March Global Coffee Updates
By Oliver Stormshak
Owner, Green Coffee Buyer, and Roast Master
This month the world, and especially the coffee industry, has been affected by the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19. In our 15 years in business, this is easily the scariest and most stressful experience we have ever faced. Coffee is a staple often assumed to be an infinite resource, but as you’ll find with some of our partners, worldwide trade is affected by unforeseen crises such as this. So now more than ever, we wanted to continue sharing the status of our partners globally to remind us all that we are all in this together. We’re glad coffee is something we can continue to celebrate and share, even amidst these uncertain moments.
In the roastery, we have a steady supply of new arrivals including the absolutely delicious Clinton Ossa Micro 10. Mid-month we’ll be rolling out Amparo Pajoy’s 23rd micro lot with Olympia Coffee, then in April, we will be roasting Clinton Ossa Micro Lot 11. Finally, you can always depend on a fresh arrival of the delicious Sweetheart Colombia San Sebastian to make its way to your shelves. Later this year, we’re expecting the arrival of more Colombian coffees including San Fermin, San Sebastian Decaf, and San Sebastian Reserva as well as micro-lots from Johany Quilindo, Clinton Ossa, and Amparo Pajoy.
In Colombia, March is one of two months where the country sees little to no harvesting of coffee. It’s a time where producers get a bit of break to catch up on farm improvements and take a well-earned moment to relax. But April typically brings more ripe cherries so before they know it, it’s back to harvest season!
Right now, we are loving our coffee from Adame Garbota. It’s been our highest scoring coffee for the last few weeks and we’ve come down to just a couple more weeks worth of this Good Food Award-winning coffee. Our natural-processed Tilahun Gedo is tasting great, too, and is also down to just a few more weeks remaining. I’m sad to report this will be our last natural until fresh crop arrives mid-summer.
Coming up, we await our last washed lot of the year from single producer Desta Gola. As we begin booking shipments of newly harvested Ethiopian coffee for 2020, I’m happy to report that I’ve expanded our single producer program, which has been growing each year, and we are increasing purchasing from some of our favorite cooperatives.
After our recent visits to El Salvador, we’re getting ready to start tasting pre-shipment samples. Production has stopped and coffees are finishing up their drying process. We’re shooting for anew-crop from El Salvador to start shipping in May.
We recently canceled our harvest wrap-up trip to Guatemala due to the pandemic, which put our Guatemalan purchases a little behind schedule. That said, we’re still expecting Guatemalan offerings to begin landing in June.
We are on our final Kenyan offering from last summer’s harvest: Kaguma AB. Before it runs out, you can enjoy this sweet, juicy coffee on a nice spring day!
I’m really excited to announce we are now purchasing from one co-op: Gitwe Cooperative. We have developed a strong enough relationship to be in a position where we can purchase exclusively from them. Gitwe has three washing stations Kiburu, Karatu and Karinga and we have sourced beautiful micro-lots from these three to bring home. Arriving in May!
Burundi is just about two months from the beginning of their harvest. We expect another top-quality harvest from our partners at Long Miles Coffee. This year will be an especially interesting year politically as the country heads into an election right at the beginning of the harvest in June.