Amazing coffees just keep coming! This week we have three new coffees available: Costa Rica Cafetín 1900, Ethiopia Walena Suke Quto, and Kenya Tegu.
Cafetín is a micro-mill in the town of San Martin, Costa Rica. While Tim O’Brien was a Peace Corps volunteer based in San Martín, he fell in love with the town and its people. He returned to build a micro-mill there in 2004 to increase quality and thus increase earnings for the producers of San Martín. Innovative sustainability projects have been fostered, such as the use of bio-bags to convert liquid waste into methane for cooking and machinery.
Thirty-five farms provide coffee to the Cafetín mill, and a variety of lots are produced. We have had several Cafetín offerings in the past, and this year, the 1900 makes another appearance. The three farms of Guillermo Robles, Delfin Jimenez, and Elver Solis contribute cherry that has been picked at a minimum of 1900 meters above sea level. In fact, the coffees selected for this lot are grown at elevations reaching 2000 meters above sea level. For comparison, most specialty grade coffee in Central America is grown between 1500-1800 meters. The coffees are then mechanically demucilaged using a water-saving Penagos system at Tim O’Brien’s Cafetín micro-mill.
The high elevation prolongs the ripening of the cherry, creating a denser seed and endowing the cup with a refined, resonant sugar-cane sweetness and a focused cherry acidity reminiscent of some African coffees. A viscous mouthfeel rounds out this exceptional, balanced coffee.
Suke Quto is a producer’s association located in the Oodo Shakisso district of Guji, which lies in the southernmost part of the Oromia region, bordering both the Sidama and Gedeo zones. Set on gentle slopes between mountains and highland plateaus, the farmland has dark brown volcanic, loamy soil. In all, 68 producer members of Suke Quto grow their Ethiopian heirloom varietals on 291 hectares at 1800-2200 meters above sea level. This lot represents the finest coffee from their third harvest in history, as they first began cultivating coffee in 2004.
After ripe cherry is carefully selected, the coffee is depulped and fermented conventionally, washed, soaked to increase fruit-like acidity, then dried on raised beds. The meticulous processing creates an exquisitely clean and balanced cup which features lemon verbena, sweet almonds, dark chocolate, with kaffir lime and sweet cream.
We have had an incredible run of Kenyan coffees this year, and the Tegu continues to demonstrate the remarkable qualities of the region. The Tegu mill represents 910 member famers and is renowned for producing lots of outstanding quality. Usually, Tegu submits their coffee to the central auction system, which is how the vast majority of coffee in Kenya is sold. This particular lot was purchased directly from the producers through the “second window”, bypassing the auction system.
The farmers that Tegu represents cultivate SL28 and SL34 at around 1800 meters above sea level. After careful picking, the cherry is taken to the Tegu mill for depulping and conventional fermentation. The coffee undergoes and additional soaking before being dried on raised beds. Orange spice, caramelized almonts, and bergamot introduce flavors of fresh strawberry juice, Meyer lemon, and tangerines. The crisp pink-lemonade acidity meshes beautifully with a clean, sparkling finish.