Latest Posts

  1. Timor No Leste

    Timor No Leste

    Posted from the road, some thoughts on coffee from East Timor (Timor Leste) and working with small holder farmers.

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  2. Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

    Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

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  3. Aillio Bullet R1 Roaster: Testing Airflow with Rwanda Kageyo

    Aillio Bullet R1 Roaster: Testing Airflow with Rwanda Kageyo

    A look at two extreme examples of airflow settings on the Bullet and how they affect roast development.

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  4. 20% Off Guatemala Sale - Check Out Our "Cheat Sheet" Overview

    20% Off Guatemala Sale - Check Out Our "Cheat Sheet" Overview

    Take advantage of this great discount on these crowd-pleasing coffees.

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  5. Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopiques 2.0

    Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopiques 2.0

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  6. Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

    Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

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  7. Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    A few fairly low tech clips and some thoughts on coffee processing and coffee buying in Guatemala.

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  8. Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Part 1 of 2 - Talking about the coffee supply chain among other topics

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  9. Colombia: Early Harvest in Nariño

    Colombia: Early Harvest in Nariño

    Harvest in Nariño comes at a time that is somewhat in between the middle and main harvests of our other primary sources of Colombian coffee, namely Urrao and Caicedo in the north, and La Plata and Inzá down south.

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  10. Guatemala: Proyecto Xinabajul

    Guatemala: Proyecto Xinabajul

    For years we have thought about working in a more direct way with small-scale farmers in Guatemala, and in the 2013 harvest year this effort came to fruition.

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  11. Another Home Roaster Takes the Leap

    Another Home Roaster Takes the Leap

    Sweet Maria's customer jumps into his own coffee business

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  12. A Path to Food-Grade Cascara at the Helsar Micro-mill

    A Path to Food-Grade Cascara at the Helsar Micro-mill

    Cascara beverages are popping up everywhere these days.

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South American Harvest

(05/17/12)
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.

-Aleco