Our Coffee Beans

Great coffee is the product of skilled coffee farmers, expert roasters and professional baristas. At Fineprint, we embrace all levels of the supply chain and our focus is transparency, community and social responsibility. We thrive on sourcing, roasting and brewing truly delicious coffee. 

1. Peel Street Espresso Blend

Peel Street Espresso Blend is Fineprint’s house blend, named to give homage to Peel Street, our first location. This is the coffee we use in house to make all our espresso and espresso based drinks, Long Black, latte, flat white etc. Roasted for espresso, notes of dark fruits, blueberries, plumbs, slight acidity, milk chocolate.

Peru Finca Encanada (Washed)

Origin: Peru Altitude: 1450 msnm, Variety: Typical - Caturra - Pache

Ethiopia Guji Hambelawamena

Origin: Ethiopia Zone: Guji Municipality: Dame Dabaye Town Altitude: 1800 masl Varieties: Heirloom Process: Natural

Kenya Nyala Kiambu AB Washed

Origin: Kenya Altitude: 1650 masl Crop year: 2019 Varietal: SL 28, SL 34, Ruiru 11

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2. Peru, Finca La Encanada (Washed)

  • Finca La Encañada
  • From: Dionicio Aguilar Mestanza
  • Altitude: 1450 msnm
  • Variety: Typical - Caturra - Pache
  • Zone: Belen - Yorongos - Rioja - San Martín - Peru
  • Process: Anaerobic - Washing
  • Drying: 21 Days, in drying trays under solar tents and Rashell mesh
  • Humidity: 11.5%
  • Water Activity: 0.58
  • Defects: 15
  • Parchment Rest: 2 months in Grainpro bags
  • Points in cup: 85.00
  • Notes: Sweet, citrus, chocolate, molasses, nuts, velvety

Scottie Callaghan first met Dionicio in Peru, he was invited to his farm after making the finals of the 2010 World Barista Championship along with five other finalists.

He spent one week on his farm learning their farming practices and culture. Since his first visit Scottie has returned to see Dionicio twice more in his home town of Moyobumba and his farm, observing the efforts he is going to improve the quality of his coffee. As a result Dionicio, his wife Diane, his sons, his sister, mother and I have become quite close. And we are committed to buying his coffee every year with the hope that he continues to invest in quality improvements.

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3. Huila Pitalito Sugar Cane Decaf

The Huila region is one of the most well-known coffee growing areas of Colombia. In the southernmost part of Huila, Pitalito’s high altitude of 1,400 to 1,900 meters above sea level is made even more farmable by the amiable geography. These conditions combine with small, family coffee farms to make a coffee with full body, excellent structure and tastes of chocolate and stone fruit.

COFFEE GRADE: Huila Sugarcane Decaf Supremo

FARM/COOP/STATION: Various

VARIETAL: Castillo, Caturra, Various

PROCESSING:: Fully washed

ALTITUDE: 1,400 to 1,900 meters above sea level

SUBREGION/TOWN: Pitalito

REGION: Huila

FARM SIZE: 3-4.5 hectares on average

BAG SIZE: 70kg

HARVEST MONTHS: Year-round, depending on the region

Pitalito lies in the southernmost part of Huila. Producers are focused almost exclusively on producing specialty coffee. While the majority of trees are either Castillo or Caturra, farmers in Pitalito also cultivate more ‘exotic’ varieties than any other region in Colombia.

The high altitude of 1,400 to 1,900 meters above sea level is made even more farmable by the amiable geography. Thanks to gentle, rolling hills, Pitalito is much easier to farm than the steep cliffs that are common in many other regions in Colombia. Most farms sit on a large plateau that looks over the Valley of Laboyos.

Harvest & Post-Harvest
Farmers here are mainly smallholders. In fact, 80% of coffee farms are smaller than 3 hectares. On smaller farms, nearly all labor is done by the family. Very few farms hire farmhands. As a result, quality can be carefully controlled and families can focus more energy on intensive farming practices that result in high quality coffee. Families take great pride in their coffee production.

Sugarcane Decaf Process
Sugarcane decaffeination utilizes a naturally occurring compound, ethyl acetate (EA) to decaffeinate coffee. The EA used in this process is derived from molasses (a byproduct of sugar production). Since EA is naturally-occurring, the process is labeled as “naturally decaffeinated.”

