Global Coffee Updates: August 2020
By Oliver Stormshak
Owner, Green Coffee Buyer, and Roast Master
August is the bountiful month of harvest in our home here in western Washington and is proving to be a bountiful month around the world, too. We eagerly await our new crop coffees. Read more here to learn about each coffee origin we're working with this month.
Colombia's harvest is coming down from its peak in July and we are now seeing weekly lots from producers finish up the drying process. We're pleased to note that we're sampling generally higher quality lots! We've already marked some of our samples as micro-lots and others are being worked into San Sebastian Reserva. We expect new crop Colombian coffees to arrive in the country in October and November. In the roastery, we are roasting my personal favorite coffee in the current lineup, Clinton Ossa Micro Lot 13.
Ethiopian coffee production is currently dormant, but on the arrival side things are clearly heating up. Most of our natural-processed coffees and about half of our annual inventory are now in the United States and on their way to us. We are moving all our arrived inventory to warehouse storage in Western Washington for easier access. Our first two arrivals, Chelchele Natural Lot 225 and Buna Boka are on the menu and are the standouts you would expect from us and Ethiopia.
We are just about to roll out our collection of higher-end micro-lots from El Salvador starting with Ariz Family Pacamara. The Pacamara is a hybrid varietal originally from El Salvador and is personally one of my very favorite varietals. This first lot will be the washed version of the Ariz Pacamara, the second lot will be a Honey Process from the same farm and varietal. Our former green coffee relationship manager Marco Ariz was in charge of the production and processing of all the Ariz Family lots this year for the first time. I'm really excited to get to work with these coffees and see what Marco learned from his work globally with Olympia Coffee (hint: it's mind-blowing). Towards the end of August and into September we'll start releasing lots from our La Palma project with small scale producers in Chalatenango.
We are going through Kenya micro-lots really fast; we are almost on to our third micro-lot already in roasting! In August we will be roasting the Karatu Peaberry Micro Lot 20 and the Kibiru AA Micro Lot 20. Kenya is currently in its second coffee harvest for the year because, much like Colombia, it's located directly on the equator. However, we won't be sourcing coffee from their fly crop this year as those coffees would arrive at us this coming winter, and we are currently anticipating much higher volumes from Burundi than recent years at that time.
We are continuing to feature the incredible El Templo Reserva (seriously this coffee is awesome, some of the very best Guatemalan coffee this year). We also have a pretty good supply of the Martínez Sisters Micro Lot still on hand to last through the remainder of the summer. These coffees were harvested and processed through the winter and Spring of 2020 and farms are currently awaiting their next harvest at the end of the year.
While we are sad that we can't travel around the world right now to visit our farmers I'm really pleased to work with such a strong partner like Long Miles Coffee Project. Long Miles has really been nailing quality in samples this year. We have approved 100% of our contracted lots so far. The calibration process has been really outstanding thanks to the team at Long Miles Coffee and the two hills we work with, Mikuba and Gitwe. These coffees should be arriving in Olympia for roasting by the beginning of 2021.
Peru is a new project for us this year and is moving along smoothly. We have officially partnered with Caravela Coffee to launch this new project in southern Peru in the Cusco area. We are calling this project Espiritu Wari. Quality on early samples from Espiritu Wari has been good so far. Coffees are in the drying stages of production at the moment there and we should be receiving pre-shipment samples in the next few weeks. Our ETA is a December arrival date for these coffees. We are building a program for Sweetheart, Reserva, and Micro Lots offerings.