Royal New York

RNY Trader Picks Q4 2022: Specialty Coffee & Tea

Out of all the specialty coffee & tea cupped over the past few months, our traders rounded up their favorites. Check out their picks for the best green coffee and tea of Q4 2022!

Trader Picks from Central America

landscape photograph of Guatemala SHB Lake Atitlan Finca Santo Tomas

One of my favorite Guatemalan coffees at this time of the year is the Guatemala SHB Lake Atitlan Finca Santo Tomas. This is our first year working with this family and it has become one of my favorite Guatemalan coffees. It is clean, has chocolatey profile with a sweet fruit note of cherry and sugar cane.

Santo Tomas is a third generation family farm owned by the Torrebiarte family. The farm is in an area of San Lucas Toliman near Lake Atitlan. Javier Torrebiarte manages the farm from picking to processing at the mill. Give it a try, it’s currently available at our NJ warehouse & coming soon to WI!

Shop RNY # 50066 (NJ Warehouse)

Shop RNY # 53328 (WI Warehouse)

Trader Picks Specialty Coffee from South America

Specialty coffee producers from Colombia's Nariño region

This coffee comes from a community of indigenous Colombians called the “Inga” people. They trace their lineage all the way back to the Incan Empire.

This Colombian coffee is a honey processed lot, standing apart from the majority of Colombian coffee that is washed. Honeys are beans that are depulped, but left to dry with remnant mucilage still sticking to the bean. This allows for the natural fruit notes to be imparted on the bean while providing a clean and nuanced cup. Learn more about honey process here!

Shop RNY # 52604

Specialty coffee producer Hugo Agreda from Colombia's Nariño region

If I can only pick one specialty coffee from our current offerings, it would be a micro lot from Nariño, Colombia. Farms at crazy high altitude repeatedly yield a level of complexity and that is hard to find in most other coffee regions in Latin America. I am partial to this year’s honey lots because of their layered sweetness at a wide range of roast levels.

My current favorite is this lot from Hugo Agreda. This coffee is intensely bright and sweet with a tropical/stone fruit profile. Cranberry, Kiwi, Peach, Green Apple were some of the popular notes, but deeper roast development will round out the acidity and let the natural sweetness mature.

Shop RNY # 52578

Trader Picks from Africa

specialty coffee cherries from Kenya AA Kianjuri

Coming from the Kianjuri Cooperative out of the Meru region in Kenya, this is a fully washed coffee grown at 1,600-1,900 meters. Within this region lies a portion of Mount Kenya giving it a higher elevation for better quality coffee. What makes this coffee very special is that it stems from the SL-28 varietal, which is one of the oldest varietals produced in Africa (first seen in the 1930s) as well as its resistance to drought and susceptibility to diseases.

I am all about finding coffee with a vibrant, lingering brightness and this coffee fits that profile perfectly. You will find this cup carries a very light mouthfeel, almost tea-like, but also holds a good amount of body to it. The acidity is upfront and lingers in each sip with citrusy notes all throughout the cup. It is enough to bring some brightness to anybody’s day!

Shop RNY # 52745

Specialty coffee cherries being picked from Rwanda's Cyesha Washing Station

I patiently wait for Rwandan specialty coffee to arrive in our warehouse every year. This delivery is a reward for my patience, a sweet cup of coffee with notes of black tea, raspberry, and honey, and a clean finish.

Perfect for a single-origin, medium roast, I can drink this coffee any day. Besides the cup profile, we are supporting a new exporter from Rwanda, the Anbalagan brothers. These brothers are committed to the quality, development, and sustainability of the coffee industry in Rwanda.

Shop RNY # 51310

Trader Picks Specialty Coffee from Southeast Asia

When two traders pick the same coffee, you know if must be a good one!

Specialty coffee producers from Sumatra Kokowagayo

This coffee is special to me because it comes from a cooperative of growers that focus on the empowerment of women, not all that common in the region. The Kokowagayo coop started in 2014 and has over 400 farmers from 8 villages that are members.

The profile of this coffee at a medium/full medium roast has a sweeter and cleaner cup profile than many “older school” type Sumatras that might have a bit more bite to them and an earthiness aftertaste. I’m a big fan of this coffee as a single origin or a blend component in an espresso to boost the chocolatey notes, body and crema. As the weather gets colder in the northeast, this is one of my go to coffees!

Specialty coffee producers picking cherries from Sumatra's Kokowagayo

This coffee had my attention as soon as I read up on the amazing work that the coop is doing. Kokowagayo aims to empower female producers with a mission to improve the quality of life of female farmers and their families.

The coffee itself sings with notes of molasses, toasted vanilla, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. I personally have been drinking this as a light-medium roast. While it’s a relatively unconventional way to profile a Sumatran roast, I find that it allows the sweetness to outshine the more savory pipe tobacco notes that you’ll find as the coffee is roasted further along.

Shop RNY # 51072

Trader Specialty Tea Picks

Royal Tea New York's Peppermint White Chocolate tea

It’s a limited seasonal blend, great for the holidays.

This tea flies during the winter months, and for good reason! It has a natural sweetness from licorice root, which pair well with its decadent chocolaty notes. It’s a great treat, and to me it feels like Christmas in a cup!

Shop TSKU000709

Royal Tea New York's Golden Yunnan tea

This is a Dianhong cha or “Yunnan red tea,” a type of black tea known for having a larger quantity of golden tips or buds. We source our Golden Yunnan from Dazhai Village in the Yixiang Mountain region of the Pu’er Prefecture in Yunnan, China. Yunnan Province is often regarded as the birthplace of tea, and is home to many historic tea farms and ancient tea trees.

I always include this on my list of must-try black teas for new customers. The ratio of quality to price is phenomenal! It has a wonderfully toothsome taste of chocolate and sweet potato. We offer Golden Yunnan both loose and in sachets for all types of service.

Shop TSKU000066

Also Available in Sachets!