March 2021
By Honor Forte
Director of Sales and Wholesale Support

Hello again from Olympia Coffee! This month we're feeling optimistic.

Here in Washington State, Food Production workers are becoming eligible for the vaccine this week, which includes your coffee roasters, roastery office staff,  and our delivery driver.  We are overwhelmed with the potential this brings to our own lives, and are looking forward to hearing that all of our coworkers and families are eligible soon too.

For coffee, this will inevitably mean a return to a more collaborative coffee buying and evaluating process. We haven't held group cuppings or traveled to origin to taste coffee with producers in a year.  I look forward to letting you know when these things return.

Read Oliver's updates below to see what we're excited to see from origin this year, and coffees you'll be enjoying throughout the Spring and Summer. Updates to blends and espresso specs are below as well.

Happy Final Days of March everyone!

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!
Global Coffee Updates: March 2021

By Oliver Stormshak

Owner, Green Coffee Buyer, and Roast Master

Happy New Year. We are excited to source, roast, and brew some of the very best coffees in the world in 2021.

We can feel the energy of change approaching us. As Spring moves closer, so, too come the longer days, optimism around our vaccination rates, and a general hope towards a safer, brighter future.We're going on a year now without travel and visiting our coffee producers, but it feels like our on-the-ground sourcing efforts will be deemed safe as soon as this Fall. If everything goes as planned we hope to return to visiting producers in Colombia in late Summer as our first return to origin trip.This month is a busy one in the countries we work in; the 2021 harvest, for above-the-equator producers is now over or ending and the rush to dry, mill, and package coffee for export is on! Below is an update to our supply of coffee in our roastery, what is on the way, and what is happening at origin this month.

In the roastery, it's definitely Colombia season. We started the month with Amparo Pajoy's 28th micro-lot, launched another coffee from super-producer Lucas Melo, and by mid-March, we will be featuring our first-ever micro lot for Zacarias Chavez! This lot will begin the flow of many of our new commitments coming from new producers in the Nariño region. Later this month, we will release our fourth micro lot from Yomar Quilindo from Inza.

You'll find Colombian coffee playing a role in each of our blends, lending sweetness and caramel notes to our lineup. In Colombia, March is one of two months of the year where very little harvesting takes place. Coffee cherry is currently developing on the trees marking the end of the 1st semester of Colombian harvest; April typically marks the beginning of the 2nd semester. Our selection of Colombian coffee typically is year-round at Olympia Coffee.

The 2021 annual harvest in Ethiopia is now closed, coffees are in the process of drying and curing at this point. For the first time in a decade, we went a year without traveling to Ethiopia and visiting producers to make selections on the ground. Our work will need to remain remote this year like so many others in the world.
In the roastery, we still have a hefty supply of our Ethiopian selections in stock and more offerings ready in waiting. We started the month roasting Eshetu Natural; this has been one of my personal favorites with a ridiculously sweet, fruity, and impeccably clean profile! Soon, we will be releasing a new natural process coffee from Wolde Hirbe of the Adame Garbota Cooperative. This will mark our first time featuring a natural processed coffee from the village of Wenago. I'm really excited about this. Coffees from areas north of Yirgacheffe village tend to be the most floral coffee on Earth. On the washed side, our Zelelu Ararso lot has been topping our production roast scores with these insanely sweet, floral notes. Zelelu Ararso is from the above-mentioned area of Wenago Kebele and is also a member of Adame Garbota Cooperative. Towards the end of the month, we might get into our last washed Ethiopian coffee from last year's harvest. This will be the annual harvest from producer Desta Gola.

El Salvador
The harvest in El Salvador is still at its peak in March, especially at our partner farm El Aguila. The days are long with harvesting and processing late into the night for the Ariz family who are in their first full year of processing their own coffee. The harvest in the Chalentenago outside the town of La Palma is pretty much over. Our first cuppings from producers we are working with have been awesome. My breath was taken away recently when I had a chance to taste the Pacas selection from our longtime producer Melvin Flores. We are in the process of booking our shipping schedule for our El Salvador coffees but we typically receive these coffees around July. We currently do not have any El Salvador coffees in our position.

The harvest in Guatemala is really at its peak in the towns of Concepcion Huista and San Pedro Necta where our El Templo sourcing project is based. We really loved our Guatemalan offerings from the El Templo project last year and are hoping to reproduce last year's success. This project is not as developed as our other origins so we are taking it a bit slower in Huehuetenango post COVID-19. We plan to return to visiting producers in person, developing a network of more producers, and purchasing larger volumes in future years. We currently do not have any Guatemalan coffee in our position.

The 2021 harvest is now over in Kenya. Our partners at Long Miles Coffee Kenya have moved the production over to KCCE Dry Mill for milling and we are working on consolidation of our coffees into a container for export. We will be cupping each micro lot produced by Long Miles Coffee Kenya to curate our collection for the year. We are purchasing the majority of the premier harvest, but there will be a bit of selection to cup through. Right now, we have just about another month of Karatu on our shelves, which is still tasting stellar.

