We’re excited to have a coffee from Cajamarca, Peru available again this year. We’ve featured many washed coffees from Cajamarca this time of year, and they’ve been among our favorite balanced coffees that do great on pour-over, auto-drip, and espresso. This year, we’re getting a little more transparency with our coffee. Around 400 farmers in Cajamarca make up the Aprocassi cooperative. This lot is made up of contributions from members around the San Ignacio subregion. We were extremely impressed with the quality and complexity of the lot.
Team taste notes: nutty, peach, plum, brown spice, floral, syrupy
Last year while researching Rwandan coffee, we came across Michigan State University’s African Great Lakes Project, which was established in 2000 and is still contributing to Rwandan agriculture. One of the researchers involved with this work is Ruth Ann Church of Artisan Coffee Importers.
Upon reading about Ruth’s work in Rwanda, an opportune connection was presented. A principle of Blueprint’s green buying vision is establishing the cost of production for producers. The variables and challenges to this principle are different for every country, and particularly difficult in Rwanda. The opportunity was to begin working with a knowledgeable researcher whose focus was on this exact issue. Ruth’s focus on cost of production and efficiency at the farm level motivated us to connect and learn more. Her work is focused on the economic sustainability of coffee farming when Lean management principles are applied. Lean at Origin is a program developed by Ruth specifically for coffee farming and processing that aims to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Considering market influences are pushing farmers away from growing coffee while global demand is rising makes this an important focus – also a reason why we make it a focus with origin partnerships.
Kopakama cooperative began implementing Lean at Origin in 2016. The process takes 3 years to completely implement, but the results are beginning to show. Ejo Heza, a woman’s producer group that is part of the Kopakama cooperative, is one of the participants. “Ejo Heza” means “a better tomorrow” and Blueprint wants to support the efforts made by Artisan Coffee Importers and the women farmers responsible for growing and harvesting this coffee.
We are now into our second harvest from Ejo Heza. From this harvest, we have selected two lots. Lot 78 is the first and is bursting with sweet, fruit flavors. Additional, we have initiated a mutually beneficial partnership with the Ejo Heza growers group, the Kopakama co-op which they belong to, and Artisan Coffee Imports. The partnership spans four years. Just a few months ago, Ruth Ann Church of Artisan Coffee Imports kicked off the partnership by delivering a microscope so that Kopakama and Ejo Heza could begin soil assessments. Next year, a representative from Kopakama will participate in the “Building Soil Health” online training by Dr. Elaine Ingham and begin to apply soil restoration processes to demonstration plots at Kopacama and Ejo Heza. Years 3 and 4 will be centered around soil maintenance and application of Actively Aerated Compost Tea to the restored soil on the demonstration plots.
Team taste notes: apricot, peach, lemon, creamy, tropical, lemon, spice
We’ve tasted a small amount of coffee from Uganda over the past 6-7 years, but have never landed on anything we’d bring to our offering sheet until now. The barriers in the past have been mostly consistency, relationships, and access. Those were quickly removed when Tim Hill of Atlantic Specialty sent us some samples he was convinced we should at least try that were produced by the Gamatui Community in eastern Uganda.
Our first tasting of coffees processed at the Sipi Falls station had us spinning. We tasted through washed, honey, and natural coffees from the stations that had the whole table guessing at origins. When the coffees were revealed, we had a pretty obvious answer for the next coffee in our lineup. The natural process coffee was seductively sweet and complex, reminding us of some our best-selling natural lots from Ethiopia and Burundi.
The Sipi Falls station, run by Kawacom, sits quite close to the Kenyan border on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. It is some of the highest coffee growing area in Uganda and farmers there tend to be a focused on cherry selection and collaboration with the station. Tim’s genetic testing has found most of the coffee grown in the area is SL-34, but he has seen plantings of SL-14 and other Bourbon variants in the area as well.
Team taste notes: strawberry candy, pomegranate, grape, black cherry, lemon, coating, syrupy
We are craftspeople dedicated to exhibiting the qualities of one of the most flavorful beverages in the world. What we attempt to create and construct are flavor experiences that are balanced, intoxicating, and special. While our single origin offerings exhibit qualities that are delicious and complete by themselves, blending can create something unique that none of our coffees offer by themselves. We are inspired by French wine and cocktails like the Sazerac. By adding a small amount of five quality ingredients (sugar, bitters, lemon, absinthe, ice), a serving of perfectly good whiskey becomes a different, yet delicious, taste experience than that offered by any neat pour.
We are excited to offer Tektōn as a compliment to our single origin offerings. It matches the integrity of those offerings by remaining a seasonal coffee with a transparent supply chain. We embrace the future insight and taste experiences Tektōn will provide.
Coffees from Papua New Guinea have been among the most complex and interesting we’ve sourced since opening in 2013. While timing this year hasn’t led to featuring a Papua New Guinea coffee for a single origin spot (at least not yet), we were excited to taste some coffees that would work for Tektōn. Forty percent of this version of Tektōn is grown by small-holders of the Tsekaka people near Banz, Jiwaka in Papua New Guinea. Its citrusy, earthy, and savory qualities add a nice dynamic to the blend. The remaining 60% of the blend is made up of our San Pedro Necta lot from Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Its pie-crust and brown sugar qualities provide a solid platform and roundness to the cup.
Team taste notes: brown sugar, brown spice, black tea, malt, cherry, berries
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