meet the producers
Cupping Notes: Sweet Strawberry and Raspberry with Hibiscus Jasmine and a brown sugar smooth body
Altitude: 1,300 – 1,600m
La Gabriela has been in the Velasquez family for 4 generations. The current owner of La Gabriela is Catalani, who’s grandmother received the 26ha farm as a wedding present from her parents so that she and her new husband would have an opportunity to grow food and provide for themselves through coffee.
This farm is regarded as a sacred place for the family and is named after Catalina’s grandmother, Gabriela Vasquez. The family have grown and developed La Gabriela over the past 5 years and have transformed this farm into their “Garden of Eden”: planting exotic varietals including Java, Pacamara, Red & Yellow Bourbon, Geisha, Tabi, Maragoype and Typica. These coffee plants grow in the rich red fertile soil that is slightly alkaline across the 9 plots that make up this Rainforest Alliance certified farm.
On La Gabriela they have 45 employees in total who are overseen by the manager Fabian and his wife Dora who does the cooking for all the employees. The workers here have access to Wifi when they stay and work on the farm as well. There is a huge emphasis placed on picking only the ripest cherries with signs positioned around the farm to help workers understand the importance of this to the quality of the coffee.
This Geisha coffee comes from one plot on the farm where these trees are just 5 years old. The coffee is carefully selected before it is then taken to the wet mill where it is cleaned, floated and separated. After this it is then taken to the constructed drying house they have built on the farm. This tent has 100 small beds where they can lay out the coffee and dry it slowly moving it 5 times a day and drying it for between 15 – 20 days weather depending at around 35 centigrade.
Region: Agaro, Jimma
Producer: Mustefa Abakeno
Farm/Lot: Kabira, Lot #1
Cupping Notes: Orange, Lemongrass and Full body
Variety: 74410, 74412 & Heirloom
Altitude: 2,000m – 2100m
Mustefa Abakeno is a smallholder with 18 hectares of land near Agaro in the Jimma Zone of Western Ethiopia. His farm is planted with coffee varieties from the Jimma research centre and he has a small disc pulper that he uses to wash-process half of his coffee, with the other half being dried as a natural. His natural coffees take 24-27 days to dry on the African raised beds.
Mustefa only registered as an exporter in 2018 in order to sell his coffee directly to buyers, which he was able to do after changes to the regulations that year. The small wet mill he set up (called Beshasha) is used to process his own and outgrowers’ coffee, which he keeps separate and dries on raised beds near his house. Mustefa’s outgrowers are all neighbours and each have between 4 and 10 hectares of land. With the support of the green coffee importers (Falcon Coffees) team in Addis Ababa, Falcon has been able to work directly with small producers like as Mustefa.
Through direct relationships between importer and farmer, there is a huge opportunity to imporve quality, as they are able to work with the producers on cherry selection, drying and farm management. Falcon is also able to make the supply chain more efficient and so maximise the money going back to the producers. For example, in 2021, Falcon Addis added an agronomist to their team, Harun. Harun has been helping improve processes at the washing station: installing shade netting to cover drying beds during the hottest hours of the day; instigating cherry selection at the delivery point; tagging day lots in order to keep them separate and monitor moisture content throughout the drying phase and ensuring even drying before the lots are assembled.
Mustefa has a small field lab and in 2020 he bought a high-spec Sinar moisture reader to ensure that all the parchment dried in the stations was reaching the same moisture level before being stored in the warehouse. Harun has been assessing and grading the dried day-lots, putting them together based on quality and cupping profile. He is currently training farmers in good agricultural practices (GAP) in order to improve the quality and productivity of their coffee gardens.
Region: Bukit Sama, Aceh
Producer: Kerinci Alko
Farm/Lot: Kabira, Lot #1
Cupping Notes: Orange and lemon grass tea florals with a smooth sweet brown sugar body
Altitude: 1,350-1,600 masl
Located in central Aceh, the village of Bukit Sama compromises of 176 farmers spread over 143 ha who grow their coffee in the rich and fertile volcanic soils comprised of a mixture of sand, silt and clay.
This soil type combined with the climate allow for the perfect growing conditions for coffee, giving the rich, full bodied, spicy and smokey coffees the region is known for. The people who produce Arabica coffees in this region are the Mandailing who have been farming her for generations. The members of the group receive training on tree management, specifically regarding the application of pesticides, pruning and picking ripe cherries to assure the best quality possible.
Radian and Aulia Kahfi started a project here recently and work with the farmers by supervising and experimenting with new post-harvest processes apart from the traditional wet hulled method. Aulia and Radian buy the coffee cherries from the farmers and then process them in different ways. Aulia receives the coffee cherries from the farmers and then does a second sorting to remove immature ones.
