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

Hello all,

We're well into July already but we have some updates to share, particularly about our upcoming coffees. Read our Global Coffee updates and coffee schedule below.

Earlier this year we also started hosting our Digital Barista Training series over Zoom. We now have videos of the classes you may have missed to share. We have our Coffee at Origin, and Social Media and Marketing classes on vimeo below, and an upcoming Olympia Coffee 101 class on Zoom as well. See you there!

Lastly, this month we've also had one of our own staff at a retail location (not at the roastery) test positive for COVID-19, so I wanted to share what we did as a company and what we learned through the process by staying in close contact with the Washington State Health Department and the Thurston County Health Department. See our response and details from Oliver's meetings at the bottom of the letter. We hope this info can be helpful to any of you that may go through something similar.

And just a reminder our
Transparency Report is out for this year. It's my favorite thing we get to share. Take a look soon!
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'll be 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 - Live on Zoom Thursday August 6th
Join the Training Live: Thursday August 6th, 10am-12pm PST
Use this link to join the class:

Our Story, Our Coffees, and Espresso/Milk Basics - Essential for all new Baristas serving Olympia Coffee. No password required to join. Reach out to your rep if you can attend and use the links here to join.
Zoom Link: Olympia Coffee 101 -- 8/6 »

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


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 77 lbs 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.

Coffee Inventory Timeline: July 2020

Coffees coming over the next month:

Kenya: AA and Peaberry micro lots from Karatu and Kibiru washing stations
El Salvador: 12 different Micro Lots
Coffees coming later this year:

Colombia: New-crop shipments land in Olympia in August
Ethiopia: New crop shipments land in Olympia in August
Peru: Espiritu Wari project launching in December with Sweetheart, Reserve and Micro Lot offerings


Our Staff-Member
Coronavirus Response:
What We Learned
Earlier this week we learned one of our staff had tested positive for COVID19. Here is how we responded and what we learned in the aftermath to help you, should something like this arise in your own business.

Before learning of their test results, the staff member had already self quarantined and notified their cafe manager to seek testing for coworkers who had been in contact with the staff member for longer than 15 minutes. (While all of our staff and customers are required to wear masks, this is the current guideline for transmission according to the CDC).

Once we learned of their positive test result, we immediately closed the cafe and sanitized the space according to CDC guidelines, and all of our staff from the location sought testing. We also immediately notified our other staff members and the public.

While the natural feeling is that it may be better to not tell the public of the case, we felt strongly that we wanted to be transparent and not take any risks. Our immediate closure and public posting about the case was met with overwhelming gratitude and positive reinforcement from the public and coworkers.

Lastly, Oliver, who was tested himself and quaratined until learning results, sought meetings with both our state and county Health departments and sent along this information to staff today:

"Yesterday I set up a meeting with the Washington State Department of Health to chat with them about the best practices for COVID response for our business.

I described to them what we have done thus far, and got a clear idea of what is required of us. They described our actions as "the gold standard," so thank you to everyone for their prompt actions as we move forward.

The following are some takeaways:
  • If a staff member is sick for any reason they should stay home.
  • If they have COVID like symptoms they should seek testing
  • Anyone can get tested at any time
  • Best practices are to get tested between 2-7 days after a 15 minute or more exposure to someone who has tested positive.
  • Testing of people exposed to or cohabiting with a person with the confirmed case is recommended but not required.
  • Quarantining after a negative result on a test is not required, nor necessary.
  • Any staff member who tests negative is approved to return to work immediately.
  • If you did not have contact with the infected person and do not have any symptoms there is no need to seek testing.
  • Quarantining after being exposed to someone testing positive is recommend but not required.
  • A business is not required to close if they have a staff member infected or testing positive 

Some of you might also get a call from the Thurston County Health Department to be asked to quarantine for 14 days after contact with a positive tested individual.

I still wanted to learn more, so I met with the Thurston County Health Department and their contact tracer team today.
  • They said that if someone was in contact with the infected person within 48 hours of symptoms the contact tracer team will reach out to them.
  • This would be 3 employees who did work with an infected person within the 48-hour window. 
  • I asked for clarification around contact: contact is spending 15 + minutes within 6 feet of the positive tested person in a one-time chunk.
  • This does not mean the added time of 15 minutes passing each other etc
So the question is did you double bar or work this close to the infected person for more than 15 minutes? Did you spend time outside of work in close contact for 15 or more minutes?

If the answer is yes, you should self-quarantine up through July 24th. If the answer is no, and you receive a negative test, you're free to live your life as normal including returning to work.

I hope this is helpful information. I know that I felt better after going through these two meetings."

I feel proud we were able to have an educated and appropriate response to the situation and that we are sticking to the book on our response here.I hope it's helpful to you as well.

Reach out to your rep at Olympia Coffee -  Honor, Tyler, or Patrick - if you have any questions about this response yourself.
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