Latest Posts

  1. Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea is often lumped in with Indonesian coffees. But it is distinct in nearly every way.

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  2. Flores

    Flores

    Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands.

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  3. Costa Rica

    Costa Rica

    If there is a problem with Costa Rica coffee, it's the fact that it can lack distinction; it is straightforward, clean, softly acidic, mild.

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  4. Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic

    Good news, Sammy Sosa ...the Dominican produces more than mild cigars. It has a tradition of coffee production that dates back several centuries now.

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  5. Mexico

    Mexico

    Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country.

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  6. Uganda

    Uganda

    he variety of wild Robusta coffee still growing today in Uganda's rain forests are thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world.

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  7. Nicaragua

    Nicaragua

    Nicaraguan coffees have a wide range of flavor attributes. Some cup like Mexican coffees from Oaxaca, others have a more pronounced acidity.

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  8. El Salvador

    El Salvador

    El Salvador coffee had a poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality within an unstable social climate.

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  9. Panama

    Panama

    Coffee from Panama was once overlooked and under-rated, but not any longer.

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  10. Ethiopia

    Ethiopia

    Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that Coffea Arabica grew wild.

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  11. Decaf

    Decaf

    Green coffee is decaffeinated before roasting. This process changes the color of the green coffee: it varies from light brown (Natural and CO-2) to green-brown (MC and Swiss Water Process -SWP- decafs).

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  12. Australia

    Australia

    Okay, it is a continent and an island. But how do you classify Australian coffee?

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Flores

Flores

Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands. The name Flores is an abbreviation of "Cabo de Flores"; a name used by Portuguese sailors in the 17th century to identify the cape on the eastern end of the islands because of its underwater gardens. Divided by mountain chains and volcanoes, the island populated by ethnic groups with their own traditions and languages.

 

Predominantly Catholic, the people of Flores have retained several aspects of the Portuguese culture, such as the Easter parade held annually at Larantuka, and the Royal Regalia of the former King of Sikka. The coffee areas are modest in altitude. The highest peak is just 1736 meters above sea level (MASL). Much coffee comes from areas around 1000 -1200 meters. The milling tradition is wet-process, so this coffee bears some resemblance to the coffees of Timor-Leste, and Java, more than to the semi-washed coffees of Sumatra and Sulawesi. It has the potential to be a clean, sweet cup, with good syrupy body, and a clean taste overall.

 

But there are issues with the processing practices used here, and consistency of the lots. Coffee might be picked on day, but not immediately processed until 1 or 2 days later. This results in off, fermenty flavors. The farmers also ferment coffee in inconsistent batches on an irregular basis, not a bad thing in itself if it was only done to the same standards each time. Fermenting times depend on temperature, in some cold, high-altitude locations 36 hours is needed, whereas lower, hotter climates can require just 8-12 hours. Flores can be quite warm, yet they ferment coffee sometimes for 3-4 days! This also results in off fruity notes.

 

Nonetheless we do find good batches of coffee from Flores, and we are working with a group who provides farmer training in hopes of better quality processing, and more consistent quality.

 

Before the horrible Asian Tsunami of Dec. 2004, there was a smaller but no less devastating one off of Flores. An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred just off the north coast of the eastern part of Flores Island on December 12, 1992. This shock was felt on the island of Bali, 700 km to the west. It set off a series of tsunamis, which arrived on the shores of Flores as shortly as two minutes after the initial shock, and which reached every part of the north shore within five minutes. The epicenter was located approximately 35 km NW of Maumere, which is the largest city on the island. 1690 people were killed and 18,000 homes were destroyed.

 

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