He then washes, floats and cleans the cherries to remove any further defects.For the honey process, the coffee is then pulped leaving as much mucilage on as possible before laying it on raised beds or on taurpaulin on the patio in thin layers to dry for around 10 – 15 days weather depending. In fact, the weather is so challenging, they have had to construct a greenhouse especially for this in order to produce honey, natural and washed coffees as it would not be possible otherwise.
Region: Nueva Segovia
Producer: Ana Albir, Finca Los Alpes
Cupping Notes: Berries with Red Fruits and full body.
Altitude: 1,200 – 1,250m
Suitable for: Filter, Espresso, Moka Pot, French Press – Great on its own or when served with milk
Finca Los Alpes was founded by Ana’s father 1991 in the Dipilto area which belongs, which is part of the Dipilto mountain range, one of the best-known coffee regions of Nicaragua. In 2014, Ana took over from her father. Her goal as producer is to adhere to the principles of sustainability and environmental protection, while delivering the highest quality of coffee.
Finca Los Alpes takes particular care in preserving the natural forest together with its ecosystem and wildlife. The harmony of the soil, the water, the fauna and flora of Dipilto provide the authentic character to the coffee produced at Finca Los Alpes. The Dipilto mountain range was awarded the first coffee-related denomination of origin certificate
in Nicaragua a few years ago.
Carmo De Minas
Region: Pedralva, Carmo de Minas
Producer: Beneficio Pedra Branca
Cupping Notes: Chocolate, Toffee and Lemon
Variety: Yellow Bourbon
The Mantiqueira microregion is home to over 2,000 smallholder coffee farmers with a quality potential that urges to be explored. Our exporting partners at CarmoCoffees recognized this potential and decided to build two strategically placed mills (called “beneficios”) with washing and processing capabilities, strategically selected for their accessibility to the region’s coffee growers. Beneficio Pedra Branca is nestled in the Pedra Branca mountainside in Pedralva City, and the other, Beneficio Presente do Sol, is located in the city of Heliodora—both beneficios were farms managed by their former owners before joining CarmoCoffees.
Pedra Branca was the first of the beneficios, with CarmoCoffees’ partnership starting in 2012. Carmo bought the farm in 2013, making it part of their official structure. Following the same model, Presente do Sol became part of CarmoCoffees in 2014.
The proximity of the beneficios enables the region’s quality potential with access to modern equipment for processing where there was otherwise a barrier to entry due to lack of knowledge, time, budget, infrastructure, and the price of labor involved with processing at a quality standard. The municipalities served by Pedra Branca are Pedralva, São José do Alegre, Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Pouso Alegre, Cristina, Careaçu, Jesuânia, Cachoeira de Minas, and Olímio Noronha, among others.
Beneficio Pedra Branca has eight mechanical dryers, covered patios, drying greenhouses, and three African drying beds, as well as a wet mill and washing and sorting machines. Pedra Branca serves about 600 producers currently but has the capacity to work with 2,000. The production of both beneficios is at 50,000 bags annually.
Region: Santa Barbara, Totoro, Cauca
Producer: Maria Cenaida Flor, La Esperanza
Cupping Notes: Sugary, Sweet and Tangy, ripe pear and and rich caramel.
Suitable for: Filter, Espresso, Moka Pot, French Press – Great on its own or when served with milk
Maria Cenaida Flor has been producing coffee for 15 years and she considers it a family enterprise. Her farm La Esperanza is located in the municipality of Totoro in the department of Cauca and has 4 hectares planted with coffee and various other fruit trees, yuca, corn, and lulo.
The coffee is picked ripe when the cherries turn purple, then they are fermented for 72 hours in airtight plastic containers, after they are de-pulped and sun-dried for 15-18 days with the mucilage still on.
Cupping Notes: Sweet and Brown Sugar notes
Variety: Pache Typica, Bourbon Caturra & Catimor
This coffee comes from small farmer cooperatives in northern Peru and represent the progressive side of specialty coffee. This lot comes from the Cooperativa JUMARP in the district of Yamón, in the Amazon.
Peru is the largest producer of organic coffees in the world.
About 125,000 Peruvian families are involved in coffee production, with the entire sector providing indirect employment for around 1 million people.
The process of Swiss Water® Decaffeination for coffee, guarantees the preservation of the subtle and distinctive flavors of the bean, 100% chemical free.
How is Decaffeinated Coffee made?
The Swiss Water® decaffeination process is an organically certified and 100% chemical-free process to remove caffeine from coffee using four elements: water, coffee, time and temperature. After decaffeination, the beans are 99.9% caffeine free.
Producers we have worked with in the past
Cupping Notes: Honey, Almonds and balanced
Variety: Red Bourbon
Burundi shares a border with two other well-known coffee producing countries, Tanzania and Rwanda. Like its neighbors, production in Burundi is dominated by thousands and thousands of small farmers who organize and sell their coffees as part of a cooperative.
