It’s about this time of the year your writer gets a real hankering for panettone. Crazy, but maybe not so crazy after all, as Italy must have been feeling the same way at some point and came up with Colomba di Pasqua – the traditional Easter bread. Colomba is made to a very similar recipe to panettone with some modifications and shaped into a colomba (dove).
This year, for the first time at Monmouth, we have Colomba from Pasticceria Triestina Ulcigrai and it is delicious. Pasticceria Triestina Ulcigrai make the panettone we have at Christmas and we’re thrilled to have their Colomba. They’re available in our shops and on our website now.
Outside of hankerings for baked Easter goods, there is a lot of change coming up on the coffee counters over the next few months. Spring is a busy time in the roastery with samples arriving from the Central American crops, the last shipments arriving from South America and new crop being organised in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Last month we started visiting farms again after our Covid hiatus. It’s exciting to be back on the farms after two years away. We have been on Zoom and the rest of it over the Covid times, but there is nothing like spending a day on the farm, walking through it, seeing how the crop is progressing and tasting coffee with the farmers. It’s a real treat.
A highlight in March was visiting Francisca and Oscar at Finca Las Lajas in Costa Rica. We have been buying natural process coffees from the Chacón family for a number of years now and it was wonderful to see the last of the crop coming in and to taste the first of the samples for this year. Francisca and Oscar have made the natural process a real specialty of theirs. They have perfected the harvesting and their drying protocols to get the best out of the fruity flavours. We’re looking forward to this coffee arriving on the counters in the summer.
All the Central American countries are finishing up their crops now so we will see a lot of changes coming up over the summer on the counter. One of the first to happen will be the end of our Malacara A and La Bendición (El Salvador) until the new crop comes in later in the year. These will be replaced by two coffees from Peru – El Morito and Huabal. The latest coffees from Huila (Colombia) will also arrive over summer.
We have tasted the pre-shipment samples of Thiriku (Kenya) and Tessema Edima (Ethiopia). The Thiriku is tasting outstanding this year, full of big currant notes for which the SL28 is known. We’re expecting it to arrive in a couple of months, all going well with shipping.
Shipping is still a concern for everyone. Container shortages still exist and the cost of oil is pushing prices up. We continue to look for ways to mitigate these increases.
What isn’t increasing any more is our use of paper cups in our shops! The reusable cups – which I’m sure you have all heard enough about already – are going along well. A massive thank you to everyone who has helped get this going by renting a loan cup, bringing your own reusable, or using a ceramic. It has been a big change for us in the shops and a massive thank you to the team for taking it all in stride and help in making it a success.
That’s it for this month! Get onto the Colomba quick if you want one, bring your reusable, and have a wonderful Easter.