The EA process is relatively simple. The coffee beans are moistened with water and EA is circulated throughout. The EA binds with the caffeine in the bean and extracts the caffeine while leaving most of the other flavored compounds. After the desired caffeine level is reached, the EA residue on the beans is removed by steaming them.

About Huila
The Huila region is one of the most well-known coffee growing areas of Colombia. The Department of Huila has a population of 1.125 million and is located in the southwest of the country. The capital of the department is Neiva, a city of about 380,000. Along with Cauca and Nariño, Huila is one the three departments where the Colombian Massif is located. A massif is a group of mountain ranges, and the Colombian Massif, which is known locally as Nudo de Almaguer, provides up to 70% of safe drinking and agricultural water for the Colombian population.

The Magdalena River, the Colombia’s largest river, runs through the region, providing plenty of water for coffee farming and generating (directly and indirectly) up to 86% of Colombia GDP. The mountain range also features the fertile volcanic soil so typical to the Andean Mountains.

Supremo Grade
Screen sizes remain fairly uniform across countries but grade names are often unique to the country of origin. In the Colombian grading system, Supremo is the largest size bean. The process of separating beans by size is a crucial stage of the dry milling process. A screen grading machine has a series of screens stacked on top of each other. Green coffee is fed into the machine, and as the screens are shaken, beans that are smaller than holes on a specific screen will fall through to a lower screen until they reach a screen with holes too small for them to fit.

Supremo is typically screen sizes 18 to 20. In a Supremo blend, beans are between 7 and 8 millimeters in size.

Coffee in Colombia
Colombia has been producing and exporting coffee renowned for their full body, bright acidity and rich aftertaste, since the early 19th century.

Colombia boasts a wide range of climates and geographic conditions that, in turn, produce their own unique flavors in coffee. This also means that harvest times can vary quite a bit. In fact, between all its different regions, Colombia produces fresh crop nearly all year round. The increasing focus on the specialty industry is changing the way traders and farmers do business. It is becoming more common for farmers to isolate the highest quality beans in their lots to market separately. These higher quality lots are often sold under specific brands or stories.

Besides its wide variety of cup profiles, Colombia has quickly expanded its certification options over the past 10 years. The most common certifications available are Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and Organic.

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4. Colombia Juan Restrepo Caldas (Natural)

Elmer and Juan Felipe are redefining coffee production in Caldas with their hybrid focus on innovatively-processed specialty coffee and good quality commercial production.

COFFEE GRADE: Caldas Natural

FARM/COOP/STATION: Finca Jardin & Finca Chambacu

VARIETAL: Castillo, Caturra

PROCESSING: Natural

ALTITUDE: 1,410 to 1,490 meters above sea level

OWNER Elmer & Juan Felipe Restrepo

SUBREGION/TOWN: China, China

REGION: Caldas

HARVEST MONTHS: Year-round, depending on the region

Elmer and Juan Felipe are redefining coffee production in Caldas with their hybrid focus on innovatively-processed specialty coffee and good quality commercial production. Elmer & Juan Felipe Restrepo, the father and son team behind Finca Jardin & Finca Chambacu are re-envisioning coffee production in Chinchina. The rolling hills of Chinchina, Caldas, the third biggest coffee producer in Colombia after Pitalito in Huila and Planadas in Tolima, are home to bigger estates that mainly focus on high volume commercial quality production. Elmer and Juan Felipe are redefining their coffee production with a hybrid approach.
While they continue to devote a portion of farm to commercial production, they have been increasingly developing their specialty offerings and experimenting with new and varied processing styles. Juan Felipe has taken the helm of the specialty aspect of the operation. He has been a passionate experimenter, developing countless processing protocols to enable him to bring out the best in the coffees from their 4 specialty plots – El Placer, Jardin 1, Jardin 2 and Chambacu.


Cultivation
Elmer and Juan Felipe employ 12 year-round workers who carry out selective handpicking during the harvest and help with farm upkeep in the off-season. This team is paid a premium for their selective picking expertise and their full-time employment helps them maintain stable income throughout the year.


