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Harvest & Offering Outlook: Spring 2012

(04/04/12)
So I am fresh off my 2nd origin trip with Coffee Shrub which took me to El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama. Although I'm hoping to focus my efforts on some of the lesser traveled, more-difficult-to-source producing countries i.e. Peru, Ecuador, Burundi, Uganda, etc I also wanted to make sure that our arsenal includes some of the finer Central American coffees come spring/summer.

El Salvador has a historically low crop this year with certain farmers telling me that they are down as much as 80% from last year! Getting our hands on the higher echelon quality hasn't been easy but we are happy with what we've come up with. La Montanita Bourbon is classic - layered sweetness, ripe stone fruit qualities and superlative balance. Its a small lot worth taking a look at. We're also bringing in two larger lots from Finca El Majaual in Santa Ana. This farm has been a staple espresso component in my previous life and can produce a very approachable brewed cup as well. I love the Majaual not only for its succulent sweetness, heavy cream-like mouth feel and tremendous balance but mostly for its preparation. The folks we work with on the dry mill level in El Salvador have as good a control on cleaning green coffee for export as anyone I've worked with in Latin America.

Visits to Guatemala always seems to rewards in some manner especially in March. Via some established strategy prior to last year's end we've set ourselves up with some fancy small producer lots in and around Sacatepequez. We've done our best to construct lots based on both producer and profile and will have a vast selection by month's end if not sooner. You'll be hearing from us about them as well as a new project we'll soon be undertaking north of Antigua.

Panama. Panama. Panama. I went back to the well as I always do. There aren't many producers who have the complete skill set that my old pal Ricardo has. He's a graduate of one of the world's finest Agronomy Universities, Zamorano and a great cupper. I've had much success with his organic farm in the past and look forward to adding to my repertoire, from his, this year with the addition of a new farm from great altitude in Volcancito. We're also scouring the Volcan Baru Valley for some interesting Geisha lots this year and hope to bring you all something fun in the form of a few different lots. Keep your fingers crossed.

I'll be looking to post something about the treasure chest of coffees we're doing from Ethiopia this year soon. In the meantime know that they're shipping now and will be here by June.

OK, time to check-in in South America....

Cheers,
Aleco