Haru Suke, Ethiopia
Grown by smallholder farmers in the kabele (town) of Haru Suke, this coffee comes from Gedeo, Yirgacheffe. Most of these farmers grow coffee with other subsistence crops, such as sweet potato, mango, and avocados.
The exporters, Primrose PLC, incentivises farmers for bringing quality red cherry, and great care is taken to separate any unripe or damaged beans, ensuring quality. Most coffee grown in this area is 100% organic, but not certified. This is due to the fact that farmers simply do not have the capital to apply pesticides or chemical fertilisers. Primrose works closely with each farmer, ensuring the fertility of the farm.
Coffee is selectively hand-picked before being delivered to the mill collection points, where great care is taken to separate out any overripe, underripe, or damaged beans, before each lot is consolidated with other lots.
The cherries then make their way to the wet mill, where it is floated and dried on raised beds. Here, it is thinly spread and regularly turned over the course of several weeks, until the desired moisture content of 12% is reached.
Varietals of coffee grown here are typically referred to as ‘heirloom’ – a catchall terminology which often masks the wide assortment of varieties. 'Landraces’, meaning a traditional variety of species that have developed over time, is an increasingly common alternative term.
Some of these varieties had also been developed by Ethiopia’s Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC), and the varietals indicated here are named as such. Since the late 1960s, JARC has been working to develop resistant varieties for the Ethiopian coffee industry, while providing agricultural extension training on the cultivation of these varieties.
This lot is estimated to contain a large percentage of JARC 740110 and 74112 varieties, developed in 1974 by JARC, which are directly descended from local landraces indigenous to the Gedeo region. Most farmers have a mix of both the improved and the indigenous landrace varieties on their farms, inherited from parents and grandparents.
San Antonio Chaguite, Guatemala
The Perez family has been one of our direct-from-origin producers since 2014, and we are proud of feature their coffee once again. The San Antonio Chaguite farm sits at the highest elevation amongst the Family Bonds Coffee farms, at 1950 metres above sea level.
Finca San Antonio Chaguite is one out of six farms in Family Bonds Coffee, a family-owned business that strives at harvesting, processing, and distributing unique varieties. The business is headed by William Perez, with his sons actively involved in daily operations.
Guatemala benefits from high altitudes and unique microclimates with constant rainfall and mineral-rich soil in most regions, which is suitable for producing coffee. Huehuetenango sits on the highest and driest coffee producing region, and is protected from frost as it experiences dry and hot winds, allowing coffees to be grown on high elevations. The Huehuetenango region also has an almost boundless amount of rivers and streams, a very important resource in washing coffees.
The Bourbon varietal is one of the most culturally and genetically important varietal of the Arabica species of coffee. It is revered for its excellent cup quality, especially at high altitudes. Its history began in the 1700s, when the French introduced this varietal from Yemen to what was formerly known as Bourbon Island (now known as La Réunion). Around the mid-1800s, this varietal started to spread to new parts of the world, as missionaries moved to establish footholds in regions such as Africa and Americas.
In Latin America, this varietal originated from Brazil, and rapidly spread into other parts of South and Central America. Today, it has been largely replaced by varieties that descend from it, for example, Caturra, Catuai, and Mundo Novo, to name a few. Hence, it could be said to be the grandfather of coffee varietals, and is still grown today in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru.
This lot is a washed-processed coffee, where cherries are pulped to remove the skin, and then rinsed in water tanks to remove the mucilage. The coffee is then dried on raised beds. San Antonio Chaguite prides itself on this processing method, and the quality is always clean and consistent, and this keeps us buying from them every year.
Finca Isnul, Guatemala
In this August’s subscription, we have included one of our favourite non-coffee products, cascara, also known as husk or rind in Spanish. When coffee cherries undergo wash-processing, it is depulped, which is the removal of the skin of the cherries. These husks are usually discarded as a by-product of coffee processing.
In the case of Finca Isnul, they took the husks of one of their best varietals, the Pacamara, and dried it into cascara. If you have been following our coffee offerings, you may have learnt that Finca Isnul is part of Family Bonds Coffee, similar to San Antonio Chaguite.
There are various methods to enjoy cascara. The simplest of all would be to brew it as a hot tea or tisane. We recommend a ratio of 1:30, i.e. steeping 10 grams of cascara in 300ml of hot water for 4-5 mins. You may wish to use a french press, or a large tea bag. If you are using a drip brewer like the V60, simply steep the cherries in a carafe and strain out with the brewer and paper filter.
Another method is the cold brew cascara. With the same ratio, add your cascara and water into a carafe, allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Thereafter, strain it out and enjoy it over ice! For cold brews, we recommend the Hari Mizudashi Cold Brew Pot, available here, for ease of use.
Cascara has also been used in many other forms, with its sweet and tangy cup profile, and floral aromas. It makes for a great cascara syrup to use in drinks, like a refreshing cascara soda. Here at PPP Coffee, and our sister cafe Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar, we are also working hard on upcoming products featuring cascara. You may even see some of these going into the upcoming Surprise Box!
Stay tuned, and stay safe!
Let us know what you think about the coffees in your Surprise Box. Tag us at @ppp.coffee and hashtag #PPPCoffeeSurprise.
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