Therefore, a single batch of purchased coffee can affect many lives.
The Butihinda Washing Station has between 2,500 and 3,500 coffee growers and uses the Mugabe water source from Masaka and Ngara Mountain at 2000 m called “Long-lasting drinking gold”.
Masaka and Ngara are reputed to be gold mines. In Kirundi, the Bantu language, “Inzahabu Café” means “Golden Coffee.”
A butterfly has been sewn onto each coffee bag, and was designed and sewn by the Espoir (Hope) association, a group of girls and young women with disabilities.
The association, chaired by Ms. Bernadette Nzokira, seeks to promote and develop the talent of its members through various activities such as sewing, providing an alternative to precariousness.
Cupping Notes: Sweet clementine, milk chocolate and creamy body
Variety: Colombia, Caturra, Castillo
Altitude: 1,750 – 2,100m
This lot comes from the central department of Cauca, Colombia from the indigenous reservation Pueblo Nuevo and the 4 villages in the area. It is the second largest coffee producing municipality at the departmental level.
In addition to coffee, this area also contributes to the national economy with the export of flowers. These producers are part of the COMEPCAFE Cooperative based in Piendamo, Cauca established 2010. The Cooperative is made up of 1400 families spread across 7 areas in Cauca and includes 1600 ha of coffee farms. The farms are planted with castillo and colombia with a small portion (5%) of typica an caturra.
The Coop helps to support their members with technical support, the commercialisation of the coffees, food security programs as well as a pension program looking to protect the producers in the future.
The coffee growers that work in the area ares till very much affected by the troubles caused by the FARC and illicit drug trade operating close by, making life very difficult for these producers. The coffees are pulped on the farms in traditional “beneficios” on small pulping machines before then being dry fermented in tiled tanks overnight for 12-16 hours. After this the coffees are washed and then dried for 7- 10 days in parabolic tents on raised beds.
Cupping Notes: Peaches, Hazelnuts and Caramel
Variety: Yellow Bourbon
Altitude: 1,100 – 1,320m
Located on the border of Sul De Minas and Cerrado is the mountainous region of Illicinea with farms at 1100M and 1320M, just before the land falls down the Cerro. This area is especially blessed with a microclimate, providing the ideal conditions for growing intriguing coffees.
The coffee in this area is truly extraordinary thanks to the special characteristics of its soil. Which is known by the name of cambisol, where the rock is still turning into soil. This places its unique stress on the plants and ripening on the cherry resulting in this delicious coffee.
Previously, growers in these areas have had problems with strong winds that have devastated part of their crops, but thanks to invention and research, they have put systems in place to prevent damage and plant trees that help minimize the effect of the wind. The Illicinea area is still relatively new with regards to being regarded as a unique region and until recently the coffees were sold under the names of other regions. Now these farms are being recognized for the unique coffees they produce, both in relation to the region and to Brazil in general.
All the coffee in this small area is harvested by hand, then separated, and then dried in the yard for 7-10 days, depending on what is needed.
Angelica Franca belongs to a second generation of farmers dedicated to the cultivation of unique coffees and is part of the Cafeina Womens Coop (Cocatrel). Cocatrel is dedicated to the production of coffee, and evaluates the best ways to manage existing and future coffee crops to attain specialty grade. It also conducts training and seminars to support the rest of the Producers in coffee production and promote their own learning and education.
Kayo aro, Sumatra
Cupping Notes: Red fruits, Cinnamon and a dark chocolate body
Variety: Andun Sari, Lini-S, Sigaran Utang
For this natural batch, the coffee cherries are sorted before drying on raised beds under domes to protect them from the rain. The coffee is constantly turned over to ensure uniform drying.
The Alko cooperative where the coffee was produced was founded in 2013. Currently, it has more than 400 members in 17 villages.
Over time the Alko Cooperative has received funds from the WWF to help improve the station’s infrastructure and offer courses to farmers on how to work in harmony with the local environment.
Its location next to the Kerinci National Park means that we pay special attention to the cultivation processes.
Cupping Notes: Nectarine and Earl Grey
Variety: Wolisho, Kuruma & Organic
Altitude: 1,900m – 2070m
A total of 588 farmers bring their red cherries from Refisa, Roricho, Bulga and Riripa to be processed at the washing station. These cherries remain where they are picked and floated to detect defects, washed and soaked for 5 hours. Subsequently fermented for 72 hours and dried in raised beds between 9-11 days until they reach a final humidity of 10.5%.
Previously, the coffees of the West Arsi area were sold under the name Sidama, until this year the coffees of this area were officially recognized as truly unique and worthy of earning their category of differentiation.
Producers grow traditional coffee varieties, including wild varieties originating from neighboring forests. Tasting notes of aromas of orange blossom and citra hops, Earl Gray, very juicy flavors such as ripe yellow nectarine and a caramel body.
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