Wholesale News, August 2020
By Honor Forte
Director of Sales, Wholesale Support and Training

Hello all, and happy end of Summer! I think the passage of time just seems a little more reassuring this year.

This week we were hit with wildfire smoke in our region leading to terrible air quality, setting our retail business back quite a bit. We know it affected a lot of you too. Im not sure what to say other than Im so sorry for the toll this year has taken. 

I am so thankful to have partners that share our determination and desire for serving great coffee to improve folks lives. It means the world to get to be such a huge part of your businesses. I hope the info below and the classes that are available add value and support to your business this month, but reach out with anything extra we might be able to do.

And just a reminder again, our Transparency Report is out for the year - share it with your staff if you haven't yet. It's my favorite thing we do. Hang in there everyone!
Honor Forte
Olympia Coffee Director of Sales

PS. send this sign-up form along to your employees and coworkers to help them get this info from us each month. We appreciate it!
Online Barista Classes
Our Wholesale partners can now attend our classes via Zoom. They are open and free to anyone serving Olympia Coffee.

If you can't attend, we're sharing the videos to view after. They're interactive but with social distancing in mind, and the ability to watch at your own convenience later!

Schedule your own Online Barista Class - Live on Zoom

Schedule an online training using the link below!

In place of our typical hands-on workshops, we'll be hosting barista training workshops over Zoom that focus on sharing information and demonstrating skills while encouraging live attendees to engage in the process. Request a class topic and propose a time using the link below.
Schedule a class »

Olympia Coffee 101 - Replay on Vimeo anytime
This class took place on Thursday August 6th
Watch now with password: WHOLESALEOCR

Our Story, Our Coffees, and Espresso/Milk Basics - Essential for all new Baristas serving Olympia Coffee.
Wach on Vimeo NOW: Olympia Coffee 101

WATCH: Social Media Development 101 - Replay on Vimeo
This class took place on Thursday June 4th 10am-12pm
Watch the replay with password:

This class was lead by Alvin Kim, our marketing and social media manager. Get a snapshot into how we are growing our online presence and brand recognition, and how you can improve yours.
Watch on Vimeo NOW: Social Media Class, Password WHOLESALEOCR

WATCH: Coffee at Origin - Replay on Vimeo
This class took place on Thursday May 28th 10am-12pm
Watch the replay with password:

This class was lead by Honor. It features an overview of coffee growing, processing, and sourcing, with a focus on Olympia Coffee's Fair For All practices. 
Watch on Vimeo NOW: Coffee at Origin Class, Password WHOLESALEOCR
Global Coffee Updates: September 2020

By Oliver Stormshak

Owner, Green Coffee Buyer, and Roast Master

September 2020, well at least we have great coffee!

Each month we take a moment to share what is going on at the coffee farms we work with, the global movement of our coffees, and what our inventory is looking like in our roasting facility.

Let's start with some great news: I'm proud to announce Olympia Coffee's steady producers Clinton, Amparo, and Lucas all advanced into the final round of Cup of Excellence! Think about this for one second: with over a million coffee farmers in Colombia, three of twenty-three who advanced to this prestigious tasting competition sell their coffee exclusively to Olympia Coffee. 

Our Colombian producers harvest year-round, but September marks the end of the "main" harvest in Colombia. This season has been hard; lack of labor throughout the country has spiked the internal Colombia prices. While the C market is trading at $1.20 Colombia local prices for basic low-quality specialty starts at $2.20. With prices so high, we have seen a drop in the motivation towards quality. Why work harder when you can do the minimum and receive a sustainable price? We are lucky to have developed so many relationships over the years where this spike has not affected us as much as others. We continue to source a good supply of coffee from the producers we have built strong relationships directly with. For example, we have seen and purchased micro-lots from Clinton Ossa, Amparo Pajoy, and Lucas Melo. 

On the shipping side, we just received a freshly harvested lot from San Fermin Organic. In the next couple of weeks, we will be releasing Clinton Ossa's Micro Lot 14 (my personal favorite from him so far this year). Ready to order online September 24th with the first roast on the following Monday. Once it sells out, it will be followed immediately by his micro lot 15.

