Blueprint Coffee has now purchased coffee from ASDECAFE, a group of sustainable coffee associations, for many years. Last year, we started to move toward making more connections with the associations and the region of Huehuetenango through our partnership with Los Volcanes Inc. (formerly TG-Lab). While making these connections, the region and cooperative have gone through major transitions, both politically and organizationally. One of the resulting changes was the establishment of ASODESI, or the Association for Fundamental Development for San Pedro Necta. ASODESI is an offshoot association that helps consolidate the purchase of agricultural materials, provides medical assistance to its associates, and educates members in regards to farming, environmental conditions, and the coffee market.
The farmers of ASODESI are distinct in that they are comprised of small to medium sized farmers. One aspect of their union is to establish a niche in the specialty market by dedicating themselves to environmentally sustainable practices. This area has a pattern of weather extremes starting with intense rain right after a long period of drought. This causes a delay in the maturing process of the coffee plants. This also causes issues with erosion. The farmers have come to accept the need to establish mulching programs timed with the extreme weather in order to prevent the loss of their soil.
Blueprint Coffee is directly contributing towards the efforts and stated goal of these farmers. In September of 2017, Los Volcanes and Blueprint Coffee hosted a day-long seminar to help improve their composting practices. These farmers are actively implementing organic methods, so Blueprint Coffee supported their efforts through a day of demonstrations, and a session where farmers shared ideas and current practices.
Team taste notes: caramel, brown sugar, graham, orange, cranberry, apple
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
PENROSE (named after the triangle) is our “house” espresso. We feel the perfect espresso is an impossible goal, but we still strive to create it. PENROSE is our ever-updated offering in the quest for the perfect espresso. While the seasonal components at times may be single-origin, and at others a blend, it is always perfect for your hopper.
PENROSE also does well in the brewer – look for notes of lasting sweetness and heavy body, with a subdued acidity.
The 20th version of Penrose presents a 100% washed blend of Huila, Colombia and Allona, Ethiopia. Washed coffees from Huila have frequently filled our offering sheet over the last few years. Allona, Ethiopia has been a recent highlight as a single origin, and we’re excited to be able to offer it as a blend component in this espresso.
Team taste notes: brown sugar, cocoa, orange, stone fruit
Decaf EA Cauca is from the southwestern region of Cauca, Colombia. It is washed and milled at Centra Cooperativa Indigena del Cauca. They are a Fair Trade certified cooperative that works with farmers in Cauca and beyond.
The coffee is decaffeinated in Colombia as well at the Descafecol plant using ethyl acetate derived from locally-grown sugarcane.
Team taste notes: graham, molasses, brown spice, strawberry, apple, applewood
InterAmerican describes the EA decaf process done at Descafecol quite well:
Descafecol is the only decaffeination plant in the Andean region of Colombia. The plant relies entirely on the pure water from the Navado el Ruis (a snow-capped volcano on the border of the departments of Caldas and Tolima) and natural ethyl acetate from sugar cane plants in Palmira, Colombia.
Ethyl acetate is an organic compound (C4H8O2) with a sweet smell—it’s created during fermentation and contributes to what’s often described as the “fruitiness” in a young wine.
At Descafecol, the decaffeination process begins with steaming the green coffee at a very low pressure to remove the silver skins. The beans are then moistened with hot water, which causes them to swell and soften
and begins the hydrolysis of the caffeine, which is bonded to salts of
chlorogenic acid. (Hydrolysis refers water interacting with a compound and causing it to loosen from other particles.)
The ethyl acetate solvent is then circulated through the beans multiple times until at least 97 percent of the caffeine is removed. A low-pressure, saturated steam is then applied to remove any last traces of the ethyl
acetate, and finally the coffee is vacuum-dried in drums to remove any water and bring the final moisture level to between 10 and 12 percent.
The coffee is cooled to ambient temperature with fans and then polished with carnauba wax to protect it against humidity. Ultimately, no more than 5 ppm of ethyl acetate is left in the coffee, and once the coffee is roasted, there is no trace of it at all.
In 2016, our green coffee buyer, Andrew Timko, traveled to Colombia to do some hands-on training and application of his studies in Actively Aerated Compost Tea. He did this at Finca Tamana, owned by Elias Roa. There, he was able to learn more about making great compost with Elias and his pal Tim Wendelboe, who has done an extensive amount of work with Elias and now owns the neighboring farm, Finca El Suelo.
Elias is an extremely dedicated and smart producer. He’s aware of threats to the environmental and financial stability of his farm. We definitely look up to him and hope to share what we learned at Tamana with many of our origin partners. We are happy to once again offer coffee from Finca Tamana.
Team taste notes: toffee, nougat, grape, apple, pear, brown spice
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