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


Hello all,

May has been a month of slowly building a new normal. Many of you have reached out to let us know you have re-opened your businesses with modifications for safety. We are here to support you and appreciate the opportunity to help. We have opened our own cafes again and roasting/shipping/delivery is still happening on a regular schedule.

While we have suspended in-person barista classes for now, we are announcing some
new classes over live stream meetings starting this month. We would love to have you or your staff attend these free classes tailored to the video conference format. They will continue to be at 10am on Thursdays for those that can attend live, but we will also be uploading the recorded class for others to watch after too.

Detail on the classes are below with Oliver's Global Coffee Updates.


Also, did you read our Transparency Report yet? It's my favorite thing we get to publish each year and it came out just last month.
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

Starting this month you and your staff can attend our classes via Zoom. If you can't attend, we'll be sharing the videos to view after. They will be interactive like our classes have always been, but with social distancing in mind, and the ability to watch at your own convenience later!

Digital Barista Training - NEW!

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. 
Schedule a class »

Machine and Grinder Maintenance - NEW!

Join the Training Live: Thursday May 21st 10am-12pm
Use this link to join the class live: 
https://zoom.us/j/97815688417

Learn the basics of daily cleaning and some simple preventative maintenance. We'll cover daily cleaning for espresso machines, weekly cleaning for Espresso and Bulk Grinders, and how to perform your quarterly maintenance yourself, including replacement of your espresso machine's gaskets, screens, and baskets.
Zoom Link: Machine Grinder and Maintenance 5/21 »

Coffee at Origin

Join the training Live: Thursday May 28th 10am-12pm
Use this link to join the class live: 
https://zoom.us/j/93862320921

Learn more about where our coffee starts, the factors that affect a coffee's flavor, and our rigorous Fair For All sourcing standard.
Zoom Link: Coffee at Origin 5/28 »

Social Media Development 101 - NEW!
Join the training Live: Thursday June 4th 10am-12pm
Use this link to join the class live: 
https://zoom.us/j/93797487545

We would love to help you develop your social media using the tools we've learned over the years. This class will be lead by Alvin Kim, our marketing and social media manager. Get a snapshot into how we are growing our online presence and brand recognition, how you can improve yours, and we'll be doing a section on improving your photography skills too. 
Zoom Link: Social Media for Business 101 -- 6/4 »

Olympia Coffee 101 - NEW!
Join the training Live: Thursday June 11th, 10am-12pm
Use this link to join the class: 
https://zoom.us/j/95069723137

Our Story, Our Coffees, and Espresso Basics - Essential for all new Baristas serving Olympia Coffee
Zoom Link: Olympia Coffee 101 -- 6/11 »
May Global Coffee Updates

By Oliver Stormshak
Owner, Green Coffee Buyer, and Roast Master


How is it May? Somehow we are almost halfway through 2020. The global pandemic has not only disrupted our cafe locations and local economy but has deeply affected global trade and the global supply of coffee, too. I know we are all getting tired of the bad news, so I'm happy to share some good news in my report this month as well.

Colombia
The main harvest is underway in Colombia. The high altitude farms that we work with only have a small amount of coffee to harvest in the few weeks and should hit their peak of production around June. I'm always surprised by how productive the farms are in Colombia. The average farm that we work with in Colombia is only 3 hectares, or 7 acres. On that small bit of land, a weekly production can hit as much as 2,000 pounds of coffee cherry. That works out to be almost 1,000 pounds of exportable green coffee. To give you a sense of how productive that is, it's about 5 times the amount of coffee on a piece of land than a farmer in Burundi, and more than double the amount of an Ethiopian farmer. We currently have a small amount of coffee ready for export in Colombia that is moving a bit slower than normal, but should ship during May. 

The good news is we still have a full supply of Colombian coffee on hand, and even more waiting in storage. Currently, we are working through our Reserve Lucas Melo lots and we are moving pretty quickly through our Colombian Micro Lots as usual. As of this writing, we are roasting the Clinton Ossa Micro Lot 12, and up next we have Amparo Pajoy Micro Lot 24 (expect this to go fast as we only have 225 pounds. I'm not sure if we will get there during May, but after Amparo's coffee, we will be sharing an exceptional coffee from our export-import partners Caravela Coffee. They own and operate a test farm, called Finca Belgravia, and it's one of very few Certified B Corporation Coffee Farms in the world. This coffee will be one of only a few fully Certified B from farm, export, import, and roasting. B Corporations, as you may know, is a certification process that Olympia Coffee achieved starting in 2019. Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards in the world for ethical and environment standards.

