Brazil - Mantiqueira De Minas
REGION: MANTIQUEIRA DE MINAS
ALTITUDE (MASL): 1,000-1,400
NOTES: STRAWBERRY, BROWN SUGAR, DRIED PEACH, MILK CHOCOLATE
CUPPING SCORE: 87 PTS
For over 150 years, Brazil has been the world’s top coffee producer, which currently accounts for approximately a third of all coffee produced. Most plantations are located in the southeastern states, where the environment and climate are ideal for growing coffee. While most countries process beans using the wet process, almost all coffee in Brazil uses a dry process.
REGION: Mantiqueira de Minas, Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is the largest of the three major growing regions in Brazil. Located within the region is the Mantiqueira de Minas region, which is where this single estate coffee is traceable to. It is a protected area known for its rolling hills, good rainfall, ideal temperatures and well-defined seasons for growing coffee. Most local plantations harvest one large annal crop during the dry season, usually between June and September. Mantiqueira is known for its focus on sustainable growth whilst preserving the traditional quality and authenticity of the region
FARM: Serra das Tres Barras
A 500-acre estate, known for their extremely high-quality coffees, that has been in the same family for five generations. There are 160 hectares cultivated for coffee. Coffee is picked by hand and placed in cloths, in order to avoid contact with the ground. The same day, they are transported to drying, always seeking to keep quality at the forefront of all processing.
PRODUCER: Jose Wagner Ribeiro Junqueira
After growing up on the estate, Jose is now farming it together with his wife, Margarida Maria de Castro Junqueira and three sons (Kleber, Ralph and Herbert de Castro Junqueira). The family has focused on working in harmony with nature to preserve the natural forests and many springs that are found on the property. Jose also loans a portion of the estate to Procafe, who researches disease resistant plants.
Columbia - Tolima
ALTITUDE (MASL): 1,500-1,680
NOTES: CHOCOLATE, CARAMEL, CITRUS, FRUITY
CUPPING SCORE: 84 PTS
Tolima Ibague is an excelso coffee produced in the region of Tolima by a community of farms. Tolima is known for the bright, citric acidity of its many coffees. This, combined with it’s sweet and fruity notes will leave you craving another cup. Oro Molido (the producers) focus on supporting and empowering those involved in the production of their coffee from start to finish. Provision of free healthcare and education are examples of how they care for their local community. Paired with their excellent coffee practices equals a reputable company that delivers high-quality coffee beans.
Guatemala - Coban - Organic
ALTITUDE (MASL): 1,300-1,500
NOTES: MILK CHOCOLATE, SOUR CHERRY, VANILA
CUPPING SCORE: 84 PTS
For most of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, Guatemala was the top coffee producer in Central America. Today, approximately 270,000 hectares of coffee are grown, and 98% of the coffee is shade grown. With high altitudes, 300 micro climates, mineral rich soil and consistent rainfall in most regions, the country has a reputation of producing stellar coffee. Many still look to western Guatemala for coffee, but the heart of the country now has something exciting to offer.
North of the city of Coban, lies Alta Verapaz, an area considered among the finest in Guatemala for coffee. With thousands of indigenous communities in the area, many have been cultivating coffee for generations. Unlike many coffee regions, that are sunny and volcanic, Coban is rainy and cold all year round, with soil consisting of clay and limestone. The rainfall results in a slow maturation of the berries. This subtropical region produces coffee that is buttery rich, sweet and has a complex cup profile.
PRODUCER: Regional Organic Cooperatives
With many of the local farms averaging 3 acres in size, producers have organized themselves into local cooperatives to help them overcome the challenges of the rugged and isolated region. The cooperatives also allow producers to combine forces so they can learn new strategies and organic practices such as using materials like coffee pulp to make a higher quality fertilizer, with better yields. The Alta Verapaz area producers use their own micro-mills. This allows them to be meticulous through the entire process. They are responsible for cherry selection, depulping, fermenting and drying the coffee, ensuring the quality will be consistent.
Mexican - Oaxaca
ALTITUDE (MASL): 1,200-1,350
NOTES: CARAMEL, BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE, CREAMY
CUPPING SCORE: 86.25 PTS
Coffee production in the country is mainly located in the south central to southern regions of the country. The history of this industry has been volatile. However, producers have worked hard to overcome many difficulties and there is now a renewed interest in Mexican Coffee, especially the high-quality beans coming from Oaxaca.
Located within the municipality of San Agustin Loxicha, in the state of Oaxaca, this region grows a Typica hybrid coffee. It was first discovered in the area, and named after the city, San Hidalgo Pluma. Typica was originally grown in Eastern Africa. The Typica Pluma found in Mexico, offers many of the same flavors and attributes, such as caramel and chocolate notes, making it a great daily choice.
