Thursday, August 30, 2007


Selamat Pagi Amerika

We trust you have sufficient supplies of Central American and African coffee to last until February or March?
In some cases that is quite a lot to carry, and in some cases it need not be all that much because blends are shifted according to the season, and featured single origin varietals are switched.
Every September we like to mention the origins whose production takes place during our North American Fall.
Mainly we are talking about Asia; this is the best time to focus on New Guinea, Indonesia, Timor, and India. Of course Peru and Bolivia are in prime time too, so they are popular options as well.
Here is some conventional wisdom and a few suggestions about some of these fall coffees:

New Guinea---There are really not many coffees available which can replace super high acid Kenyan and delicately floral washed Ethiopians. But if you want to get reasonably close, the best bet is with New Guinea. Of all alternatives available, New Guinea is going to be the brightest, most acidic, and hardest high grown coffee available. Currently, we have a good supply of Kimel Estate A, X and PB.

Peru, Bolivia & Colombia---Caramel sweetness and brightness found in real good Centrals is not easy to duplicate, but some nice alternatives in the same flavor neighborhood can be had with Peru, Bolivia, and good Colombian Cauca and fly crop Huilas. These coffees are fresh and sweet. Their acidity is usually a little softer than found in New Guinea, but these are great coffees to have on hand this time of the year. We have a solid selection of Peru rolling in; conventional, FTO, and organic.
Bolivia, when it’s on, is great. CENAPROC is a Coop that has provided us with some great coffees, sometimes not in the timeliest manner, but often worth the stressful wait. This is a short window, so if you want to feature any Bolivian coffee, line it up now.

Indonesia---You may recall from this year's Indonesian newsletter about our efforts in Flores. Flores is well on its way to being established as a specialty origin and roasters are asking about it in advance. We have some booked and are anxiously waiting to see what the coffee looks like this year. The Flores Bajawa is fully washed. It is full bodied with soft medium-level acidity. We expect to see it arrive late September early October.

After our visit to Bali, we told the Kintamani farmers we would buy their coffee if they showed us something we liked. In past years we had only been offered expensive fully washed coffee that we thought was pretty mediocre. If there is a stereotypical national trait for Indonesians, it is that they seem to never stop trying, they never give up, especially when it involves selling. The Balinese farmers have demonstrated this persistence and creativity with their new Bali Blue Moon coffee. They have switched to a wet hulled process and as a result, have produced a coffee which we feel is in the same league as good Sulawesi and Sumatra. And, their asking price is not unrealistic. The pre-shipment enticed us into owning our first container. We are very happy at long last to offer coffee from Bali, still one of or favorite places.

Sulawesi—soon we will see our arrivals of this year’s Toraja G-1. Again, this is the time to be shopping. We usually see the good ones disappear by December.

Java Estate---despite being relatively high priced, it is still a fine, unique coffee and remains a customer favorite. New crop Estate deliveries will begin leaving Java late September and really pick up in October and November.

Sumatra—the main crop gets started in late September and October, and then really expands in November and December. Our G-1 Mandheling new crop are readily available and can be booked and priced daily. For further specialization, the RETRO will be back in November, and we have Tabu Jamu 100% Sidikalang available for a September ship.

This is the monsoon season in India, green arabica Malabar coffees are being transformed in the wet humidity. Until the newly monsooned shows up, we have a Monsooned Java arabica on the spot which is getting good reviews from fans of this sort of thing.

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