After 3 months on the water in shipping our Burundi micro lots will be arriving into the country this month. By April we should have the release dates scheduled for amazing lots from Mikuba and Gitwe in all three processes: Fully Washed, Honey, and Naturals. Once released, we will feature these beauties for the next few months straight. In Burundi, farmers are preparing for the annual harvest that will commence in April and run through July typically.

It's been really great to be roasting Peruvian coffees again. I know all of you have been excited as well our top tier selection from our Espirítu Wari project sold out in record time. We are now on to our El Guayacan Reserva lot, another top quality lot from Northern Peru. By the end of March, we'll already be roasting our third lot from Peru this year as we return back to the Cusco region for our Espirítu Cusco lot. The Espirítu Cusco is a selection of micro lots that we built and blended in a slightly larger scale primarily for our Sweetheart Blend. We will also be featuring this coffee as a single origin showcase for its lower acidity and friendly chocolate profile.

This month we are excited to be receiving a selection of samples from our farmers in Hawaii. We will hold a few days of cupping through samples and selecting our favorites to feature this year. We hope to source more than one offering from Hawaii, but as I'm sure you know these coffees are in very high demand and just because it's from Hawaii doesn't mean that we lower standards for quality. It's extremely rare to find Kona and other Hawaiian coffee scoring as high as our regular offerings from other origins, but we're confident we can find a few this year. With tourism still at a low, we are hearing that there is more available to purchase. Fingers crossed.

We are dipping our toes into the waters of Mexico, a region we have previously sourced from in the past and always intended to return to. Our priorities shifted in previous years to support projects that needed more attention, but we're proud to report that we are working remotely through a few channels of exporters on the ground to learn more and develop this origin from afar. We have already committed to purchasing a very small amount of Mexican coffee this year. The Mexican harvest is currently live and word from the team is that quality is great. Stay tuned.

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

Espresso Specs
Our Trainer's Current Recommendations

*Take Note of Sweetheart Updates in particular*

Big Truck - Organic Blend
Colombia San Fermin and Ethiopia Chelchele Natural

Recommended at 1:2 Ratio
18g dose, 36g yield, 22-32 seconds
Asterisk - Decaf
Colombia San Sebastian - Sugarcane Processed Decaffeination

Recommended at 1:2 Ratio
18g dose, 36g yield, 22-32 seconds
Little Buddy  - Seasonal Blend
Kenya Karatu AB, Colombia San Fermin, Ethiopia Chelchele Natural Lot 215

18g dose, 40-42g yield, 26-29 seconds
Sweetheart - Our seasonal Blend

Sweetheart Blend is our effort to create the best-tasting blend of coffees sourced with the highest ethical standards. While espresso is our primary inspiration for Sweetheart, the high-quality beans and consistent roast profile are what make this offering a standout in all brewing methods. Most specialty coffee farmers have an easy time selling their lowest and highest quality coffee, but the majority of their production scores around 85-86 points, which lands it in the middle of the specialty grade. Oddly, these are often left behind as they can be too expensive for most roasters, while others won't find them exciting enough to offer as a specialty Micro Lot. Our Sweetheart program, a result of our broader Fair For All sourcing standard, focuses on this "missing middle" within the specialty coffee sector by identifying top-tier offerings in this range and making purchases that create a sustainable production model for our sourcing partners and everyone involved in the supply chain. The coffee picker, processor, landowner, dry miller, exporter, and importer can earn a sustainable and fair wage, and we get to share their hard work with you. Sweetheart has given us another reason to obsess over and perfect our roasting profiles, and the result is this sweet and balanced blend of coffees with perfect flavor clarity. This version of Sweetheart is a blend of coffees from Ethiopia and Colombia. The Ethiopian coffee is a naturally processed micro-lot from Chelchele bringing in the sweetness and fruit flavors. To balance this blend out with mellower chocolatey flavors we blended in Colombian coffees from Tolima.

18g in
36g - 42g out
27 - 29 sec


18g in
6 to 8 seconds pre-infusion
36 - 41g out
27 - 29 sec

In Case you Missed It: Price Increase

Starting back on the February 1st roast date, we raised pricing for four of our 12oz retail packaged coffees: Big Truck, Morning Sun, Little Buddy, and Sweetheart.

Prices increased 50 cents per retail package MSRP, and wholesale pricing increased an average of 28 cents per package, depending on your volume-based wholesale discount. This increase is based on our packaging costs increasing.

New Prices (MSRP):

Big Truck $16.50
Morning Sun $15.50
Sweetheart $17.00
Little Buddy $17.50

A reminder that our website is used to publish our MSRP but we do not have MAP pricing. There is no required resale price for these items. Pricing for bulk coffees by the pound remain unchanged.

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