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Espresso: Guatemala Huehuetenango Mam Microlot

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A mainstay in our coffees from Guatemala are the Huehuetenango and Mam regional blends. The Mam selection is a micro-region specific lot that was collected from sixty smallholder producers around La Libertad and San Pedro Necta municipalities in the Huehuetenango region. Descendants from the Mam indigenous group inhabit the region, hence the name of the coffee. In this area, coffee is cultivated at 1500 meters and above. The harvest takes place from January to March, at some of the highest altitudes in the region. At the highest altitudes, the harvest even extends into April! The farms that produce the Mam coffee receive little exposure to direct sunlight, as the region is covered by a thick blanket of clouds in the afternoon. High altitudes and low temperatures make for a slow development of the cherries, which shows in the rich cup profile of the coffee. It has a more pronounced winey cup profile than our regular Huehuetenango regional coffee, which is bright and crisp with a more balanced sweetness. Our exporter’s quality team specifically screens the coffees they take in at their mill on this particular cup profile, just because it is so specific. Producers get paid a premium for this profile, as the cup profile fetches a higher cup...

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Espresso: Ethiopia Nano Challa #1

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Nano Challa is a cooperative and washing station, established in 2009. They were the first washing station in Agaro, set up as part of the Technoserve coffee initiative. This lot is part of a small and carefully curated selection from the cooperatives in the west. They are located in Agaro, close to Jimma. The cooperative has about 500 members from the Genji Chala area. This specific area has recently established a reputation for very flavour-intense and spiced coffees with unique flavour attributes. Before these cooperatives were established, the farmers mostly produced lower grade naturals which were sold as Jimma Grade 5. The Nano Challa washing station was opened with support from Technoserve. This NGO supported farmers to set up the washing stations and create a new cooperative structure. The aim of the project was to increase sustainability and quality in the west, with transparent and environmentally friendly production, and increased premiums for the producers. From the outset they used eco pulpers and built water treatment systems based on Vetiver grass which naturally filter the water from production before it is pumped into lagoons to be absorbed into the earth. They also established farmer training programmes and implemented a traceability system. They have some hundred members delivering cherry, plus non-members who sell their coffee to this washing station as well. The members receive a second payment after harvest once the coffee has been milled and graded for quality. The cherries for this lot are selected from smallholders with less than 3 hectares per farm, mostly from farms located around 2000 meters above sea level. They use Penagos ecopulpers, and barely ferment the coffees. After pulping the coffees are often soaked under clean water overnight before they are dried on raised...

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Filter: Ethiopia Biftu Gudina

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The Biftu Gudina cooperative was created in 2011 as a result of the Technoserve Initiative in the remote Agaro district of Jimma. Biftu Gudina is one of three cooperatives whose micro-lots we sell like the Nano Challa. The Jimma region in southwestern Ethiopia is infamous for its low-quality production of the unwashed Djimma 5 grade. The grade is synonymous with poorly produced and processed natural coffee. A low quality that pairs with low selling prices for the coffee, both nationally and internationally. This all changed in 2011 when local producers formed a cooperative and purchased a wet mill with the support of Technoserve. This allowed them to produce washed coffees of high quality and receive much higher selling prices for the coffee. The premiums from their high quality, high price coffees are also partly reinvested in the washing station infrastructure. The cooperative has a reserve fund and also purchased a second depulping machine to service more producers in an efficient way. Biftu Gudina washing station follows the traditional Ethiopian methods for washed coffee but does this at a high level. “Biftu Gudina” literally means “a ray of development”, which nicely reflects what a properly managed cooperative and washing station can mean to a...

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