How are we able to continue to stock our range of Colombian coffees all the year around? Most coffee producing countries only have one harvest per year and Africa is a prime example. When I discover a particularly well produced and processed harvest, for example our current African offering 'Burundi Masenga'. I usually decide to quickly reserve some more sacks. This helps when perfecting roast profiles as you have the stock available to continue to hone your Artisan skills. There is nothing more frustrating than when I feel I have really come to understand the characteristics of how a coffee will perform in our roaster, then suddenly bag end is reached. We have just taken delivery of another four 69 kg bags of green coffee from Burundi at our Roastery and we won't now be able to procure more until the next harvest has been picked dried and shipped in January 2022.
I am quite possibly in love with really good Colombian coffee. There is nothing more exquisite to me than starting my day with a V60 of our 'Finca El Mirador'. I feel as connected to the flavour that is evident in the cup as I do to the farmer who produced it. We are privileged to have forged such good a friendship with our friends at 'The Green Collection' who preside over the shipping of our farmers coffee and the delivery to our Roastery, making sure throughout that fair prices are paid along the way combined with a bonus of their estimated sales profits being shared with producers before any containers should leave.
I find it fascinating that our farmer 'Maria Trujillo' owner of Finca El Mirador is able to produce a second cropping of cherries during the last 6 months, having already managed to take half of her first harvest just four months earlier. The first micro lot we received consisted of three 35kg bags and now we are about to reload with half of the the second half of her crop - Another three bags! Colombia has this amazing multi climate ability for one farmer to be still awaiting the ripening cherries while his neighbour in the next door valley might be well advanced with his drying process.
This is why it is so important not just for my own conscience but also for the continuity of quality, that we send back a percentage of every bag sale of Maria's coffee we make from our Roastery direct to her account, giving her complete visibility and knowledge as to which Roaster has taken her produce, as it is so interesting and important for us to know where and from whom it has come from. This is incentivises both sides to want to work together in order to give the end user the best possible coffee experience, with clarity of conscience becoming one of the most important and sustainable flavour notes within the cup.
On our pallet landing next week will be a new lot of Colombia 'Nuevo Bilbao' a very carefully developed green coffee blend of three farms within the Tolima district. Bilbao has become so popular with so many of our customers and a Roastery staple desired by all who venture to our tasting bar and those who keep repeating the same order time and time again online. We aim to keep stock of this coffee all the year around and in doing so I have come to really understand how best to roast these strictly hard high altitude beans. They need to be given sufficient time for development in the roaster at the back end of the roast cycle so as not to leave any bitter under developed edge in the cup, making sure that when a customer comes to taste Bilbao they might not want in future to buy their freshly roasted coffee from anywhere else.