Harvest & Post-Harvest
After selective handpicking and visual sorting, Juan Felipe lightly ferments cherry for 8 to 48 hours. Then, cherry is laid in thin layers in solar driers for approximately 5 days. Drying cherry is raked frequently to ensure even drying. Then, drying is finished in a vertical mechanical dryer where the temperature is carefully monitored to ensure it stays before 45 degrees Celsius.


About Caldas Region
Parts of Caldas are located in Eje Cafetero, the Colombian Coffee Growing Axis. Eje Cafetero was the first major coffee producing region in Colombia. For many years, the region held the distinction of being the most well-known and highly-sought-after Colombian coffee region. Tropical rainforest conditions, volcanic soil and a wealth of rivers and streams in Eje Cafetero make the area ideal for coffee growing, and Manizales is located at the heart of the Caldas department in Eje Cafetero.
Today, producers in Caldas are increasingly focused on high-quality coffee production. These producers have become common and well-known enough to earn an affectionate colloquial name in the region. They’re called juiciosos (literally: sensible/wise), which in this case means hard working and attentive to detail. In addition to finding ways to perfect existing processing methods, juiciosos are experimenting with new processing methods and planting new varieties of coffee.


Coffee in Colombia
Colombia has been producing and exporting coffee renowned for their full body, bright acidity and rich aftertaste, since the early 19th century. Colombia boasts a wide range of climates and geographic conditions that, in turn, produce their own unique flavors in coffee. This also means that harvest times can vary quite a bit. In fact, between all its different regions, Colombia produces fresh crop nearly all year round. The increasing focus on the specialty industry is changing the way traders and farmers do business. It is becoming more common for farmers to isolate the highest quality beans in their lots to market separately. These higher quality lots are often sold under specific brands or stories. Besides its wide variety of cup profiles, Colombia has quickly expanded its certification options over the past 10 years. The most common certifications available are Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and Organic.

Read more Buy Now

5. Burundi Gisha Gatare Natural

This lot is named Gatare after the hill on which smallholders farmed the cherry for this lot. It boasts a full body that bursts with tropical fruits like mango, lychee and papaya. 

COFFEE GRADE: Gisha Washing Station

FARM/COOP/STATION: Gisha Washing Station

VARIETAL: Red Bourbon

PROCESSING: Natural

ALTITUDE: 1,600+ meters above sea level

OWNER Various smallholder farmers working with Bugestal Coffee

SUBREGION/TOWN: Tangara

REGION: Ngozi

FARM SIZE: 200 to 250 hectares on average

BAG SIZE: 60kg GrainPro

HARVEST MONTHS: March - July

The area of Gisha, from which the station takes its name, was named by King Bigayimpunzi and is considered the headquarters of Tangara commune’s jurisdiction. King Bigayimpunzi, who founded the Democratic and Rural Party in 1961, once lived in a beautiful palace on a nearby hill. Since then, the palace has been used as the home of highly ranked dignitaries who oversaw administration in the region. The house has also played host to the commissaries who ruled over the communes of Kiremba, Tangara and Gashikanwa. Located in Tangara commune, Gisha station sits near the Nyamuswaga river that is infamous for its depth and breadth. According to legend, the paramilitary personnel who drowned while undergoing training in the river were killed by wildlife in the river. Despite the vicious reputation, the abundance of a local fish called Claria in the river is a major draw for fishermen throughout the region. This lot is named Gatare after the hill on which smallholders farmed the cherry for this lot. This hill is located in Gashikanwa commune in Ngozi province.


Cultivation
Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder producers a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about 200-300 kilos of cherry annually. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Bugestal purchases seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost.


Harvest & Post-Harvest
The average cherry buying price for Bugestal in 2019 was significantly above average. Washing stations make the first payment to farmers between 15-30 June. The second payment comes later in the summer. If the coffee wins a competition or sells for extremely high specialty prices, Bugestal gives another payment approximately a year after the harvest season.

During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family. Bugestal knows that even small distances can be time consuming and expensive to travel for smallholder farmers, and they know that receiving cherry immediately after harvest is crucial to quality. Therefore, smallholders can bring their cherries either directly to a washing station or to one of the 10-15 collection sites situated throughout growing areas. Farmers are paid the same for their quality cherry regardless of where they bring their cherries. In this way, farmers are not disadvantaged due to their location, and Bugestal bears the cost of transport to washing stations.

Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check its quality. Bugestal still purchases floaters (damaged, underripes, etc) but immediately separates the two qualities and only markets floaters as B-quality cherry. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove any damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.

After sorting, the beans are then transported directly to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 3-4 weeks. Cherry is laid out in a single layer. Pickers go over the drying beans for damaged or defective beans that may have been missed in previous quality checks. The station is very strict about allowing only the highest quality cherry to complete the drying process. The beans are covered with tarps during periods of rain, the hottest part of the day and at night. On the table, the beans are dried to 11.5%.

Once dry, the coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Bugestal’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot (which are separated by station, day and quality) at the lab. The traceability of the station, day and coffee quality is maintained throughout the entire process.

Before shipment, coffee is sent to Budeca, Burundi’s largest dry mill. The coffee is milled and then hand sorted by a team of hand-pickers who look closely at every single bean to ensure zero defects. It takes a team of two hand-pickers a full day to look over a single bag. UV lighting is also used on the beans and any beans that glows—usually an indication of a defect—is removed.

The mill produces an average of 300 containers, of 320 bags each, per year. Budeca is located in Burundi’s new capital city, Gitega, with a population of around 30,000 people. Since there are approximately 3,000 people working at the mill, mostly as hand pickers, this means that Budeca employs nearly 10% of the total population in Gitega for at least half the year (during the milling season). The same is true in the provinces of Ngozi and Kayanza, where Greenco and Bugestal are the first employers in the region during the coffee harvest season. This has an incalculable impact on a country like Burundi, with unemployment rates above 50%, especially in rural areas and among young people.


About Bugestal
Bugestal’s headquarters are located in Ngozi Province in the Northern part of Burundi, approximately 150km from Bujumbura, the largest city and previously the capital of Burundi. Bugestal operates nine washing stations in Ngozi and Muyinga provinces and works with more than 15,000 farmers. Coffee washing stations are all certified by UTZ, 4C and C.A.F.E. Practices. Bugestal is part of the Sucafina Group, a family owned coffee company promoting farm-to-roaster trade. Bugestal creates social impact at origin using farm-direct supply chains and works in collaboration with the Kahawatu Foundation to help farmers improve their livelihoods through the increase of coffee production.


Coffee in Burundi
Burundi has long been overlooked in comparison to its neighboring East African specialty coffee producing powerhouses. However, Burundi season, for us, is one of the highlights of the annual coffee calendar. The country’s coffee is produced almost entirely by smallholder farmers, and much of this small-scale production is of exceptional quality. With its super sweet, clean and often floral coffees, Burundi, every year, is increasingly is putting itself on the specialty coffee map. Coffee is of paramount importance to families and the country at large. Considering this, improving and expanding coffee infrastructure is not just a way to improve incomes, it is a way to revolutionize the earning potential of an entire nation.

Building washing stations and expanding agricultural extension work can be great ways to improve coffee quality. Washing stations are pivotal in improving cup profile standards and the global reputation of Burundian coffee.

Both state-owned and private actors drive Burundi’s coffee industry and play key roles as washing station management companies and exporters. State-owned companies are called Sogestals, short for “Sociétés de Gestions des Stations de Lavage” (Washing station management companies). Privately-owned companies can operate under a variety of different names.

Sucafina’s history in Burundi goes back to 2007 when Bucafe/Sucafina Burundi was established in Bujumbura. Through Bucafe, we work with several privately-owned washing station management companies and exporters. Our work bridges the entire supply chain, allowing us to be vertically integrated. Our supply chain is solid, reliable and transparent. Due to this, we are more efficient, able to supply better value and positioned to offer both producers and consumers of Burundian coffee a diversity of expertise.

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6. Baroida Estate (Honey)

Named for a spirit living in a large, steadfast river rock, Baroida estate consistently produces some of the highest quality coffee we source from Papua New Guinea. Thanks to meticulous separation for quality control, the high quality of this estate coffee shines through with a great acidity and mouthfeel. 

