March 2014 Tasting Box

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Kuma Coffee

Seattle, Washington

At the Borboya washing station in the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, local farmers sell their prized heirloom coffee beans to be hand-sorted, processed, and prepared for export. Nearly 700 smallholder farmers from throughout the region contributed to this month’s selection from Kuma Coffee. While Ethiopian coffees are often dominated by fruity and floral flavors, this particular one has a slightly bigger body that stands up to the strong and sweet flavors - it's an absolute joy to drink!

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Borboya Station
  • Origin
    Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
  • Varieties
    Heirloom
  • Elevation
    1,800-1,950 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Intense aromas of jasmine, peach and lime segue into Meyer lemon acidity and flavors of strawberries, peaches and sugar cookies.

Mountain Air Roasting

Asheville, North Carolina

This washing station is high, even in a country where most of the washing stations are high to start with. Up at 1900 meters (and collecting coffee from another 200 meters up on the hillsides, Kigeyo was built in 2009 by Emmanuel (president of Coopac Cooperative and Sacof) to get where the good coffees are. This coffee was done in the Kenyan double fermentation style for increased complexity and sweetness. --Mountain Air Roasting

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Kigeyo Washing Station
  • Origin
    Rutsiro, Rwanda
  • Varieties
    Bourbon, Mayaguez
  • Elevation
    1,900 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Inviting aromas of raspberries and savory herbs lead into flavors of hibiscus and citrus fruit, highlighted by tangy cranberry acidity and an allspice finish.

Revel Coffee Roasters

Billings, Montana

Kanzu is a washing station in the southwest of Rwanda near Lake Kivu, one of the most amazing growing regions in Rwanda. This is one exampe where the beauty of the area seems to correlate to the beauty of the coffee itself. Kanzu is tucked away in a valley surrounded by mountain peaks of the Nyamasheke region. The washing station changed ownership two years ago and we have seen consistent improvement in the way they are working here. Kanzu is such a sweet cup of coffee, and 'complete' in terms of aromatics, sweetness, acidity, and mouthfeel. -Coffee Shrub

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Various smallholders
  • Origin
    Lake Kivu, Rwanda
  • Varieties
    Bourbon
  • Elevation
    2,000 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Aromas of red grape and tobacco pave the way for crisp orange, cranberry and grapefruit acidity, with flavors of cloves and brown sugar carrying into a clean, succinct finish.

Tandem Coffee Roasters

Portland, Maine

The Kikai Cooperative consists of about 1850 members that contribute a very small average of two and a half bags of green coffee per farmer. In late 2011 the Cooperative began working with Fair Trade to apply for a loan to purchase more efficient and eco-friendly processing equipment. --Tandem Coffee Roasters

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Kikai Farmers Cooperative Society
  • Origin
    Bungoma, Kenya
  • Varieties
    K7, SL28, R11, K34
  • Elevation
    1,700-1,850 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed, Sun-dried
  • Our Notes
    A polished cup with aromas of vanilla bean and crème de cassis lift into flavors of baker's chocolate and butterscotch finishing with clean honey-roasted almonds and dried figs.

Mountain Air Roasting

Asheville, North Carolina

This coffee screams 'Yirga Cheffe.' It's floral, bright, and sweet, and with loads of fruit flavors that change dramatically in the cooling cup. This is one amazing cup of coffee. The fruits are lively, the sweetness is like pure honey, and the finish is pristine. -Mountain Air Roasting

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Various smallholders
  • Origin
    Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
  • Varieties
    Heirloom
  • Elevation
    1,800-2,000 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    A perfumed nose of orchid, lime, and apricot opens into juicy red berry and silky lemoncello flavors, playful acidity, and a lingering hard candy sweetness.

Revel Coffee Roasters

Billings, Montana

This selection is a product of a special program in Colombia called "Million Pesos," which aims to find the country’s best coffees by offering a price of 1 million pesos per carga (125 kilograms) for coffees scoring above 90 points. As Cafe Imports explains it, Coffee farmers participating in this program are ecstatic when they succeed as the price on the street for traditional sales is about half that. Last November we had a meeting celebrating the top producers and handing out big checks for their hard work. There was a lot of discussion about farming methods and practices that contribute to coffees scoring above 90 points, but mainly general excitement about the possibility of having this type of success from quality. These people are proud farmers anyway and cash for their quality just helps to dignify that.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Las Acacias, farmed by Lucio Gilberto Mora
  • Origin
    Huila, Colombia
  • Varieties
    Caturra
  • Elevation
    1,300-1,700 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Delicate aromas of tangerine and allspice lead into a creamy cup, with navel orange acidity complementing flavors of milk chocolate and a finish like marzipan and cloves.

George Howell Coffee Company

Acton, Massachussets

This is perhaps the finest Ethiopian coffee we have ever been privileged to offer. The cup continuously evolves and develops ever more tongue-coating body as it cools, all the while delivering pure elegance and delicate sweet fruit-tinged floral effusions. A subtle, refined, complex coffee! Deri Kochoha is a privately owned wet mill that pays local small coffee growers competitive prices for their cherry. The fruit is pulped, fermented under water for approximately 72 hours, soaked in very clean water for another 12 hours and then finally dried on traditional raised beds. Once dried this coffee was sorted with particular care, and is graded appropriately as Grade 1 - quite rare. -George Howell Coffee Company

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Deri Kochoha
  • Origin
    Sidama, Ethiopia
  • Varieties
    Heirloom
  • Elevation
    1,800-2,000 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Delicate and refined aromas of peach nectar and honey bloom into apricot and oolong tea flavors, with bright lemon zest acidity and a lingering golden toast finish.

PT's Coffee Roasting Co.

Topeka, Kansas

This lot of Bourbon, grown at over 1400 meters in the Santiago de Maria region of El Salvador, is processed using a unique method. It is part of Finca Las Mercedes, one of our longest lasting Direct Trade relationships. We have had La Avila as a honeyed coffee in previous years, but were curious what results we would get if we processed the coffee similar to a technique that is often used in Kenya. We refer to it as the "Double Soak." After the success of this experiment last year, we are very excited to be offering this specially processed lot again. -PT's Coffee Roasting Co.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    La Avila, farmed by Lucia Abrego de Ortiz
  • Origin
    Santiago de Maria, Usulután, El Salvador
  • Varieties
    Bourbon
  • Elevation
    1,400 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Lively and dynamic, with Swiss cocoa and oolong aromas opening into flavors of white grape, fruit punch and almonds. A crisp, silky mouthfeel carries into a lingering, delicate finish reminiscent of malt and apricots.