single origin project

Single Origin Project September: Guatemala Ixlama

map_guatemala_waykan.jpg

ABOUT THE FARM

Ixlama comes from the department of Huehuetenango near the Guatemala-Mexico border, a region known for its rugged landscapes, high elevation, and for the 22 ethnic groups of Mayan descent who call this community home. This coffee is the culmination of work by approximately 120 family producers in the municipalities of San Pedro Necta and La Libertad. Many producers here identify as Maya, speak one of the seven local dialects, and work on their farms dressed in the colorful, hand-loomed textiles associated with their individual communities — a tradition that contributes to Guatemala's rich culture and to unique identity of this coffee-growing country.

Consisting of 50 percent Bourbon and 50 percent Caturra varietals, this coffee was grown at an elevation of 1,524 to 1,830 meters above sea level. Ixlama, a shade-grown coffee, is harvested and brought to Transcafe’s mill at Caserio Teogal Aldea San Martin. At the mill, located near the town of Todos Santos, coffees are sun-dried on cement patios for four days before being placed in “guardiolas,” a type of coffee dryer patented by a Guatemalan resident in 1872. The coffees are then computer-sorted by color and separated by density mechanically, resulting in a superior, clean, and bright cup.

Single Origin Project August: Ethiopia Kayon Mountain

map_ethiopia_kayon_mountain.png

ABOUT THE FARM

This is a grade 1, organic certified Arabica coffee from The Kayon Mountain Coffee Farm in the Guji zone of Ethiopia's Oromia Region. Established in 2012, the farm started with the aim of producing high quality coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible manner; it is privately owned by Ato Esmael and his family.

The farm is a 240 hectare plot in fertile sandy clay loam soil beneath a canopy of natural forest. The farm is organic certified, and uses animal dung as its main source of fertilizer. Coffee is harvested from October to February by people from local villages. Some of it is washed, fermented and dried on raised beds and the rest is left for the production of high quality natural processed coffee. Freshly picked coffee cherry is washed with the low density beans being channeled away for a lower grade. The clean high grade coffees are then placed onto raised beds where for around 12 to 20 days’ drying time it is meticulously hand-turned and picked over to remove any defect beans. Finally, the dried cherries are milled to reveal the beautiful natural processed coffee beans which undergo further sorting to remove any remaining defect beans.

Single Origin Project July: Brazil Fazenda Rainha

map_brazil_fazenda_rainha.jpg

ABOUT THE FARM

Fazenda Rainha is managed by José Renato G. Dias, an agricultural engineer with a specialization in coffee production. The farm comprises 280 hectares, of which 200 hectares are planted with mostly Yellow Bourbon, some Icatu, Yellow Catuaí, Mundo Novo, and Acaiá. It is BSCA and Utz certified.

Coffee is processed at peak ripeness with handheld mechanical picking equipment over a cloth to avoid contact with the ground. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is depulped and spread on courtyards for drying. The coffee is dried slowly in the sun until reaching 11% humidity. After drying, the coffee is conditioned in wooden granaries.

All of Fazenda Rainha's employees reside on the farm and they are provided with health plans and unlimited hospital care. There is a school onsite for the workers' children called the Pedro Roza IT School.

Fazenda Rainha has been a finalist in Cup of Excellence Brazil in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and was awarded first place in 2011.

Amidst the unbelievable landscape at Fazenda Rainha is a chapel designed by the renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemayer, and built by Fazenda Rainha's workers. The Chapel was one of Niemayer's last projects before he passed, just before turning 105 years old in December of 2012.

Single Origin Project June: Ethiopia Guji Kercha

map_ethiopia_guji_kercha.jpg

ABOUT THE FARM

The road south out of Addis Ababa leads straight to coffee country. The new highway toll road makes travel to the lowlands quicker than ever, but the pace slows down when the road starts to climb into the mountains. At Shashamane town, the western road carries travelers into the heart of the Sidama Guji coffee region, past family farms and pointed huts made of curved reeds.

Thousands of small farmers live in this area, growing coffee at high altitudes where the Rift Valley meets the Bale Mountains. Farms range in size from 1 to 20 hectares, and banana and mango trees grow alongside coffee trees, imparting their fruity flavors into the soil. For hundreds of years, people here have governed by the Gadaa system, an indigenous democratic process of electing a leader and local representatives.

The area is rich in history – and rich in coffee. Producers bring their ripe harvests to central washing stations, where the cherries are pulped and washed with mountain spring water the same day. The pulped coffee goes into a fermentation tank for 72 hours, then is washed, spread, and sun-dried for up to 2 weeks on raised beds. The people of the Guji region take pride in the high quality of this sweet, clean coffee.

Single Origin Project May: Honduras Pablo Cruz

0-1.jpg

ABOUT THE FARM

Beneficio San Vicente is a family owned and operated dry mill and exporter located in the town of Pena Blanca in Northwestern Honduras. Founder and longtime coffee buyer Fidel Paz constructed the current milling facility in 2000 as production in the surrounding area (Santa Barbara) increased, affording the family the opportunity to connect their producing community directly to international buyers. San Vicente does not buy their coffees as an intermediary, but rather connects these producers directly to buyers for more transparent price negotiations. Coffees produced within the San Vicente community frequently place as finalists in the national Cup of Excellence competition year after year, establishing the mill and family as a globally recognized leader among specialty coffee producers in Honduras.