It's mid-May which means that virtually all I can think about is the South American harvest. Some of my favorite coffees come from the summer season which offers a such an interesting and broad spectrum of flavors. In my opinion top lots from Southern Colombia are unmatched in Latin American in terms of their sweetness and complexity. Ecuador and Bolivia offer us tremendous balance with their supple mouth feel and elegant acidity. Peru is such a difficult origin to source well but the rewards are worth the investment when we stumble across the perfumed, floral and succulently sweet coffees that can distantly remind us of fine washed Ethiopians.
I'm off to Colombia again shortly for the 2nd time this season. A return trip to Ecuador is in the works for July and Bolivia afterwards before getting started on the high altitude harvest in Peru. My first objective is to bring a producer group from Narino back into the market fold. I worked with the group for several seasons before being disconnected with them a few years ago. After an April visit we came up with a strategy for the harvest which is now in full swing. If the initial pickings were a genuine indication of things to come we'll have some exciting lots to offer you all by early fall. Northern Ecuador seems promising as well. The vast majority of the country's coffee is produced in the south with very little volume coming out of the north. Two regions, essentially brand new coffee growing regions, are coming online for the very first time this year. I can't tell you how equally intrigued and nervous I am to taste these coffee for the very first time! Considering the altitude and the mix of Bourbon, Typica and Caturra growing up there my gut says that a handful of special lots will come out of this initial harvest.
One of our goals at Shrub is to offer you all fresh, delicious South American coffee come fall and winter when it comes time to replace the Centrals on your menus. We'll be putting in an honest effort this summer down South and hopefully these lots will fill some gaps for you business' when they open up.
Stay tuned for more from my next trip South, Bolivia, Peru and beyond.