In this section, we will highlight some of our coffee farmers that we either deal directly with, have a special relationship with, or have special knowledge of. This is one more step in our attempt to be transparent in our business, and to promote our farmers. Our farmers work harder than anyone else in the chain to bring you, the customer, an awesome cup of coffee. Take some time and get to know them. They’re not just our farmers, they’re yours as well.
Yemen, Al-Ghayoul Special Lot #3
Rayyan Mill is a project that I’ve had the pleasure of helping start in early 2012 before we opened our coffee shop. It is located in Sa’naa, Yemen, and produces the finest coffees that come out of Yemen. I’m so proud to be a part of this adventure. The stories over the last several producing seasons about our journey to get the coffee and keep the mill going during a civil war are incredible. Check out our article in Roast Magazine here, and our article in Daily Coffee News here. Most of our time is spent searching out the communities with the finest coffees Yemen has to offer and then working hard (at the farm level, in the mill and in the cupping lab) to develop them. The following lots are the result. They are from very specific communities and each lot is as unique as the farmers who produce it. These coffees are very dear to us – or as we say in Yemen “Our very soul is in this coffee.”
Al-Ghayoul – We have been sourcing this lot from a small but fierce tribal community in the mountains of Hajja for the last three years. The tribesmen in this community are not keen on change but over the last three years we have earned their respect and trust by dealing with them fairly and honestly. This year a few farmers indicated they would like to implement pruning methods new to them as well as raised beds for drying! Annual production is 6-7 tons.This year we were able to identify a few farmers who went above and beyondin the care of their coffees. We separated those lots out as “Single Farm” lots. The first special lot we have on offer is from Yousif Ridman and his father, Muhammad. Yousif is pictured in the center of the three men above. At the mill our favorite prep method for Al-Ghayoul is as an iced-Chemex as it allows the acidity and sweetness to really shine through.
COCAFCAL, or the Cooperativa Capucas Limitada, is located in western Honduras, in the buffer zone of the Celaque National Park –a cloud forest containing the country’s highest mountain. The cooperative represents an estimated 12 communities from the municipalities of San Pedro and Corquin, in Copan. Together, they work to promote the sustainable development of their local economy through financial, technical, productive and marketing services for members and families. Reducing poverty and increasing standards of life for their community are their main objectives. Their development programs have benefitted approximately 5,000 people in Las Capucas and surrounding regions. Members are dedicated to growing sustainable conventional, organic and Fair Trade coffees. The cooperative’s General Assembly has 10 members, nine of whom are women. The General Assembly manages the democratic use of the Fair Trade premium.
Check out the COCAFCAL website HERE!
Costa Rica Hacienda Sonora
The coffees that came from Hacienda Sonora this year were nothing short of spectacular! We were able to make this relationship happen with the help of my mentor and good friend, Ken Palmer, who is now residing in Costa Rica and soaking up the Pura Vida. The Guardia family are the stewards of Benificio Sonora, and Diego and his father produce the coffees using their family’s mill that is on site. Such great care yields great reward, and we feel fortunate that we became good friends with the Guardia’s, and hope we get to enjoy these awesome coffees for years to come. Their website has a ton of pics of the farm, well as a really great video of the way they process their coffee, here!