COFFEE GRADE: Eastern Highlands Honey

FARM/COOP/STATION: Baroida Estate

VARIETAL: Arusha , Bourbon, Mundo Novo, Typica

PROCESSING: Honey

ALTITUDE: 1,700-1,850 meters above sea level

OWNER: Colbran family

SUBREGION/TOWN: Baroida, Aiyura, Kianantu

REGION: Eastern Highlands

FARM SIZE: 220 hectares

BAG SIZE: 60kg

HARVEST MONTHS: May - September (main crop)| January - February (fly crop)

About this coffee

Baroida Estate is located in the Kainantu District, Eastern Highlands Province. The estate was founded by Ben Colbran in the 1960’s when the Government encouraged foreign agriculturalists to begin cultivating land throughout the highlands. Ben first purchased the land from a native man named Taro and was amongst the first farmer to cultivate coffee in these valleys. Today, Ben’s son Nicol runs the plantation. 

The name ‘Baroida’ comes from the Baroida spirit, believed by locals to reside in a large river rock sitting in one of the main rivers flowing through the estate. This particular rock, has stubbornly remained in the middle of the river for as long as anybody can remember, refusing to budge through the most severe floods, even when other rocks have been washed away. 

The Baroida plantation sits at the apex of the Lamari river valley and Mount Jabarra range. The plantation itself sits at about 1,691 meters above sea level amongst thousands of hectares of cleared land with former colonial coffee estates surrounding them (now run by native landowners) and flanked by mountains filled with small holder coffee producers who cultivate close to a million trees.

Cultivation

One of the biggest challenges that the Colbrans faced when they first started out was the issue of soil water- logging. The system widely used for planting coffee seedlings in Papua New Guinea was adapted from Kenya. When planting a new seedling, you dig a hole approximately one meter wide by one meter deep, fill it with top soil and then plant the seedling in it.

This method was completely unsuitable for the wet highlands of PNG, where the average annual rainfall is 90 inches (as opposed to Kenya’s <60 inches). This issue was solved by digging drainage ditches in between each row of coffee. After a short time Ben became very good at ‘reading’ the coffee to see what it needed (i.e. certain fertilizers or whether the coffee was diseased). This knowledge grew over time with experience and these solutions were passed on to Nichol, who still implements them today.

Some minor adjustments have been made over the years as Colbran Coffeelands has grown in size and output. More shade trees have been planted in order to reduce requirements for fertilizer as well as keep weeds under control. Of course, with more shade comes lower yields. Therefore, Colbran Coffeelands has established renovation and planting programs in order to be able to meet future demand.

Nonetheless, according to Nicol, the high quality of coffee from Colbran Coffeelands is, in part, due to ‘old-fashioned’ systems that have been in place since the late 60’s.

Harvest & Post Harvest

Meticulous separation for quality control helps maintain the high quality of the estate’s coffee. After careful sorting, cherry is pulped on disk pulpers. Parchment and remaining mucilage are laid on tarps to sundry. Parchment is raked frequently to ensure even drying.

We source the best quality lots, which are separated and allocated specifically for us before being hulled, graded and prepared for export.

About Colbran Coffeelands

Meticulous separation for quality control helps maintain the high quality of the estate’s coffee. After careful sorting, cherry is pulped on disk pulpers. Parchment and remaining mucilage are laid on tarps to sundry. Parchment is raked frequently to ensure even drying.

We source the best quality lots, which are separated and allocated specifically for us before being hulled, graded and prepared for export.

Coffee in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a relative newcomer to the specialty coffee scene. The remote locations of the nation’s smallholders—who produce 85% of total coffee in the country—combined with historically-poor infrastructure has made the transition to specialty difficult. Nonetheless, the country is working towards innovative solutions that will hopefully lead to better quality coffee and improved livelihoods for the nation’s smallholder coffee producers.

Read more Buy Now

7. Baroida Estate AX Natural

Named for a spirit living in a large, steadfast river rock, Baroida estate consistently produces some of the highest quality coffee we source from Papua New Guinea. Thanks to meticulous separation for quality control, the high quality of this estate coffee shines through with a great acidity and mouthfeel. 