Update for the future, we are getting a lot of questions on when our beloved San Sebastian Reserva will return to the menu. We have a selection of twenty-five, 35kg vacuum-packed boxes clearing customs right now so it should be on the menu early October.

In Ethiopia, the rains have promoted flowering for the coffee trees for new harvest to begin in the lower altitudes in October. Our producers typically hit peak volumes at their extremely high altitudes in December.

In the roastery, we are loving our Buna Boka and Chelchele Natural. I'm surprised more people are not dancing in the streets... it's that good (I'll assume it's the pandemic keeping people back from the dancing)! We are little more than half passed our inventory on these two coffees.

We have about half of our annual inventory in the United States right now. Insanely, it's September and we still have half of our inventory sailing towards us. Honestly, I'm starting to get a little nervous about how long these are taking. We knew due to COVID that these shipments would be delayed, but they ended up getting delayed over three months. Again, thankfully we are in a good spot with our inventory of Ethiopian coffee, so no worries on running out of these anytime soon! 

El Salvador
In El Salvador this month coffee cherries are moving from buds to developing into cherry, if we were to see them on the trees they would be green. Over the next four months, these buds will slowly turn from green to red. Here in our roastery we will also be moving our Sweetheart program to feature El Salvador-produced coffee throughout the remainder of the year. Our next Sweetheart is La Palma. La Palma is the name of the small town in the Chalatenango region from which we sourced these coffees. In the Sweetheart lot we have six farmers featured, all  are washed micro-lots that we combined into a blend that tastes like fudgy chocolate, stone fruits, and citrus. I personally love this coffee as espresso.

Kenya is actually in the middle of another harvest, which includes our friends at the Gitwe Cooperative. They have closed Kibiru Factory due to lower volumes, but Karinga and Karatu are still open. In Kiambu County where Gitwe is located, they tend to produce about half of the quantity during the annual harvest that goes from May to September compared to the harvest from November to February. 

In our roastery, we keep progressing through our micro-lots. This month in September we are moving through Kibiru AA micro lot 20 (sold out) to Kibiru Peaberry Micro Lot 16. By the end of the month, we will be roasting Karatu AA micro lot 16. So fun!

This has been a great year for us in Guatemala. We made the switch to sourcing in Huehuetenango away from both San Marcos and Palencia, and honestly, I've never been happier with our Guatemalan lineup and its potential for the future. The coffees of San Pedro Necta have been a really good fit for us. We are just about sold out of our Sweetheart El Templo and the Martinez Sisters Micro Lot. In early October we will be featuring our first single producer micro-lot this year and our first ever from a single producer from San Pedro Necta: Marta Mejia Micro Lot. This one is full with flavors of strawberry, rose, and almond-truly an awesome coffee!

This is the first time in our eight-years of working in Burundi that we will not be returning to visit our friends and partners at Long Miles Coffee Project. Alas, COVID has closed down our travel this year, but in all honesty, the pre-ship micro-lot samples we are receiving from Long Miles are banging this year. The quality is there, but we do miss our friends and producers around the world. It's been harder to connect even with the technology we have. Nothing replaces the four-hour car rides to really connect with people.

A couple of months back we announced that we are returning to sourcing coffees in Peru after an eight-year hiatus. The coffee harvest is annual in Peru, meaning one large harvest takes place in our summer months. We are working in the Cusco region right in the town where we left off eight years ago: Quillabamba. I'm remembering now that I had a birthday in Quillabamba and when the farmers found out, they created a birthday cake for me and shared jugs of home-brewed liquor that was delicious...and really strong! I'm looking forward to returning once the pandemic is over. We have booked a December arrival for our Peruvian coffees that we are calling Espiritu Wari after the ancient Wari people of the highlands of Cusco.


Coffee Inventory Timeline: September 2020

Coffees coming over the next month:

Clinton Ossa Micro Lot 14

El Salvador
Benjamin Garcia Pacamara
Ariz Family SL 34
Ariz Family SL 34 Honey
Ariz Family SL 28

Karatu AA Micro Lot 16
Karatu Peaberry Micro Lot 16
Coffees coming later this year:

Peru Espiritu Wari project launching in December with Sweetheart, Reserve and Micro Lot offerings

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