Wholesale News, November 2019
By Honor Forte
Director of Sales, Wholesale Support and Training

Hello again from Olympia Coffee HQ. We are underway on roasting today and I'm busy getting samples of our new Holiday Blend out to all of you who have asked. It is tasting amazing and is sure to be a big seller. I think I can hear Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey singing about it already. Read more about the new Holiday Blend in Oliver's updates below.

This month we are also sprinting to the finish-line on our Columbia City Seattle expansion and wholesale training lab. We believe we can have it ready to host customers before the end of the year, but next month I'm sure I'll have more to report.

Read on for all the details and have a good Thanksgiving!

Olympia Coffee Director of Sales
Honor Forte

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!
November Global Coffee Updates

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

Nothing quite says November as much as the annual release of Holiday Blend. This year we knew that we wanted to feature our producer partners in San Sebastian de La Plata Huila, as their coffee San Sebastian Reserva is one of my personal favorites year-round but seems to be especially comforting in Fall. Rich Chocolate flavors perfectly balance the malic acidity and sugar cane notes on this beautiful coffee. We knew that we wanted to add that special note of spice and fruit to create what we felt would be a perfect Holiday Blend. After doing blind cuppings of possible Holiday Blends with our staff, the clear winner was the most simple. A 50/50 blend of two of the most popular single origins we have, Colombia San Sebastian Reserva with Ethiopia Jibicho Natural. This roasted for the first time on Monday of this week, so try it soon.

Below is our monthly report from around the world.

As always Colombia is moving right into their harvest. Coffees from San Sebastian De La Plata in Huila and Inza, as well as Cauca and Planadas in Tolima, are all harvesting coffee now. Volumes tend to be a little lower at this time of year but the quality tends to be stellar. Our roaster and photographer Becky Cooper will be making a trip to Colombia on November 18th-20th so please watch our social media for live stories and daily posts while she visits.

In the roastery this month we have a steady supply of Colombian Reserve coffees. We start the month with Clinton Ossa Pink Bourbon which is out now, and on November 11th we will have the first roast of Pink Bourbon Reserve Lot from Carlos Tunubala. Then, on November 18th we will be releasing a coffee that speaks to an issue I've been thinking about and actively concerned about for my entire career in coffee. The coffee is called Calidad de Vida or "Quality of Life" and it's from longtime Micro Lot producer Amparo Pajoy.  Amparo Pajoy has consistently improved her coffee year after year; however, not all of her coffee was scoring high enough for Olympia Coffee to label it as a Micro Lot this year. About 35 percent of her coffee was below 87 points, leaving it without a home in our line-up. This means much of her coffee would be sold at a lower standard elsewhere, and she would receive a much lower price for those coffees. We didn't think that was fair, and it inspired us to create something new. It's because of our most valued relationships and most trusted partners, like Amparo Pajoythat we have created this new mark. This coffee is excellent and, more importantly, is a great example of how Olympia Coffee fulfills our mission to improve the Quality of Life for farmers beyond their premier lots. 

In Ethiopia, the 2019-2020 harvest is just about to begin. Likely, mid-November some of the first cherries will be harvested. I'm sad to report that the region we source from in Gedeo Zone is currently in conflict. Rioting and violence are now very common each week. We are deeply concerned about the conflict and are worried about our farmer's and miller's safety and security. We also might not be traveling to Ethiopia this coming season if the safety does not tighten up. This fighting also delayed the majority of our 2019 shipments as we are just now in November 2019 receiving coffees arriving into the USA that should have arrived back in July. Nothing new into the lineup this November but we are filling up our warehouse for releases in the Winter.

We have some fly-crop, or Summer harvest, Kenyan lots that are preparing to ship this month. These are coffees from our new Meru Region Project. We were only able to source 19 bags of coffee, so it's small, and just a little test to see how things develop. In the roastery, we have a nice supply of Kenyan beauties to go deep into the winter season. Kiburu AB is still a high scoring gem at over 91 points every day, and Kamviu AA is the same. We have a couple more months on these near-perfect coffees. Meanwhile, coffee cherries in Kirinyaga are ripening for harvest which will begin this month and continue through January, with exports in the spring of 2020.

El Salvador:
Lower altitudes in El Salvador are starting to harvest coffee for the 2019-20 harvest year. We won't see any action until mid-December at El Aguila, Ricardo Ariz's farm, and the same for our producers in Chalatenango. We have about 4 more weeks of El Salvador Ricardo Ariz Bourbon Natural on Espresso for Sweetheart and that is our last offering from El Salvador from the previous harvest. We will have to wait until Summer 2020 for our next offerings.

Last month I announced we are moving our sourcing from San Marcos to Huehuetenango in Guatemala. Feedback from our staff has been positive about this change, so we are ready to move forward with a new exciting project where we feel our resources can go a long way towards improving coffee quality and quality of life for a new group of producers. We will start sourcing from Independent Small Scale Producers by visiting Huehuetenango with our fellow B Corp exporter Caravela February and April. Expect our first coffees from this project to roast July 2020. This month in the roastery we are running slowly down on our Guatemala offerings from 2019. El Socorro Java might sell out by the end of November, the El Socorro Pacamara lot is also in the low zone. I think Guatemala tastes especially delicious this time of year.

Burundi is quiet this month and the team at Long Miles Coffee Project is putting in the work to get farmers motivated to prune and retune.  As our only Southern Hemisphere origin, Burundi farmers are now awaiting the next harvest to begin during the Summer of 2020. Our Gitwe lot - yes, only one lot from Burundi this coming year - is scheduled to land in Olympia by January.