COFFEE GRADE: Eastern Highlands Natural

FARM/COOP/STATION: Baroida Estate

VARIETAL: Arusha , Bourbon, Mundo Novo, Typica

PROCESSING: Natural

ALTITUDE: 1,700-1,850 meters above sea level

OWNER: Colbran family

SUBREGION/TOWN: Baroida, Aiyura, Kianantu

REGION: Eastern Highlands

FARM SIZE: 220 hectares

BAG SIZE: 60kg

HARVEST MONTHS: May - September (main crop)| January - February (fly crop)

About this coffee

Baroida Estate is located in the Kainantu District, Eastern Highlands Province. The estate was founded by Ben Colbran in the 1960’s when the Government encouraged foreign agriculturalists to begin cultivating land throughout the highlands. Ben first purchased the land from a native man named Taro and was amongst the first farmer to cultivate coffee in these valleys. Today, Ben’s son Nicol runs the plantation. 

The name ‘Baroida’ comes from the Baroida spirit, believed by locals to reside in a large river rock sitting in one of the main rivers flowing through the estate. This particular rock, has stubbornly remained in the middle of the river for as long as anybody can remember, refusing to budge through the most severe floods, even when other rocks have been washed away. 

The Baroida plantation sits at the apex of the Lamari river valley and Mount Jabarra range. The plantation itself sits at about 1,691 meters above sea level amongst thousands of hectares of cleared land with former colonial coffee estates surrounding them (now run by native landowners) and flanked by mountains filled with small holder coffee producers who cultivate close to a million trees.  

Cultivation

One of the biggest challenges that the Colbrans faced when they first started out was the issue of soil water- logging. The system widely used for planting coffee seedlings in Papua New Guinea was adapted from Kenya. When planting a new seedling, you dig a hole approximately one meter wide by one meter deep, fill it with top soil and then plant the seedling in it.

This method was completely unsuitable for the wet highlands of PNG, where the average annual rainfall is 90 inches (as opposed to Kenya’s <60 inches). This issue was solved by digging drainage ditches in between each row of coffee. After a short time Ben became very good at ‘reading’ the coffee to see what it needed (i.e. certain fertilizers or whether the coffee was diseased). This knowledge grew over time with experience and these solutions were passed on to Nichol, who still implements them today.

Some minor adjustments have been made over the years as Colbran Coffeelands has grown in size and output. More shade trees have been planted in order to reduce requirements for fertilizer as well as keep weeds under control. Of course, with more shade comes lower yields. Therefore, Colbran Coffeelands has established renovation and planting programs in order to be able to meet future demand.

Nonetheless, according to Nicol, the high quality of coffee from Colbran Coffeelands is, in part, due to ‘old fashioned’ systems that have been in place since the late 60’s.

Harvest & Post Harvest

Meticulous separation for quality control helps maintain the high quality of the estate’s coffee. After careful sorting, cherry is laid on raised beds to sundry. We source the best quality lots, which are separated and allocated specifically for us before being hulled, graded and prepared for export.

About Colbran Coffeelands

Ben Colbran pioneered coffee growing in the Eastern Highlands, especially in Kianantu District. Colbran moved from New Zealand to PNG in 1963 with his wife, Norma, and their three children, Jill, Sandra and Nichol.

Colbran purchased a farm of around 600 acres (242 hectares) and due to the cost of the transaction needed to begin making money as soon as possible! He started with vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, and fruit, such as strawberries. These crops flourished in the highlands and were much sought after in the port city’s markets. With the money he earned, he would buy goods such as sugar, tea and flour that were hard to get in the highlands. In this way, he slowly saved enough money to set up a sawmill, which he saw as a better means of generating funds for his new coffee farm – which had been the dream all along!

From that time forward, Ben ran Colbran Coffeelands as one of the most notable coffee estates in all of PNG. His son, Nicol, who had lived in the country virtually his whole life, had helped him from a very early age. When Ben Colbran sold the farm in 1979 and moved to Australia, Nichol stayed and worked in the farm’s management under the new owners. Nichol has lived on the Colbran Coffeelands estate since age 6, when his family moved to Papua New Guinea. In 1997, he bought the farm back and has been the Owner and Director of the farm ever since.

Today the farm composes around 220 hectares of mature coffee trees alongside some sections of newer plantings. Colbran Coffeelands also works with farms and farmers in the surrounding region, offering processing and marketing support.

