Coffee

Strengthening Relationships With Our Partners In Colombia

Origin trips are vital in reacquainting ourselves with ongoing partnerships with producers and exporters in the specialty coffee industry. To go a step further, the partnerships we nurture and value will hopefully pay off in opportunities to source and ultimately offer great new coffees.

We started off 2016 with a trip to Colombia to visit a great partner of ours, Pergamino. Pergamino is an exporter from the Antioquia and Cauca regions but is most famous for their stewardship of the Santa Barbara Estate. The goal of our trip was to identify, evaluate and purchase some new micro lots from Asorcafe (a group of small producers in the Cauca region) and La Plata (a similar group located in Huila). These coffees will begin showing up on our offering sheet in late March into early April.

Processing

Pedro Echavarria, commercial director for Pergamino/Santa Barbara, informed us of his process for sourcing smaller lots and paying premiums to those growers producing better quality. Pergamino’s price structure with producers ensures that they receive a base payment for their coffee at the time of initial purchase. Once their lots are cupped, based on the complexity and quality, they will receive a premium on top of their original payment. These premiums allow producers to make improvements to their homes and farms. “We are not just paying for better coffee, we are motivating them to improve quality year after year, while helping them purchase new equipment which will allow them to process coffee better.” says Pedro.

For me, the best part of the trip was being able to sit down with producers and tell them how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication. Everyone we encountered was excited and enthusiastic to be working with Pergamino and Royal NY. The producers see Pergamino as a means to successfully enter the specialty coffee market and engage with roasters. They truly care about the final cup, and asked us about which varieties are the best to grow so that they may focus on processing coffee with bright and complex profiles. Pergamino facilitates the importing of these small lots in the same container with Santa Barbara enabling the coffee to ship promptly and arrive as fast and fresh as possible.

Purchasing

Royal New York purchased a micro lot from San Antonio, Cauca which was produced by Alfonso Pillimué. Mr. Pillimué hosted us during our visit to San Antonio. Alfonso welcomed all of us to stay overnight and even had his family prepare us a nice dinner. The new lot from Finca El Porvenir cupped exceptionally well, providing a sweet, balanced, juicy cup with notes of tangerine, honey and meyer lemon. Its pleasant acidity made it a favorite among everyone in the room. We also purchased a micro lot from La Plata, Huila produced by Eduardo Muse. This coffee was a juicy, sweet, bright cup with floral notes and a clean finish. In addition to these lots, we just received the following arrivals that we cupped during Pedro’s last visit to Royal NY in November 2015:

  • Colombia Excelso Huila- Alejandro Joven (18 bags): This lot presented notes of cherry and caramel.
  • Colombian Excelso Antioquia- Finca Vuelta Bonita (35 bags): Producer Sergio Tobon is located in Ciudad Bolivar, Antioquia. This lot presents notes of honey, peach and lemon with a medium acidity.

Anthony Chango