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July 2020 Global Coffee Updates

Posted by Oliver Stormshak on

I'm thankful each day for the specialty coffees we get to enjoy, particularly while we're living through this global pandemic. Stay-at-home orders show us what is essential and what is a luxury; these coffees add pleasure to life and brighten my day. I find it personally gratifying to be a part in sourcing and roasting these coffees for you. 
July is the month we have been waiting for in terms of new offerings and exciting lots. From now until the end of the year, we're finally rolling out the year's best coffees from Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Colombia. 


Were you one of the lucky ones that purchased a bag of Jesus Cuchumbe Maragogipe Micro Lot 1? We only had 77lbs of this coffee available and it sold out in just a few hours (for the record I, too, missed out on getting a bag). Fortunately, I tasted this coffee as part of our sample roasting and quality control cuppings. This might be one of the best-tasting coffees I've ever had. 
Here in the US, our only coffee from Colombia, San Fermin Organic, is being offered as part of a blend. We are in between seasons at the moment, but we have a small micro-lot from Clinton Ossa which will be on the menu in August. This month marked the peak of Colombia's main harvest, which means we should be seeing a long list of these coffees in the lineup and available by September.


It's extremely rare that we are out of Ethiopian offerings, but we are. The small amount of Ethiopian Natural we have on hand is reserved exclusively for blending. We're eager to bring Ethiopian coffee back to our menu and we're happy to report that our first selections from Ethiopia are on the water. The first container is expected to arrive later this month. Expect new crop Ethiopian to be on the menu in August.


It's full-on Guatemala season here at Olympia Coffee. We have El Templo Sweetheart, El Templo Reserva, and a micro lot from the Martinez sisters trio. I know I'm biased but I think these are the best Guatemalan offerings I've ever tasted. The El Templo Reserva and the Martinez Sisters Micro-Lot are beautiful. For years, we've dreamt of identifying and sourcing coffees like these. After years of working with producers and developing the Fair For All and El Templo program, It feels like we've finally achieved our goals in Guatemala.
This year we changed to sourcing coffees in Huehuetenango. We have known all along that Huehuetenango produced the best coffee from Guatemala but we didn't have the organizational strength to source and work with farmers that met our Fair For All standards until this year. We are actually working with two separate teams in this project: Caravela and Olam. With Caravela's quality control standards and professional preparation for export, we worked on tiered projects to build the lots for Sweetheart and Reserva. With Olam, we are working with our old friend and Guatemala Country Director Byron Halcomb to fulfill our shared dream of sourcing exclusive micro lots from independent, small scale indigenous producers.

El Salvador:

Last week I took home a bag of La Palma. This coffee was so delicious. It was created from a selection of coffees from five farmers that have participated in our La Palma Project. La Palma is the name of the town in Chalatenango El Salvador. It was originally created for Sweetheart but I'm loving it as a caramelization roast.
The flood gates are about to explode with all the El Salvador coffees heading in! Our second shipment from El Salvador is now clearing customs at the Port of Tacoma! We have twelve 90+ grade micro-lots! It's going to be insanely awesome to be roasting these coffees and sharing them with you.


Yes! We have word that our Kenyan coffees from the Gitwe Cooperative have cleared customs and are preparing for shipment to our Roastery. Gitwe has three washing stations: Kibiru, Karatu, and Karinga. We will be featuring coffee from all three for the next six months. This includes multiple micro-lots, peaberries, AA's and AB's. 
On July 23rd we will release our first offering from Kenya the Karatu AA Micro Lot 20. I expect each micro lot to last only about one to two weeks so don't miss any of them. Each year our Kenya's are often the highest scoring coffees of the year, these are the coffees that cuppers and roasters love the most.


This last week, we've been cupping samples from the Long Miles Coffee Project. We are sad to not be traveling due to the pandemic, but love that our partnership is so strong that we can continue to work through it without missing a beat. The selections we have made are incredible and delicious and over the next few weeks, we will continue to receive direct samples from the Mikuba and Gitwe Hills.


Finally, please welcome Peru to the lineup! We have officially partnered with Caravela Coffee to launch a new project in southern Peru in the Cusco area. We are calling this project Espiritu Wari. Espiritu Wari producers are now in the thick of harvest as I write. We expect these coffees to ship from Peru in November with a December arrival. We are building a program for Sweetheart, Reserva, and Micro Lots.

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