Ethiopia
We love Ethiopian coffee so much so that we feel like we can't live without them. It's such a big deal that we have made the decision to buy a coffee outside of our Fair For All program to ensure we have a delicious and ethically sourced Ethiopian coffee for you all during uncertain times.  The only reason this doesn't qualify as a Fair For All coffee is that we cannot confirm the details within our own audit system as we have never visited this washing station in-person. That said, this is a fully traceable and transparent offering from an importer called Red Fox Coffee Merchants and we are confident that the information we have confirms that this coffee meets our sustainable sourcing/pricing standards and is available for purchase now! Nano Genji Lot 2 is the coffee I'm writing about, and it's a delicious washed lot from the Jimma region of Ethiopia.

More craziness and chaos to report too. After much hemming and hawing, I've decided to re-release the single-origin caramelization roast version of Ethiopia Jibicho Natural. It's back in our linep now after being reserved as an ingredient in our flagship Big Truck Blend for a little while. So why the chaos with our Ethiopian lineup? Well, we hit shipping delays, and most of our Ethiopian Coffee is still in Ethiopia. Their ports are only working at 1/2 capacity to practice social distancing. I was hoping for June arrivals, now I'm hoping for July. The really good news? Nano Genji Lot 2 is a new crop coffee. That means fresh Ethiopian coffee as early as May - it's never happened before, but yeah, some things are going right.

Guatemala
Our first Guatemalan coffee has arrived in the United States! This is also my chance to formally introduce our newest sourcing project in Huehuetenango. This year we moved our small scale producer program to Huehue from San Marcos and we could not be happier with the decision. We have been looking for these coffees for years. In fact, we used to work in Huehue many years ago with a Cooperative that had great coffee but was buried in corruption and lack of transparency. It's taken us about 8 years to return back, but we are back for good and the coffees and producers we are working with are a much better fit. We are calling this project El Templo (The Temple) after the Mayan archeological site Zaculeu. Within El Templo this season you will experience the following qualities and lots: First up, we will roast El Templo on May 25th, which is a larger blend that we've built from 14 farmers in the city of San Pedro Necta and will also be roasted as a Sweetheart offering. Then, we'll be releasing El Templo Reserva, which is a super high-quality lot from just 3 farmers as well as 3 single producer micro-lots, each cupping above 90 points. The El Templo project features flavors that are juicy and fruity (we're getting lots of peach and chocolate), while the micro-lots are getting more floral and blackberry-like. I haven't been this excited in Guatemalan coffee in many years.

El Salvador
We are scrambling to get all our El Salvador selections dry milled and ready for export. It's taken a bit more time than we'd anticipated for the majority of our micro-lots. The lots from the Ariz family are tasting great, but we are rejecting much more coffee from our La Palma program than expected. This poses a concerning question about quality and we've been hearing that farmers have been a bit complacent this year as the prices and demand for single producer, traceable coffees from La Palma in Chalatenango have really driven prices up. Farmers don't seem to be motivated towards quality when buyers are lining up to buy regardless of quality. We do have a few, so don't panic. We have beautiful Pacamara micro-lots from Dimas Garica, another from his father Benjamin Garcia, and another from Matias Hernandez too. Expect these coffees a little later in the Summer, though the timeline is still uncertain. 

Kenya
Darn it, our Kenya's are delayed too. Our Kenyan coffees are usually the first new crop of the year to arrive, but with COVID-19, things fell behind schedule and our coffees are now booked to leave the port of Mombassa in late May, with an early July arrival in the port of New Orleans. It will then be put on another boat there to float up the Mississippi river to Minneapolis to be stripped and loaded onto a truck to make the final overland journey to the Pacific Northwest by late July. Because Kenyan coffees are an important part of Little Buddy Blend we might have to find a substitute for a little while.

Burundi
Beautiful Burundi is now in harvest. We are expecting some bumpy paths forward as the harvest will coincide with a national election in June. We were in Burundi during an attempted overthrow of this government a few years ago and it was not good. We have decided, for a number of reasons, that it would not be safe to travel to Burundi this year. However, we still expect to purchase coffees from our producer partners at Long Miles Coffee Project, with arrival expected this coming winter.

 
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