Quality in the cup no doubt begins at Origin. Bean characteristics are influenced by a range of interplaying factors. To name a few; terroir, varietal, picking, processing method such as wet, dry, pulp natural, honey and selection at milling. In the specialty coffee world it is critical to understand these influences on your product. This is why Team Veneziano travels to Origin to select beans and build long term relationships with growers. In the past year, we’ve visited Kenya, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, India, Hawaii and Brazil.
El Salvador, El Manzano Estate
Emilio’s family, the Lopez, are sixth generation coffee growers. They own the El Manzano farm and a milling station that processes coffee for a number of other farms. The Finca El Manzano is located on the slopes of the Santa Ana volcano producing Bourbon, Pacamara, Typica, Kenya and Yellow Bourbon varietals at an altitude of 1,300 – 1,550 metres. With its high elevation in El Salvador’s Mountains, El Manzano’s climate ranges from foggy and humid during the April to October winter season with temperatures from 17-33ºC, to a dry and cool 7-22ºC during November to March, summer season. El Manzano normally begins its harvest during the first week of December and runs through the last week of March.
We have chosen to partner with El Manzano Estate because of the family’s extensive varietal and processing method experiments that continually improve crop year to year. You can read about the single origin plantation at www.cuatromcafes.com. Read about Simo’s latest visit. Click here for more El Salvador Micro-lots.
India, Sethuraman Estate
Nishant Gurjer, avid cricket fan, is a sixth generation coffee farmer with a passion for single origin Robusta, also owns Sethuraman Estate and Kaapi Royale Coffee. Located in Magundi in Chikmagalur, the estate began operations in 1950s with an aim of producing good quality Arabica and Robusta coffees. Today, it’s achieved recognition as the world’s first certified Fine Robusta in the new ‘R’ Coffee program run by the Coffee Quality Institute. The program is based on CQI’s Q Coffee system created for Arabica coffee and operates much in the same way with similar grading procedures. Sethuraman Estate is also three-time winner of Best Robusta in the Coffee Board of India’s ‘Flavour of India’ competition and received the highest-ever rating for a Robusta coffee of 94 points from respected USA publication, Coffee Review.
The Estate’s improvements have come largely from processing and this highlights why it’s so important. Beans are pulped, naturally fermented, double-washed, and then patio-dried. Veneziano Coffee are the exclusive importers of Kaapi Royale Arabica and Robusta coffees. Read about Andrew’s visit.
Brazil, Fazenda Laranjal
Yellow Bourbon specialty facilitate export for some of the best Fazendas (farms) in Brazil. We draw from five estates in order to acquire lots that meet a minimum 84 – 85 point cupping score. These estates have the farms and expertise to grow and process exceptional coffee, including COE winners and some pretty specky microlots. The Yellow Bourbon produces a more consistent crop than the Red varietal. Many of our microlots feature pulped natural processed coffees, where the mucilage is left on during processing making a sweeter, fuller bodied coffee.
In December 2012 we received a Brazil crop shipment from Fazenda Laranjal, which means ‘orange grove’ in Portuguese. This estate is located an hours drive from Pocos De Caldos in Minas Gerais. We have since received several more; Fazenda Cachoeira, Fazenda Recreio and most recently Fazenda Serra Do Bone, Fazenda Rainha and Espirito Santo (from various regions - Pocos De Caldos, Sao Paulo, Mata de Minas, Sao Sebastiao da Grama and Mata de Minas . We are expecting more throughout 2013. Read more about these Brazilian microlots here.
Ninety Plus Gesha Estates
Ninety Plus Coffee is achieving some very extraordinary things in the coffee world. Not only are they producing standout coffees, they are continually developing their coffee with breakthroughs in flavour profiling with particular emphasis on the coffee processing. They take coffee processing a whole step further; instead of just focusing on how to avoid spoiling the coffee during processing (from the time it’s picked to the time it’s bagged), they seek out how to heighten it during processing. As a result, they’ve developed profile processing; a diligent method of removing the coffee bean from the cherry and methodical drying to achieve a superior coffee in the cup. The flavour profile processing they’ve developed is categorised as: N2, H2 and W2. These categories are defined by the varying levels of influence that fruit drying has on the flavour and as a result they are able to influence the flavour profile through the processing stage (as opposed to allowing the coffee type to influence the processing method). In addition to their all-important drying process, the estate location (traceability) also has bearing on the final flavour outcome.
Ninety Plus is a grower and producer of boutique coffee in Ethiopia and Panama, bridging the gap between estate and roaster with the barista and consumer in mind. Ninety Plus Gesha Estates are located in Ethiopia, managed with local partners and its own estate in Panama. Consisting of a numerous network of micro estates that primarily focus on the heirloom Ethiopia Gesha varietal, Ninety Plus has achieved new levels of biodiversity to ensure the estates are managed in an ecologically sustainable manner including preservation and restoration of the environment as well as providing for the local people through coffee jobs and education. Coffee quality improvement involves not just the processing methods but also full traceability to the various estates, lots and micro-climates. Most Ninety Plus coffees achieve a quality score well above 90. Veneziano purchase Ninety Plus coffees in a direct trade arrangement and are often privy to the earliest samples.