Chapada Diamantina
Altitude: 1,150m above sea level
Owner: Borré Family
Awards: Cup of Excellence 2015 #15
Sourced Through: Melbourne Coffee Merchants
Fazenda Progresso is a beautiful farm nestled in the Chapada Diamatina mountain range in the heart of Bahia. The farm is surrounded by the Chapada Diamantina National Park, known for its mountainous cliff formations (Chapada) and 19th century diamond mining (Diamantina).
The history of Fazenda Progresso dates back to 1984, when the Borré family migrated from southern Brazil to the northeast and purchased some land in the municipality of Ibicoara, near the town of Mucugê. In the early years, the family tried growing crops such as soybeans, wheat, and English potatoes. The potatoes turned out to be an incredibly successful crop, stimulating investments and making the family one of the largest producers of potatoes in Brazil!
In 2005, the Borré family sought to diversify the activities on their land, and so began to focus on coffee. As MCM learnt when they first met the family, when they commit to a new project, they seek to do it to the very highest possible standard. Their work with coffee is no exception. The family’s commitment to producing exceptional coffee has been unwavering over the last decade. They have sought advice from some of the most respected professionals in the field, including Silvio Leite, founder of the Cup of Excellence and president of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association, with 30 years’ experience in coffee grading, tasting, and quality control.
The Borré family has invested heavily to ensure that they have the very best infrastructure to process coffee, which allows them to control quality every step of the way, from picking right through to export. They have a dedicated quality control lab with a talented cupping team headed up by Ednaldo Nascimento (AKA ‘Gandula’—nicknamed after the boy that replaces the ball during a soccer match)! Gandula and his team assess every lot of coffee produced and ensure that the quality is the very best it can be.
The Borrés are very hands-on in their approach to managing the farm. They are extremely professional in the way they conduct their business, and they take great care to create an excellent work environment for their staff. Throughout the year, there are around 200 permanent staff members on the farm, and this number grows to 650 during the harvest. Many of these harvest workers return every year, and all are provided with daily bus transportation and food.
In total, 700 hectares of the property are dedicated to coffee; this land is divided up into different plots, which are processed separately. Over time, the family has worked out the optimum way to plant coffee trees in order to maximise productivity, with 50 centimetres between each tree and three metres between each row of trees. This year we have purchased coffee from four different plots on the property; each is extremely unique in its profile, and all are exceptional!
The Borré family business has always been managed and directed by family members and is now in its third generation of operation. Fabiano Borré looks after everything to do with the coffee side of the business. He is young, focused and very motivated to produce the very best coffee he can. You can read an interview with Fabiano Borré here.
Tawny Port, dark chocolate and toffee.
Farm: Finca Vizcaya
Producer: Francisco Quezada
Elevation: 1,450 masl
Variety: Red Bourbon
Processing: Natural (Wine Yeast)
Sourced Through: Opal Coffee
At Finca Vizcaya coffee cherries are deliberately selected and picked under a strict brix (sugar content) parameter, after which they are fermented for 72 hrs in a tank with Lalcafe INTENSO wine yeast. A pH meter is used to maintain a target acidity that selects for the yeast and bacteria predicted to produce the most interesting flavour profile.
After fermentation is done the coffee is then dried on raised beds with 'greenhouse ceilings' (to protect from rain). The coffee is then constantly monitored and stirred in order to achieve an even drying.
The farm is 70 hectares in size and provides work for 30 employees.
Strawberry jam on buttered toast. Chocolate.
Farm: La Divisa
Producer: Oscar Restrepo
Elevation: 1,780 masl
Sourced Through: HarvestTown Coffee
Oscar is a 3rd generation coffee grower who took the management of the family farm several years ago while he was studying agronomy at university.
Oscar has always been passionate about all coffee process and he saw an opportunity to start experimenting unconventional processing methods for his coffee since at that stage most of Colombian coffee was washed and not many farmers were keen to try different methods.
Ever since Oscar has been focusing on the Natural process for selected micro lots of the harvests, achieving cupping scores above 86 points on the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) scale and producing very complex and exceptional coffees with fruity and winey notes accompanied by medium acidity and body.
October – January
April - June
The hand-picking is done between 6 am and 12 pm to take advantage of the sunlight.
The coffee is hand-picked and we pay some of our pickers a bit higher than normal with the only condition to pick exclusively the ripe cherries.
During the harvest period at La Divisa the picking takes place every 20 days, with this we allow the cherries to ripe properly thus obtaining a coffee with higher sugar levels.
The picking finishes at 12 pm and if the day is sunny and warm, it is put into water tanks for 2-3 hours in order to remove floaters.
Once floaters have been removed, the batch is put to dry on patios without fermentation.
On the other hand, when the picking finishes but the day is cold and cloudy, the batch is put into fermentation tanks until the next day (24 hours) and after this period of time the coffee is placed onto patios for drying.
The drying process takes normally between 18 and 22 days.