Coffee In Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a relative newcomer to the specialty coffee scene. The remote locations of the nation’s smallholders—who produce 85% of total coffee in the country—combined with historically-poor infrastructure has made the transition to specialty difficult. Nonetheless, the country is working towards innovative solutions that will hopefully lead to better quality coffee and improved livelihoods for the nation’s smallholder coffee producers.

Read more Buy Now

8. Colombia Barrel Aged (Washed)

Andres Mauricio’s innovative processing method instills coffees with the flavors of liquor barrels to enhance the profile. This barrel-aged coffee is sweet and complex with notes of stone fruit, dark chocolate and whiskey.

COFFEE GRADE: Barrel Aged FW

FARM/COOP/STATION: Various

VARIETAL: Various

PROCESSING: Fully washed

ALTITUDE: Various

OWNER: Andres Mauricio

SUBREGION/TOWN: Manizales

REGION: Caldas

FARM SIZE: Various

HARVEST MONTHS: Year-round, depending on the region

 

About this coffee

Andres Mauricio has been perfecting the barrel aged technique since 2018. With over 15 years of experience working with CENICAFE, a masters in agricultural production systems, doctorate in genetics and background as agronomic engineer and coffee producer, he’s well up for the task of developing the perfect aging process.

His inspiration came from Manizales’ long history as a coffee and liquor producer. In particular, the Licorera de Caldas company’s famous rum inspired him to experiment with aging coffee in liquor barrels.

Andres has been experimenting with coffees from different regions to see how the aging process affects the different regional profiles. 

Harvest & Post Harvest

The conditions that make the region ideal for aging liquor also make it ideal for processing coffee. The high altitudes of the Caldas region that lead to lower temperatures and create a longer, slower aging process. 

Coffee is aged in barrels that were used to age alcohol. This lot was aged in whiskey barrels. The process takes 2 months. Humidity is monitored and controlled throughout the process.

Coffee in Colombia

Colombia has been producing and exporting coffee renowned for their full body, bright acidity and rich aftertaste, since the early 19th century.

Colombia boasts a wide range of climates and geographic conditions that, in turn, produce their own unique flavors in coffee. This also means that harvest times can vary quite a bit. In fact, between all its different regions, Colombia produces fresh crop nearly all year round.

The increasing focus on the specialty industry is changing the way traders and farmers do business. It is becoming more common for farmers to isolate the highest quality beans in their lots to market separately. These higher-quality lots are often sold under specific brands or stories.

Besides its wide variety of cup profiles, Colombia has quickly expanded its certification options over the past 10 years. The most common certifications available are Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and Organic.

Read more Buy Now

9. Burundi, Gisha Gatare (Natural)

This lot is named Gatare after the hill on which smallholders farmed the cherry for this lot. It boasts a full body that bursts with tropical fruits like mango, lychee and papaya.

COFFEE GRADE: Natural Scr. 15+

FARM/COOP/STATION: Gisha Washing Station

VARIETAL: Red Bourbon

PROCESSING: Natural

ALTITUDE: 1,600+ meters above sea level

OWNER: Various smallholder farmers working with Bugestal Coffee

SUBREGION/TOWN: Tangara

REGION: Ngozi

FARM SIZE: 200 to 250 hectares on average

BAG SIZE: 60kg GrainPro

HARVEST MONTHS: March - July

About this coffee

This lot is named Gatare after the hill on which smallholders farmed the cherry for this lot. This hill is located in Gashikanwa commune in Ngozi province.

The area of Gisha, from which the station takes its name, was named by King Bigayimpunzi and is considered the headquarters of Tangara commune’s jurisdiction. King Bigayimpunzi, who founded the Democratic and Rural Party in 1961, once lived in a beautiful palace on a nearby hill. Since then, the palace has been used as the home of highly ranked dignitaries who oversaw administration in the region. The house has also played host to the commissaries who ruled over the communes of Kiremba, Tangara and Gashikanwa.

Located in Tangara commune, Gisha station sits near the Nyamuswaga river that is infamous for its depth and breadth. 

Cultivation

Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder producers a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about 200-300 kilos of cherry annually. 

Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of production for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Bugestal purchases seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost. 

Harvest & Post-Harvest

During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family.

Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check its quality. Bugestal still purchases floaters (damaged, underripes, etc) but immediately separates the two qualities and only markets floaters as B-quality cherry. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove any damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.  

After sorting, the beans are then transported directly to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 3-4 weeks. Cherry is laid out in a single layer. Pickers go over the drying beans for damaged or defective beans that may have been missed in previous quality checks. The station is very strict about allowing only the highest quality cherry to complete the drying process. The beans are covered with tarps during periods of rain, the hottest part of the day and at night. 

Once dry, the coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Bugestal’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot (which are separated by station, day and quality) at the lab. The traceability of the station, day and coffee quality is maintained throughout the entire process.  

About Bugestal

Bugestal’s headquarters are located in Ngozi Province in the Northern part of Burundi, approximately 150km from Bujumbura, the largest city and previously the capital of Burundi. Bugestal operates nine washing stations in Ngozi and Muyinga provinces and works with more than 15,000 farmers. Coffee washing stations are all certified by UTZ, 4C and C.A.F.E. Practices. Bugestal is part of the Sucafina Group, a family owned coffee company promoting farm-to-roaster trade. Bugestal creates social impact at origin using farm-direct supply chains and works in collaboration with the Kahawatu Foundation to help farmers improve their livelihoods through the increase of coffee production. 

About Burundi

Burundi has long been overlooked in comparison to its neighboring East African specialty coffee producing powerhouses. However, Burundi season, for us, is one of the highlights of the annual coffee calendar. The country’s coffee is produced almost entirely by smallholder farmers, and much of this small-scale production is of exceptional quality. With its super sweet, clean and often floral coffees, Burundi, every year, is increasingly is putting itself on the specialty coffee map. 

Coffee is of paramount importance to families and the country at large. Considering this, improving and expanding coffee infrastructure is not just a way to improve incomes, it is a way to revolutionize the earning potential of an entire nation.

Building washing stations and expanding agricultural extension work can be great ways to improve coffee quality. Washing stations are pivotal in improving cup profile standards and the global reputation of Burundian coffee. 

Both state-owned and private actors drive Burundi’s coffee industry and play key roles as washing station management companies and exporters. State-owned companies are called Sogestals, short for “Sociétés de Gestions des Stations de Lavage” (Washing station management companies). Privately-owned companies can operate under a variety of different names.

Sucafina’s history in Burundi goes back to 2007 when Bucafe/Sucafina Burundi was established in Bujumbura. Through Bucafe, we work with several privately-owned washing station management companies and exporters. Our work bridges the entire supply chain, allowing us to be vertically integrated. Our supply chain is solid, reliable and transparent. Due to this, we are more efficient, able to supply better value and positioned to offer both producers and consumers of Burundian coffee a diversity of expertise.

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10. Cup of Excellence Winner. Guayacanes, El Tejar, Colombia

Beatriz Elena Vélez Restrepo


Beatriz has been a coffee producer for more than 50 years being a pioneer in coffee production in this region next to her husband.  Their hard work and tradition to keep not only the quality but special relationships with their neighbours and workers brought them the opportunity to create a social project called "Los Niños del Cafe" a day care where single mothers can take their children while working at the farm.

Aroma / Flavour
Brown Sugar, Sweet Spice, Floral, Black Tea, Lychee, Mango, Milk Chocolate, Stone Fruit, Strawberry.

Acidity
Lemon & Lime, Bright, Citric Acid, Liquorice-Anise, Malic Acid, Plum, Strawberry, Tropical Fruit.

What is Cup of Excellence?

Cup of Excellence is the most prestigious competition and auction for high quality coffees. The level of scrutiny that Cup of Excellence coffees undergo is unmatched anywhere in the specialty coffee industry. Each year, thousands of coffees are submitted for consideration, with winning coffees sold in global online auctions at premium prices, with the vast majority of auction proceeds going to the farmers.

The Cup of Excellence competition has pioneered integrity and transparency in the coffee industry, ensuring the value of winning coffees. Each sample entering the competition process is assigned a number known only to the auditor for each competition, and each jury member cups the coffee blind. In addition, each lot is documented through the entire process so that winning coffees are traceable to the farm and exact micro-lot.

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