March 19, 2015
Historically this is the time of year when our selection of coffee slims down dramatically, as we await new crop arrivals from some key origins. You wouldn't think that is something to celebrate... but it is!
Green coffee isn't a fresh product in the way we define other produce. it's not lettuce or peaches, it's a dried seed. Then again it's not like that bag of dried black beans I bought 3 years ago, behind all the cans of soup in the pantry.
Coffee has seasons, and there is an ebb and flow to availability. Past crop coffee flavors are quite distinct to most palates and interfere dramatically with the flavor quality in the cup, ranging from paper/cardboard notes to burlap/dried-grass taste. Not good.
So what's all the "Hooray!" about? We have sold out of our last lot of Central American coffee, our last arrival from the last crop, and the timing is perfect. Our new crop Centrals are knocking on the door. Mexico Chiapas is a week away, the first new harvest Guatemalas are coming right after that, and El Salvador is out in the harbor waiting in the excruciatingly long line of containers to be unloaded.
The main point is that we keep it fresh here. If you look around the net at everyone offering Centrals now, roasters and others, you can be pretty sure the clock is ticking on those coffees, and if they aren't being cupped carefully and continuously, those agey tastes are probably showing themselves pretty well.
Luckily we have a strategy to source extensively from origins where the harvest runs contrary to Central America. That's why our list is loaded with East African coffees from Rwanda and Burundi, with Tanzania landing soon. We have South Americans from Peru and the crew is unloading Colombia today at our Wood Street warehouse. Indos are in good supply, and we have the final lots of Ethiopia that cup clean and bright tailing out of stock at this time, as new ones arrive in April.
Roast up your old stock and get ready for the new...