Countless heirloom varieties are grown in semi-forest areas near the river Hamile. The soil is rich, loamy and brown. Harvesting time is between November and January. In combination with the microclimate and an annual rainfall of more than 1,700mm, extensive maturity duration and the natural process brings a sweet, floral, rich, silky and balanced cup.
Coffees like this one located in Southern Ethiopia are produced from distinctive traditional Ethiopian varieties of Arabica long grown in the region. Like virtually all southern Ethiopia coffees, this coffee is produced by villagers on small garden plots interplanted with food and other subsistence crops. This is a dry-processed or “natural” coffee, meaning the beans were dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed, as is the case with wet-processed or “washed” coffees.
This coffee is a strictly high grown washed Bourbon variety coffee from the Santa Julia and La Joya farms in the Apaneca - Ilamatepec sub-region of Santa Ana in El Salvador.
Together these farms harvest just over 90 hectares of land and range in altitude from 1300 - 1558 masl. Santa Julia, the larger of the two farms at 88 hectares, is owned by Producer Haydee Alvarez and his family. The farm has been in the family since its establishment in 1888. La Joya is owned by producer Ignacio Fernandez and harvests around 14 hectares.
Coffee from both of these contributing farms are fully washed and sun dried in traditional clay patios.
Ethiopia is coffee’s Mecca. The Arabica species traces its origin to the western edges of the country. Ethiopia is the rare producing nation whose internal consumption equals its export volume. In Ethiopia, coffee is not just a product, not a mere cash crop, not even a simple breakfast beverage – it is a way of life.
This blend melds the thrilling, complex flavor profiles found throughout Ethiopia into a balanced melting pot. Ripe blackberry and blueberry notes from immaculate dry-processed coffees meet the candy sweetness, bright citrus, and nuanced floral flavors intrinsic in washed coffees grown in regions like Sidama and Yirgacheffe. Ethiopia’s indigenous heirloom cultivars, its ideal terroir, and its unparalleled history give its coffees a mystique, a je ne sais quoi, that set them apart, a category unto themselves.
Colombia is among the largest producer of coffee in the world and was number two behind Brazil for decades. The Tolima growing regions are named after the Tolima district, which was home to Pijaos people before the Spanish arrived.
The Pijaos were known among the Spaniards as fierce defenders of their homeland, which they called “Dulima”.
Named after a famous native priestess, Yulima, the Tolima department was created in 1861 from part of what was Cundinamarca. Hugging the western slopes of the Andes mountains north of the Huila district, Tolima boasts snow-covered peaks, deep river valleys, and all-terrain in between. Coffee trees love the high hills while rice, sesame, and sorghum claim the lower regions.
The high altitudes and rich soil help put coffee from Tolima on the board for awards: in 2015, the district garnered three of the top four awards for the Colombian Cup of Excellence competition, securing 1st, 3rd, and 4th places.
Aeropress and Pour Over methods of making coffee have been gaining quite a bit of traction as they’re both affordable methods of making good coffee. But which is easier, quicker, and, most importantly, makes the best cup of coffee?
If you’re looking to brew convenient, affordable and delicious coffee, the Aeropress and the pour over are both a good choice.
The Aeropress wins in a few areas: versatility allowing for anything from a quick cup of coffee to a strong cappuccino, an easier cleanup , and the fact that you can make a great cup of coffee in seconds or when traveling, whilst, the pour-over method is still incredibly affordable and a staple of any coffee aficionado’s kitchen, especially when time affords a cup of coffee worth savoring.
Neel Vohora is a third-generation Tanzanian of Indian heritage, and his family has been in the Tanzanian coffee business since the end of the second World War. The family export business based in Arusha has more than 60 years experience in the country.
Since 1971, the Vohora’s have owned about 1000 acres of farmland on the southern exterior slopes of the Ngorongoro caldera near the town of Karatu in Tanzania’s lush rift valley. The farms possess Rainforest Alliance certificate, and the family and their 50+ full-time employees on the farm have done a remarkable job of upkeep and preservation of natural beauty while also running a thriving coffee business. They are diversifying into Macadamia, provide temporary housing for harvest labor, and even supply land on the farm for local smallholders to grow beans – a mutually beneficial crop as the legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, a critical step in a healthy cycle of crops.