Our friends and producers in Hawaii at Rusty's Hawaiian on the Big Island are telling me that the harvest has come in really fast this season, and they are having a hard time drying the coffee to Olympia's standards of 9-10% moisture content and 50-58% water activity. Rushing the coffee to these standards can diminish quality, so our plans to have our Hawaiian Micro Lot before Christmas are not going to work, I think. I told them that quality is more important to us than the timeline, so we will wait patiently. Expect this coffee to be worth the wait sometime after the first of the year.

Now Roasting: November
by Tyler Meurk 
Wholesale Sales and Training

Hey everyone! November is here and that means Holiday Blend is back on the menu. Each year this blend is unique and the component balance is voted on by our staff at the roastery. This coffee will make a great gift but my suggestion is to be a grinch and keep it for yourself!

Another coffee to mention here is this season's lot from Amparo Pajoy in Colombia, Calidad De Vida, that will arrive in a couple of weeks. These days I find myself gravitating more and more toward warm and approachable coffees from Latin America and Amparo's releases are always one of the highlights of the year. This offering is named after our Quality of Life efforts at Olympia Coffee and I think really represents what we do best, a roaster and a farmer improving each year by providing feedback to one another and working towards a better future for all. Enjoy! 


New Coffees Out in November:

Colombia, Clinton Ossa Red Bourbon   Expected in 2 weeks
Colombia, Amparo Pajoy Calidad De Vida   Expected in 2 weeks 


Coffees Low in Inventory:

Guatemala, El Soccorro Java   3 more weeks
Colombia, Clinton Ossa Pink Bourbon   1 more week  

Seasonal Blends and Espresso Updates:

Big Truck
Organic Blend
Sweet chocolate, and ripe berry flavors, all in a dense heavy body
Roasted for Espresso

Big Truck's Current Components:
Colombia, San Fermin Organic (Washed Process) 
Ethiopia, Jibicho Organic  (Natural Process)

Espresso Specs:
Dose: 18 grams using 18g VST Baskets
Volume:  36 grams finish weight
Extraction Time: 24-32 seconds 
Brew Temp: 200F




El Salvador Ricardo Ariz Bourbon Natural
Seasonal Single Origin
Flavors of chocolate, berry and cream

Sweetheart's Current Component:
El Salvador Ricardo Ariz Bourbon Natural 

Our Training Department Recommends:
18 grams in
38-42 grams out
28-30 seconds

"This does not mean that your range day to day will be 38-42 grams, but that each day, the coffee will most likely be sparkling at a different point within that range, so I encourage you to get a little bit more intentional and specific for your day to day dial-ins. At 42 grams out, I was noticing really jammy flavors of raspberry, and milk chocolate, with a deliciously silky body and vibrant acidity. At 38 grams out, this coffee was still amazing, but tended to be more chocolaty and less berry-forward.This stellar coffee steals the show either straight or in milk."

- Retail Trainer Jeremy Williamson


Little Buddy Blend
Seasonal Blend 
Flavors of sweet berries, stone fruit, and chocolate

Little Buddy's Current Components:
Kenya Kibiru AB, El Salvador Ricardo Ariz Natural, Ethiopia Adisu Kindane Natural

Espresso Specs:
Dose: 18 grams using 18g VST Baskets
Volume: 41 grams finish weight
Extraction Time: 28-30 seconds
Brew Temp: 200F

Decaf Asterisk
Seasonal Single Origin, Sugar Cane Processed
Flavors of milk chocolate, caramel and marshmallow

Current Component:
Colombia, San Sebastian

Espresso Specs:
Dose: 18 grams using 18g VST baskets
Volume:  36 grams finish weight
Extraction time: 25-30 seconds 
Brew Temp: 200F

Coffee Training
Classes, Schedule and Locations

We are proud to welcome any of our wholesale partners to our Training Lab spaces to prepare for customer service and advance themselves in the pursuit of higher quality coffee.

All trainings are FREE and we highly encourage attendance.
All Classes are lead by Honor, Tyler or another member of our experienced training staff.

Cafe Fundamentals:

This class is to prepare any barista who is new to coffee, or new to serving Olympia Coffee in a retail setting. This will train baristas to serve espresso and milk beverages, and clearly communicate Olympia Coffee's offerings to customers. Classes are for 3-6 attendees at a time and all 3 hours are hands-on and open for Q and A. 

Attend this training In Seattle: 
First Thursday of Every Month
10am-1pm, in the La Marzocco Showroom in Ballard

Attend this training In Olympia: 
Second and Fourth Thursdays of Every Month
10am-1pm - Olympia Coffee Training Lab

Sign Up For Cafe Fundamentals Now

Advanced Training Series:

    Advanced Coffee Extraction:  
Cupping, Pour Over, and Single-Origin Espresso deep-dive
    Advanced Milk and Latte Art:  Alternative milks and new approaches to latte art
    Customer Service and Bar-Flow Hospitality and efficiency behind the bar
    Coffee at Origin Everything you want to know about coffee before it becomes coffee

These trainings have been developed for Olympia Coffee's own retail staff to seek the next-level in their coffee education and customer service. We have now developed them for our wholesale partners as well. They are offered in a 4 month rotation and also available by request.

Attend In Seattle:
Third Thursday of Every Month, one class per month
10am-1pm -  La Marzocco Showroom in Ballard

Book for Your Own Staff:
Whenever needed, for groups of 3-6 in Olympia, Seattle, or at your shop

Current Rotation on Third Thursdays:

November 21st: Customer Service
December 19th:  Coffee at Origin
January 16th: Advanced Extraction
February 20th: Advanced Milk and Latte Art

Sign Up For an Advanced Training Now
If you'd like to join us, RSVP by the Monday before the class at 4 pm at the latest.

You can RSVP to or by calling our roastery at 360-753-0066. We have limited spots to keep these classes quality-focused, so be sure to call ahead.
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