December 2015 Subscription Letter
This month we’re sending you a very special coffee from Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Through a lucky connection, we got in contact with an NGO called Farmers to 40. The mission of Farmers to 40 is to encourage economic development in coffee-producing countries by connecting farmers directly to consumers and roasters to provide the farmers with the best possible price for their coffee. As the name suggests, the broad goal of the organization is to provide the farmer with 40% of the ultimate retail price of the coffee.
After getting in touch with Jon Thompson of Farmers to 40, we were able to sample some of their offerings from Finca El Peten and Finca Los Pinos. Upon tasting the coffees, we immediately fell in love with the lot from Finca Los Pinos, a farm owned and operated by Byron Corrales and his family. Through conversations with Jon, we started to learn more about Byron Corrales, his approach to coffee growing, and his reputation in the coffee world. Needless to say, we were impressed at every step.
As you’ll notice on the back of the coffee bag, this lot of Nicaraguan coffee is 100% comprised of beans of the Maracaturra variety. This complex and fruit-forward variety was developed by Byron Corrales himself(!), and is a hybrid of the Caturra and Maragogipe varieties. This particular lot is naturally processed, giving it an intensely jammy bouquet of fruit and sweet chocolate. When we first cupped this coffee, we couldn’t get the thought of cherry cordial candies out of our heads; the chocolate shell and sugary sweet cherry notes just kept popping up again and again.
We’re proud of our first Direct Trade coffee, which means that the coffee was purchased directly from the farmer without the influence of an importers. Byron and his family have an intense focus on quality coffee production, and we’re excited to work with them in the coming years. In fact, we will be speaking with Byron and his family via Skype the first week in December to further strengthen our relationship, and we look forward to hearing more about his approach to coffee.
In addition to your coffee subscription, we’ve also included a bit of an incredibly unique coffee product for you this month. This powdery substance is called qisher and is made from dried coffee cherries that have been milled with spices. When steeped like a tea or in a French Press, the taste profile is reminiscent of chai, and we’ve found it to be delicious with a little bit of sweetened condensed milk. Give it a try and let us know what you think!