The new coffees we selected on our recent visits to South America are on the way.
From Bolivia we chose coffees which reflect the range of processing methods from the Los Rodríguez farms and Sol de Mañana programme. These coffees have been graded, bagged and put into a container which has travelled overland to the Chilean port of Arica. The coffee is now on a ship and will arrive to us this month.
After our trip to Bolivia, we stopped in Brazil to select coffee from this year’s harvest. Brazil had ideal temperature ranges during the cherry maturation period which has meant a large crop from the country this year. The ideal combination of hot days and cool nights locally known as amplitude térmica gives the cherry the best opportunity for an even and full development. The cherry needs the heat during the day for growth with the cooler overnight temperature providing respite. The coffee is now being prepared for shipment and will be on its way to us over Christmas and the new year.
In contrast to Brazil, Nariño (Colombia) has had a difficult main-crop harvest—there was frost damage earlier in the season and the crop volume was very low. We have a small amount of coffee coming from this crop in Nariño as well as from the mitaca (mid-season crop) in Huila. As mentioned previously (September 2023), each producing region has a main crop and a mid-cycle crop (mitaca). At the time of writing, we are finalising our plans for buying from the main crop in Huila. This coffee is just starting to be picked and we will be tasting the results just before Christmas.
All our Central American coffees landed in the UK over the last few months, and we have already talked with the producers about our requirements for the following crop next year. We are expecting there will be some problems with the amount of coffee available from the harvest as the flowering season was quite dry and there have been some pollination problems. However fortunately, in the last few weeks, there has been some rain which will help the cherry over the next few months. Costa Rica usually crops first, followed by El Salvador and then Guatemala.
And finally, a quick update from Descamex in Mexico. Descamex are extending their decaffeinating capacity with the increased demand (not just your writer’s) over the last few years. There are a lot of moving timeframes in organising the decaffeination process. Our slot must be booked well in advance, often before the coffee cherry has set on the tree so it will be great to have a bit more wiggle room in the process.
Here at Monmouth, we are getting ready for Christmas. The counter is starting to take shape, we have an exciting addition from Chocolarder this year, the panettone is maturing, and we have a fun project in the works which we hope to have available soon.