While new crop arrivals have been trickling in over the last few months, in the last few weeks the flood gates have opened for a broad range of micro lots from some of Equator’s favorite origin countries. In the next couple of months we will be receiving, evaluating and launching new Central American coffees at a rapid rate. Longtime customers will surely recognize some of the farm names we feature annually. It is an exciting time for roasters and consumers alike as we all have the opportunity to explore the depth of flavor this relatively compact growing region has to offer.
We just began offering the first of many new crop offerings from Costa Rica. Although we have numerous long established buying relationships with farmers in Costa Rica, we tasted another coffee we just could not pass up. We recommend tasting this exceptional coffee from Alejandro Solís’ farm El Aguacate. After a few years of experimenting with micro lots, two of the family’s small farms, including El Augacate, won the 2014 Cup of Excellence award. And speaking of Cup of Excellence winning farms, expect to see the return of some old friends, including special lots from Beneficio Los Angeles, Finca El Dragon, Herbazu and a special Gesha variety lot from producer Juan Ramon Alvarado. As with other origins, we have selected specific lots from Costa Rica to feature in our seasonal blends – Snow Leopard and Eye of the Tiger Espresso.
Panama is known for producing some of the best coffees in the world. In addition to our own farm Finca Sophia, we will highlight some outstanding coffee from our neighbors. As you might expect, these lots will lean heavily on the famous Geisha variety. No less than two auction lots from the farm that started the craze Hacienda La Esmeralda, and three selections from farms owned and managed by the Lamastus family – Elida Estate, El Burro and Luito farms. We are also pleased to be offering a Pacamara variety, Best of Panama auction lot winner from Lerida Estate.
Onto El Salvador! While visiting earlier this year, I was honored to participate in the processing of three fermentation test lots. The coffee we used is from Finca Buenos Aires, a farm we have been purchasing from for many years. This is a continuation of a yeast strain experimentation series we have been facilitating with the help of Aida Batlle, the J. Hill coffee processing mill Las Tres Puertas and California based Scott Laboratories. We’ll also be featuring a beautiful assortment of coffees from Finca Kilimanjaro, Los Pirineos and Finca Himalaya.
This past spring in Honduras we had the opportunity to meet Anibal Pineda and tell him personally that his was one of our favorite coffees of the past season! We committed to purchasing the entire specialty production from the selected plot of Pacas we have been buying from for the last three years. Since Equator has been the only buyer of coffee since this specific plot came into production, he said which a smile, “It is your coffee!” We also visited his neighbor Maria Adilia Trochez, after ranking her coffee among our favorite samples in the cupping lab at the San Vicente coffee mill. Our host there, Benjamin Paz, mentioned that she had just begun variety separation in an effort to create specialty quality micro lots. Her farm was distressed by the impact of leaf rust disease known as Roya. Although yields are down, excellent coffee is still being harvested and by focusing on higher value micro lots, some of the lost revenue will be recouped.
Finally, in Guatemala we cupped many rounds of coffee and toured a couple of farms we have been working with in recent years, El Injerto in Huehuetenango and El Valle in Antigua. From Finca El Injerto we will feature a couple of micro lots (Pacamara and Gesha) as well as a delicious lot of Red Catuai variety coffee. The Finca El Valle lot of Bourbon has recently launched, so be sure to enjoy the limited supply before it’s gone. We’re also bringing back Santa Sofia (not to be confused with our farm in Panama, Finca Sophia) from Guatemala’s Coban growing region. While in Guatemala City we had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of his coffee with farm owner Pablo Ferrigno. We will also have an outstanding coffee from the highly respected farm San Jose Ocaña, located near the town of San Juan Sacatepéquez, just 15 miles northwest of the capital Guatemala City.
As you can see, there is a wealth of great coffee from the collection of small coffee producing countries in Central America. We are pleased to evaluate and curate a wide assortment for our customers to enjoy for the remainder of the year. Of course our focus will not be on these coffees alone. We will also feature some great coffees from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya, among other coffee producing countries. Be sure to enjoy these in-season coffees while they last and revisit Equatorcoffees.com regularly to see what’s new!
Director of Coffee