Thursday, May 22, 2008


The Magical Mystery Tour, Spring 2008

Roll up for the finest specialty coffees in the world…

Panama Micro Lots:
Royal has been in business for 30 years, and we’ve been bringing in coffee from Panama for almost the whole time. While Panama has not, until recently, garnered the notoriety enjoyed by its northern neighbors, the coffee has always been great. In the opinion of many with the experience to judge this sort of thing, this may be the best season yet. In order to celebrate this, we are able to offer a diverse slate of Panamanian coffees, including several exceptional micro-lots, single-estate offerings, and unique honey processed lots, to compliment our usual array of excellent Boquete coffees.

Victor Venado Family: Victor Venado has been a fixture on coffee farms and mills in Boquete and Volcan for many, many years. He and his family are native Baru Indians living in and around the town of Hato Chami who remain committed to growing coffee and using traditional methods. This year, Royal Coffee and Casa Ruiz collaborated to collect from 32 individual owners (all members of Victor’s family) to form this very special lot exhibiting a unique pronounced, acidity.

Panama Horqueta 100% Typica: a cupping table standout, the full Typica flavor profile is on display here. Owned by Mr. Mariano Gonzales for over 60 years, the farm is located at very high elevation (1550+ meters) in the Western Highlands of Boquete. Mr. Gonzales has separated out only the original Typica cherries from newer Caturra plantings in order to deliver us this exceptionally smooth, rich, and balanced cup.

Berlina Estate: we are proud to offer both conventional and Organic certified lots from this world famous Estate that has earned a top-three finish at the last five Paris Food Shows.

La Estancia Buguita Estate: one of the original Boquete fincas, La Estancia Buguita has been restored in recent years to be both a coffee farm and a natural wildlife preserve. The use of eco-friendly manual harvesting and processing makes this farm a beautiful example of how to integrate coffee production and environmental stewardship. Visitors welcome.

Panama Bonella: this special separation from Casa Ruiz has one of the fullest-bodies you will ever taste from Panama. Let the coffee speak for itself.

Lerida Estate: a vintage Boquete finca located near the top of the volcano, Lerida Estate has delivered us two different separations this year. The first is classic Lerida: impeccable preparation, delicious cup. The other is a honey-process exhibiting a wild, fruity cup that makes a great espresso shot.

Kenya Auction Lots:
A whole galaxy of multi-colored screamers and laughers at your fingertips. AA Tassia and PB Ruera are killer, especially if the enamel on your teeth needs changing. For the roaster seeking value: don’t be afraid of the AB’s, they are a little more affordable and can be just as good as the AA’s. Bean size has always been overrated anyway.

Centrals of all Stripes:
Unless you’ve been asleep for the past three months you’ve noticed that Central American coffee is enjoying a renaissance this year. In a season chock full of heavy-hitters, a few lots have managed to stand out anyway.
Costa Selecto Espiritu Santo 15997: classic West-Valley wineyness from Coopro Naranjo.
Guat Palo Alto Azul 16386: crisp green apple acidity, super sweet.
Nic FTO Segovia: Not a ton of this coffee left. Hit it.
Mexico Fino Rojas and Pluma Tres Oros: smooth, rich, dulce de leche. Classic Pluma.

Despite a horrendous backlog in Djibouti port (there is an opportunity there for someone), we have been receiving some great deliveries of conventional and (FT)O Ethiopians, both washed and natural.
It is rare to find a coffee as unique as the Misty Valley Organic Natural Yirgacheffe. It came and went in the blink of an eye so for those who got some, enjoy it. For those who did not, don’t despair: dry-processed Yirgies, Sidamos, Djimmahs, and of course the world-renowned Harrar Horse, are all afloat.
For something a little more floral, our new arrivals of Organic Yirgacheffe (17562-63) and Washed FTO Sidamo are beautiful.

Royal Select Decafs:
New Guinea PB RSW (17636): only a small chop of this unique decaf available.
Sumatra RSW (16326-27): as close to the real thing as it gets.
Espresso FTO RSW (17524): our own three bean blend. It makes great drip decaf too.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Coffee Hunting?

For selection and quality you can’t really top the next two months. Central America, Mexico and African new crop coffees will be here in abundance, offering many excellent choices.

The months of May and June are an especially good time to be hunting for Kenya. The incoming flow of really great AA, AB and PB auction lots from the main crop will be picking up over the next few weeks. In addition to what is here in our warehouse, arriving soon will be up to 40 individual auction lots you can try.

We have received a lot of compliments on the early Boquete Classico deliveries. For the balance of the crop, we will be moving a bit higher up the mountain. We are moving fast to get the balance of our 2008 Panamanian coffee shipped before the rainy season starts.
SHB Panamaria, Maunier, Arkapal, Berlina ( conventional and organic), and one container of Lerida Estate, which by the way, the preshipment sample of this was outstanding.
In addition, Casa Ruiz is sending a few micro lots including coffee from the Victor Venado Family, coffee we always enjoy seeing on our list… more about these in the next blog.

Blog readers guide to the best of the best on the spot:
17404 Ethioppian Organic Natural Yirgacheffe "Misty Valley"
17564 Ethiopian FTO Organic Washed Sidamo
17099 Colombian Guayata Tipica 15 full
15997 Costa Rican SHB Select Esprito Santo
16001 Costa SHB Organic Juan Fonseca
16744 Guatemalan SHB Antigua Santa Barbara
17778 Guatemalan SHB Bourbon Florencia
17627 & 28, 17662 Kenya Ruera PB
17683 Kenya AA Tassia
16805 Nicaragua SHG FTO Segovia
17813 Panama SHB Boquete Classico
15673 Sumatra Mandheling
17047 Sumatra Mandheling Organic
16684 Yemen Sanani Mocca
17163 Yemen Matari Mocca
17092 Colombian Valencia Royal Select Water Decaf
17635 Kenya AA Auction lot Royal Select Water Decaf
16327 Sumatra Royal Select Water Decaf
17036 New Guinea Kimel Estate PB Royal Select Water Decaf
175234 Sumatra Mandheling FTO Royal Select Water Decaf

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