The turn of the year has coincided with the launch of several new coffees and none are more important than our EQ Seasonal Blend and our E1 Single Origin Project. Either a stroke of luck or calculated genius, we just happen to have come to the end of the previous versions of each and we’re really excited about what this means for the start of 2015.
Looking at EQ v.6, we’ve stripped it right back to two glorious new coffees of the same varietal: The red bourbon…perhaps the sweetest of all.
As you know, when we conceived this blend back at the start of May 2013, our intention was to always reflect the very best of seasonal specialty coffees in the UK that show character, sweetness and a deliciously clean cup. So we have turned to Rwanda and Guatemala and two stunning coffees that deliver bags of flavour including tangerine, almond, allspice, finishing with a subtle layer of bakers chocolate.
From the Rusizzi district in the western province of Rwanda, we opted for the Gisuma. A washing station fed by around 150 local growers farming predominantly red bourbon between 1600-1850 metres above sea level. As with the vast majority of Rwandan coffees, it’s fully washed and sun-dried. This coffee makes up 60% of EQ v.6
For the remaining 40%, we turned to Guatemala which has been delivering some outstanding coffees to the UK in the past few weeks, as anyone who’s tasted our Santa Barbara COE lot will testify.
We were looking for a coffee that would complement the orangey characteristics of the Rwanda perfectly so we turned to a new import partner to help us with the search and are thrilled to have struck up a relationship with Nadine Rasch at Third Wave Coffee Source. We settled for the Finca La Esperanza from the Lopez family in the famed Huehuetenango region. At just 35 hectares, this farm, under the watchful eye of Eleodoro and his family produces red bourbon of exceptional sweetness and fruit-driven aroma, a surprising level of acidity and a wonderful layer of cocoa on the finish.
Perhaps crucially, we’ve also been able to hold the price of EQ for our customers which, given that green coffee prices are nearly double what they were this time last year, we feel is really important.
For the increasingly popular E1 Single Origin Project, we’ve come to the end of our El Salvador lot and the wonderful honey processed Buenos Aires that has proved so well liked over the last seven months.
Continuing to offer both a medium and a dark roast profile for this coffee, it was important for us to ensure that whatever we chose would work for our customers who enjoy both profiles in equal measure. And so again, we turned to Guatemala and the Huehuetenango region approximately 20kms south of the Mexican border. The Rio Anzul Cooperative produces some beautiful coffees and this Caturra/Bourbon mix, grown between 1300-1750 metres above sea level and fully washed once again comes to us through our friends at Cafe Imports. What struck us about this coffee is the complexity and how across both roast profiles it delivers layer upon layer of cherry, blueberry, sage, caramel, molasses and brioche.
The E1 Single Origin Project is a key focus for us and an important part of our offer. Our goal has always been to work directly with a producer with whom we can invest in long term to build a mutually beneficial relationship so i’m delighted to say that we have just booked our first direct sourcing trip to El Salvador in February. (more on this later!)
We anticipate that the Rio Anzul will be available for the next 4 months at which time we should hopefully see our first direct sourced container landing with us – watch this space for updates from our field trip.
As always, we buy on taste and quality first and we feel these more than stand up to any of the seasonal coffees on offer from our fellow roasters around the UK, in both flavour and price.
I would love to hear your feedback on both coffees so please do drop me a line or pop in – the roastery door is always open.
ANDREW – Head of Coffee