Neel’s sister Kavita runs the dry mill, roasters, and export business from Arusha, a two-hour drive away from the farms. Their father, Ajai, lives in nearby Nairobi, Kenya, and is still very much involved in the business of exporting coffee as well. Kavita is a licensed Q-grader, a meticulous cupper and quality agent, a lively companion for a glass of wine, and a new mother. She keeps a small army of pets around the office, including terriers and ducks. Neel, an excellent cook and a knowledgeable farmer with a persistent drive to experiment, has staffed the estate with experienced management. He’s also fond of dogs and has a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback that stays on the farm.
The coffees the Vohora family produce achieve consistently high quality from year-to-year despite a number of unique challenges. Water shortages prompted new rainwater basins at critical high points on the farm a few years ago. Animal damage of the coffee trees is frequent and traumatic – usually, it’s the water buffalo that are most destructive in herds, though the occasional elephant can be heard at night, making its way through the forest. Lastly, and probably most concerningly, Tanzania has struggled to properly support farmers of all sizes. An already difficult crop made unnecessarily more precarious by an inconsistent support structure, corrupt bureaucracy, and frequent delays at hot and humid ports would be enough to dissuade all but the most persistent of farmers.
This Ethiopian coffee comes to us from a single farmer named Desta Gola living in the Dodora neighborhood of Wonago, a district within the Gedeo Zone. Desta Gola is forty-nine years old and has a four-hectare farm with a little over 20,000 trees which have been in production since 2013. Desta Gola is a member of the Adame Gorbota cooperative which lies to the south of Yirgacheffe town.
The nation of Ethiopia is home to over 100 million people, and agriculture accounts for the vast majority of the country’s labor force. While large estates do exist, they are the minority. Most farmers in Ethiopia count their trees rather than their acreage, and most farms are truly gardens where food for the family is grown with perhaps a few cash crops interspersed to supplement income. Unlike many areas of the world, however, coffee is both native to Ethiopia and a part of daily life. Considered a cash crop elsewhere, it is consumed in Ethiopia in most homes, and an elaborate ceremony often accompanies its service. Ethiopia is the world’s only coffee producing country whose volume of consumption equals its export.
This coffee is sourced from the Tana Toraja region of Northern Toraja, on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia. The coffee is processed at the PT Toarco Jaya facility, a joint Japanese and Indonesian coffee venture established in 1976 by Key Coffee. PT Toarco Jaya is one of just a handful of Indonesian producers that utilizes a fully-washed process. PT Toarco Jaya also has a long history of contributing to the region’s economic development and social improvement programs by building roads, schools, and processing stations.
This is one of our most consistently high scored and delicious coffees from Indonesia. PT Toarco Jaya sources coffee from the mountains that surround a large bowl-shaped central valley with the city of Rantepao at its center.
Toarco Jaya circumvents this process not only by growing coffee on their own Pedamaran Plantation which surrounds their processing facility but also by sourcing coffee from trusted producers throughout the region and subjecting the offerings to strict quality control. While most of their coffee comes from these surrounding farms, their quality control is so stringent that they have made a name for themselves in specialty coffee by upholding these standards over the course of more than 40 years.
The Kochere district is a few kilometers south of the legendary coffee town of Yirgacheffe in the Gedeo Zone. Coffees from this region are among the finest on earth. Kochere grows under a semi-forested shade canopy at the peak altitude for Yirgacheffe’s coffee production.
The farmers in this region cultivate their Ethiopian heirloom varietals without the use of chemical fertilizers – in fact, nearly all coffee in Ethiopia is default organic regardless of having certification. Pristine growing methods combined with precise processing makes coffee from this region world renown.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Konga is produced by small coffee producers organized around the Konga mill in the Yirgacheffe Zone of Ethiopia. Ripe cherries are carefully selected at the Konga mill and immediately placed on raised beds and dried over a period of 15 to 20 days. The raised drying beds are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for an optimal drying process. Cherries are also turned regularly on the beds to prevent damage during the drying process. The cherries are stored in a local warehouse after the moisture is reduced to between 11.5 and 12 percent and then transported to Addis Ababa where the coffee is milled and exported.