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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Exciting news about Limu

If you have been receiving our newsletter, you would have read that we have been sourcing higher quality East African coffees. One of these coffees we are very excited about is Limu. We have not had access to a high quality Limu for a while, and so Limuhas not been as Quaffable as our other coffees. Limu is the area where most heirloom Arabica varietals are found in the world, and to not have a great coffee from this region is - to be frank - an embarrassment. We had been forced to offer a coffee that we do not consider Specialty Grade, just run of the mill commercial grade coffee.

So after tasting a few we selected the Limu Konjo from Falcon Specialty (we hope to be visiting the area later this year or early next year). This coffee has cost us almost 3 times the price that we have paid in the past, but we believe it is worth it.

It is a great coffee, and we it will be available from the middle of next week, when we will also publish info on the coffee (tasting notes and more details on its processing).

Remember that our latest coffee prices and offering are always to be found at quaffee.co.za/coffee.

We will be tasting this coffee at our event on the 10 Oct, so if you are keen to taste it book here Book for Coffee tasting and education event 10 Oct.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

New Colomiban microlot available

Jaime Casallas with his parabolic drying beds.

New microlot

Jaime Casallas now available

We have a very limited amount of the a new microlot from Huila, Colombia. Rather than wax lyrical about it, read more at:
quaffee.co.za/coffee/jaimecasallas - and you can read about it there too.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Event Survey Results

We had a great response from our survey and decided to publish these results.

Event time

It seems Saturday is a winner here, we are very limited with space at Buitenverwachting, and can really only do Saturday events while there is still low season. This means essentially we can only do Saturday events from May until mid October. So our first event will be 10 Oct 2015 - RSVP here if it is not already booked.
EventTime
We did not that very few people selected events at their place of work.

Preferred Event Type

We were surprised to see tasting so popular, so we will include this at all our events, and perhaps even include our new tasting sheet, and methodology that we have developed.
CoffeeEducationType

Coffee Brewing Events

For the coffee brewing focused events it appeared most people just want to observe, we will honour that but feel it is important that people get involved, so will be guiding people through the brewing processes we will do at an event.
CoffeeBrewLabOptions

Coffee Tasting

We were very surprised with this result that most people would prefer to see a standard coffee cupping. these are quite time intensive so we are going to do our best to included these at each event.
CoffeeTasting

Summary

In summary we are going to try and run events that combine a little of each option, and see how that goes. If people then would prefer specific event than we will see how it goes. As already stated we will be running our first event in 3 weeks time. We have to limit the space so RSVP soon.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Monthly Notes from Market Reports released in Aug 2015

Below are just a few notes from the latest coffee news articles we have access too.

The coffee C-market price moved an a narrow range this month, starting at $120.46-142.60 and ending at $114.70-137.80. However all developing world currencies suffered, good for the exporting countries bad for the importing countries (like us). this price as we know is way below most producers cost, with only Brazil and Vietnamese markets being able to bulk produce at these prices at a small profit.

Perez-MolinaWith Brazil exports being largely flat year on year, there is a lot of resistance to the current C-market price, and many farmers are requesting bail outs, and refusing to sell at the current prices. The decreasing Real has helped them, but the crop of 2014 is basically complete, and it is anticipated that there will be resistance in getting the C-Market grade coffees to market.

In Guatemala while coffee news has been slow the President Otto Perez Molina has been forced to resign in response to a customs fraud scandal. Many believe it is good news for the country, but sometimes the devil you know... How this will affect the coffee price, is not clear at this point. Their exports have around 9% higher year on year so far.

Their southerly neighbour Honduras, is waiting for its new crop but this month the Economic Development Ministry in Honduras announced plans to encourage coffee farmers within districts hardest hit by the Roya or Leaf Rust infestation, to look to start replacing coffee with cocoa trees post new crop harvest and during next year. We did post a story on this on our twitter and facebook accounts, read more here...

 One of our favourite origins Colombia, is in fear of the El Nino effect hitting the country before Feb next year. The demand for Colombian coffee in the local market has slowed, and perhaps this is what spurned the Private Coffee Exporters Association of Colombia (which represents exporters of in excess of 60% of Colombian coffee exports) to voice its opinion that the Government should lift some of its restrictive rules on the export of coffees. Presently there is a ruling that only quality fully washed arabica coffees can be exported from the country, with all other qualities restricted to domestic consumption and the production of exportable value added soluble coffees. This would not really affect us, since we only source the higher quality Arabicas from Colombia.

In Peru, which is normally impeded by transport issues, the unusual rains have prevented harvesting, and associations have had to pay way above the C-market price to get coffee at all, since coffee stocks are low.

 Mexico, El Salvador and other Central American countries are also being affect by the unusual weather, which is delaying the development of ripe cherries

 Over in Africa, the origin everyone loves to love Kenya prices have been increasing with various auctions. Spirits are probably still high after the Obama visit in late July. However the coffee industry is slowly representing a smaller amount of total exports, and only accounted for just over 5% of the combined value of the top ten foreign exchange earners of the country for the year. We are okay with our current Peaberry lot which has been selling well.

The largest exporter in Africa: Ethiopia  (and largest consumer) has been building on a solid reputation, and the increase in channels to market has assisted producers with the low C-market price preventing the ECX from releasing to much coffee at the low prices, despite the large volume of coffee that appears to be available.

 Otherwise besides Asia there is little news out of Africa.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Comment on Excerpt of article on CoE

Most of us coffee drinkers do not really appreciate how we get our favourite brew at prices that are only sustainable in a world that accepts the poverty that the coffee is grown in. To use Konrad Brits words "grown by the poor drunk by the rich".

Although we at Quaffee  have only been just dipping our toe in the relationship and coffee direct trade market, we believe that the price even we pay only covers basic costs. The C-Market is a joke, the only countries that are able to produce bulk coffee at that price are Vietnam and Brazil and even there wage increases are putting pressure on the large growers.

While we all pat out our back about how well we can pull an espresso and pour milk, and even how well we can manipulate a roast curve, there are very few organizations out there that are driving this sort of competition for the producers, so that they can get real rewards. The Alliance for Coffee Excellence program that is best known as CoE or (Cup of Excellence) has been driving this quality on an origin level, and we do support the program. We plan to always carry at least one CoE coffee at a time. (btw: To become a basic member is $250, without samples, we have been piggy backing off other members to get our coffees, perhaps it is time for us to take the plunge :))

Any way this post is about an article that appears in the latest Roast Magazine (September/October 2015). This article is on the CoE reward and auction and its real impact on the producers. Just take a look at the graph they have in the article (I hope the do not mind we dumping it here, if they do I will have to remove it). The graph compares Honduras and Brazil average prices achieved in the CoE auctions and it is quite staggering the difference in prices being achieved. The dotted line is the traditional commercial or C price.
CoE vs Market

It is time for us as coffee drinkers to be more responsible and support programs like these.

Get the magazine and read the article it is a good read, in fact if you love coffee and coffee roasting there magazine we believe is a de facto requirement.