PRODUCER: Calguera Gomez S.A. De C.V
Calguera Gomez works with 37 surrounding family-owned farms. Most of these farms average between 10 to 24 acres in size. The farms use micro mills to process the harvested cherries. This enables them to be extremely thorough in the depulping, fermenting and drying of the coffee. The Calguera Gomez company strives to organize and support local producers, by providing access to the best agricultural practices. As a result, this also allows them to pay high prices for a higher quality coffee production.
ALTITUDE (MASL): 1,800-2,100
NOTES: STAR FRUIT, ACAI, CHERRY, BLACK TEA
CUPPING SCORE: 89 PTS
As Africa’s top coffee producer, Ethiopia has been growing coffee for centuries. It is well known to be where Arabica coffee originated. As Africa’s top producer, approximately 15 million people rely on some aspect of the industry for employment. The coffee industry is woven into the nation’s economy and culture. Much of the coffee grown, consists of natural indigenous heirloom varieties, and remains the source of genetic diversity needed to keep the industry alive.
Located in the larger Sidamo region, Yirgacheffe is sub divided into micro regions. This particular blend originates from Konga, Yirga Chefe, Gedeb District, Gedeo Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and the Peoples’ region. Coffee characteristics from this area can vary based on elevation. Production from an elevation below 2,000 MASL, often exhibits a herbal aroma.
This single farmer lot was produced on an 8-hectare farm in the heart of the Gedeo Zone. This desirable, narrow plateau, known as Yirgacheffe, is populated with savvy coffee farmers.
PRODUCER: Takele Mammo Denbi
When the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) was created in 2008, the connection between farmers and buyers was lost. Blending took over, which inhibited farmers from selling their coffee direct and buyers from accessing unique microlots. Takele Mammo Denbi, was the man who led the way for exporting single farmer coffee out of the country. For many years, he has acted as the Managing Director of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union, which his farm was also a part of. Now that he has stepped down, he can include his coffee in Royal’s Single Farmer Lots Program. This program was created to encourage direct sales of Ethiopia coffee, which gives driven producers greater opportunity. In turn, buyers are given access to single farm lots, with increased cup quality
El Salvador - Pacamara
ORIGIN: EL SALVADOR
ALTITUDE (MASL): 1,300
NOTES: SIMPLE SYRUP, MILK CHOCOLATE, CITRUS
CUPPING SCORE: 85 PTS
Pacamara originates from the renowned Santa Leticia Farm. Santa Leticia was bought in 1870 by the first constitutional president of El Salvador, Francisco Menendez. He honoured his wife Leticia by naming the property after her. After many generations Ricardo Valdivieso and his wife Patricia, along with their daughters, have brought the property back to the glory of its early years. Their land is an ode to Central American rainforests and the mill on their property is the most beautiful I have seen. Pacamara is a derivative of two different varieties, Pacas and Maragogipe. When grown at high altitudes this hybrid produces a coffee that is aesthetically pleasing and excellent in taste.
Peru- Cajamarca Decaf
ALTITUDE (MASL): 1,200-1,600
PROCESS: WET HULLED, SWISS WATER®
NOTES: MILK CHOCOLATE, RED GRAPE, BUTTERSCOTCH
In 1895, it was recorded that although Peru was known for coffee production, it was mostly for domestic use. In the years since, production has moved from mostly wealthy European farms, to smaller independent producers. In order to overcome the challenges that face small lot producers, many have formed cooperatives to mitigate these hurdles. Today, Peru is noted as a major producer of organic and fair-trade coffee beans, and coffee is one of the country’s most important agricultural sectors.
REGION: San Jose de Lourdes, San Ignacio
Located in the Cajamarca region of Northern Peru. This region extends north to the Ecuadorian border. Described as a privileged climate, the area boasts a wooded mountainous landscape, with many natural resources. The town of San Jose de Lourdes is accessible only by cable car or raft, which makes it logistically difficult.
PRODUCER: Coop Agraria de Servicios Multiples El Milagro
This small but growing cooperative is mostly made up of farms that are only 3 hectares in size. Despite the difficult location, they have an office and cupping lab, and have recently invested in enclosed drying structures. This has allowed members to improve their drying techniques, and subsequently increase cup quality as well. Since 2015, the cooperative has also begun a microlot program. This provides the producer cupping feedback, a desire to improve quality, and general encouragement.
DECAF PROCESS: Swiss Water®
An organic approach to decaffeination that utilizes fresh water, temperature and time rather than chemicals. The Swiss Water® process removes 99.9% of caffeine while preserving the original flavours and characteristics of the beans.