From time to time we look for replacements for coffees in our core range. When we look for a replacement coffee, we look for a similar flavour profile to ensure consistency and a coffee from a similar locality for sourcing continuity - often a neighbouring farm. Most of our like-for-like coffees are of superior quality to the previous lots, although we try to always keep the price the same.
We look for a like-for-like coffee for various reasons. This might include coffee that dips below our quality requirements, a farm or cooperative discontinuing or an unforeseen logistical problem. We make sure we explore all possible ways of continuing our supply before we decide to change as consistency is extremely important to us - not only from a flavour perspective, but also to work with the same producer or group of producers year-on-year to generate a long-term partnership and a sustainable source of income.
We recently have two new like-for-likes that we are extremely excited to introduce and we hope we will build long-term relationships with these farming communities.
Ethiopia Tega and Tula
We sourced this coffee as a like-for-like replacement for our Ethiopia Biftu Gudina due to quality issues with papery flavours creeping in to their new crop. We did a lot of taste testing but we decided to change - Tega and Tula is also from the Jimma region and has a similar profile although we taste more bergamot than apricot.
This particular lot is called Kasha, and is an 86.92-hectare subplot located in the Tega farm. It is the highest elevation area on the farm, and has produced coffees that have won African Fine Coffee Awards in past years. It was planted and/or renovated in 2000, 2001, and 2004, and has 74110, 74112, and Yachi coffee varieties. Both 74110 and 74112 were developed by the Jimma Agricultural Research Center in the 1970s, bred for their profile as well as for their resistance to disease, pests, and drought. Yachi is part of a "highland specialty group" of cultivars and was selected in 1975 from the Jimma zone: It takes its name from the place where it was discovered. It was released in 2006 for use as an improved variety and is considered a good producer at elevations above 1,750 meters.
Colombia Gran Galope
We sourced this coffee as a like-for-like replacement for our Colombia Jose and Luz as this year’s volume of coffee produced at speciality grade was lower than anticipated. Gran Galope has a sweeter flavour profile but lots of the tangy fruit is still present. We also changed the roast profile to an omni roast as it’s currently one of our favourites as both an espresso and filter coffee.
This new Colombian coffee is from between 10 and 30 smallholder farms, each with comparable cup characteristics and score. This group of smallholders lives in and around the small municipality of La Unión in Nariño, where the terrain differs greatly from in other coffee-growing areas like Cauca: Instead of walking up from the town to the farms, as elsewhere, here the towns are at such high elevation that the farms are typically lower elevation, surrounded by high peaks and rough road.
The farmers pick their coffee during the day and depulp it in the afternoon, typically fermenting the lots for 16–24 hours dry. The coffees are generally washed two or three times before being dried either in small "casa elbas," mechanical dryers, or parabolic dryers. The mechanical drying takes between 25–40 hours, while the other drying structures can take up to 15 days.
Any Colombian or Ethiopian coffees ordered after Tuesday 17th November will be from Gran Galope and Tega and Tula respectively.