It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call the Tana Toraja region of Sulawesi one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The landscape is dominated by breathtaking mountains swathed in lush vegetation, set against tranquil valleys dotted with rice paddies. The Toraja people have a strong cultural history that percolates through modern society, which you can see in their elaborate funeral rites and ornate boat-shaped houses called tongkonan. They even follow customs when it comes to coffee processing, embracing the traditional “wet-hulled” method in which the outer protective layer of the coffee bean is removed while the bean still has a high level of moisture. This method produces coffees with a rich body and round acidity, giving it a comforting character that many people look for in their morning cup. You may notice that these beans are much smaller than the other beans in your box this month. That’s because this selection is made up of peaberries, which we like to think of as the quirky, lovable runts of the coffee litter. Whereas normal coffee beans grow as two separate seeds pressed together inside the coffee cherry, peaberries are the result of a natural mutation that causes just one tiny seed to grow. It requires a careful selection process to sort out the peaberries from the normal beans, but once you taste this offering from Tony’s Coffees & Teas you’ll agree that it’s well worth the extra effort. The experienced roaster from Bellingham, Washington has knocked it out of the park with this brew, which showcases the the juicy flavors and naturally heightened sweetness of the peaberry.
Tony's Coffees & Teas
The Mchana Estate in Kenya’s Ruiru District sits in the gradually sloping highlands above the Eastern Rift Valley. Over millions of years, the powerful forces that forged the Rift Valley also blanketed the region with a layer of fertile volcanic soil. Reminiscent of perfectly ripe coffee cherries, this vibrant red soil provides ideal conditions for growing the complex and intense coffees that so often bring the blue ribbon home to Kenya. All coffee at Mchana is hand picked during the peak of the growing season and then processed entirely on-site, which we love. This coffee received the coveted AA grading, reserved for only the biggest and highest quality beans in Kenya - you can tell just by looking inside the bag that you’re in for a treat. As the largest single coffee plantation in Kenya, the Mchana Estate takes an active interest in providing healthcare and education to its farmers as well as the surrounding community. Halfway around the world in Bellingham, Washington, Tony’s Coffees & Teas echoes this commitment to exceptional coffees and good business practices. Now in its 42nd year of operation, Tony’s continues to set new standards for eco-friendly coffee, all the way from the farm to your cup. We’ll drink to that.