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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Limited Reserve and Limited Edition Offerings Sept 2016

As a first we are offering three roast dates this month for three remarkable coffees. We will be roasting the coffees on the dates below and shipping from the next day. If you order the coffees now we will add you into the system, and deliver to you the next scheduled delivery day after the roast date for your area.

Coffee: Nekisse

Date to be roasted: 
30 Aug 2016

From: Ninety Plus

Origin: Sidama Ethiopia
Type: Natural

Description: A truly remarkable coffee, it was used by 8 competitors at worlds this year. Read more here...

Note: This is the first release ever in South Africa. We will also do a run for Cape Coffee Beans. Available in 200g tins.
Coffee: Kemgin

Date to be roasted: 
13 Sep 2016

 From: Ninety Plus

Origin: Yirgacheffee Ethiopia Type: Washed

Description: Sets a high bar on what a washed coffee can taste like, delicious in all brew types. Read more here...

Note: This is the second time we have offered this coffee, feedback was very positive. Available in 200g tins.
Coffee: Heza COE

Date to be roasted: 
20 Sep 2016

From: Long Mile Project

Origin: Kayanza, Burundi
Type: Washed

Description: This is LMP's first CoE winning coffee from the same washing station as the Gishubi and Nkonge come from.

Note: We have yet to roasted the coffee. We will post notes once we have identified the roast we plan to use. Available in 250g and above.
Order Here... Order Here... Order Here...

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

In response to a forum Question on FairTrade

Linked in has its uses, not sure what they are but we have many connections so it must be doing something. One thing it does do is allow people to post questions they post on their websites to groups that are not really supposed to respond, since these questions are actually rhetorical.
One of these posts asked about weather Fair Trade is fair. So we took a break from our covering our highly educating and informative tour and to reply. I am not sure it will be published so I thought why not publish it here, read more below:
The question of FairTrade needs to be specific to an industry, and specific to the implementation of FairTrade. There are two major players in the FairTrade industry (yes let’s call it that) – FairTrade Label Organizaton (FLO) and FairTrade America. In South Africa only FLO is represented, so I will only cover this using my own personal experience and observations as best I can.
In an industry like coffee this question gets further complicated as to how a FairTrade reward/levy gets into the real hand of the producer / grower? Almost all coffee (even Brazilian) is sold via to an export agent from an association or cooperative. These cooperatives can be government run or farmer run. NOTE: Many countries prefer not to use the word co-operative since this implies that it is government run.
In coffee, the FLO only work with cooperatives (or associations), not farmers directly, so how does the farmer get the reward if the cooperative or association get the money from FLO for being compliant. Well in two ways either as a percentage extra payment over the coffee, or if the old method is still used a minimum price (although in a coffee world this has proved to be ineffective since the coffee price is the second most volatile futures market, behind oil). So normally it is a percentage amount over the normal price. In the cooperatives and association I have seen this percentage is not large ranging from .5% to 1.25% extra. To put that in perspective if the farmer delivers a coffee that cups (scores when tasted) at 83 or higher they get about a 5% increase in payment. So quality gets a higher premium than FairTrade.
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In a well-run cooperative or association each coffee the farmers bring is normally traced so that they can get a reward. This is not always the case however since most cooperatives are government run the certification sits with them and not the farmer so they collect the levy, this is true from at least 50% of the cases, however that is a conservative estimate.
So let’s assume best case is that the farmer gets 1% for being Fairtrade certified. However the farmer needs to pay for the certification (which is a fix price) and hence needs to have a certain size crop in order to cover his costs of being FairTrade certified. This means if the farmer has a bad crop (like is the case currently in El Salvador and Nicaragua) the farmer has to rather give up the cost certification to feed his family, since their crops are 30% what they were last year.
Oh and one more thing. The FairTrade organization is a non-profit organization. What does that mean? Well it means a minimum of 21% of the money they collect must go back to the cause. What does that mean in money terms? Well let’s look a salaries; according to http://www.payscale.com/ the average salary for a CEO running an NGO is R517,732.00 per year (see link here...). At least 10 times what the average farmer producing coffee gets per year. Even if you assume the good people at FLO South Africa earn minimum salaries than the CEO of the NGO is earning R206,084 which is about 4 times what a farmers earns.
So is FairTrade fair? Well it depends what you call fair. If you are mean is it fair to famers that own land in excess of 100 hectares (like in Brazil and Vietnam) then it is fair. Otherwise buy on quality, is your coffee roaster buying from people that reward the grower on quality? Are they paying for quality? If they are then reward the roaster, who rewards the chain of people that reward the farmer on quality. And that is what direct trade is supposed to be. There are people in the chain and if a roaster tells you there are not ask them to explain.
But what if I favour a Burundian/ Rwandan Single Origin?
Africa is a complicated example (as is Central America, and most Asian producing countries). Most African farmers have very small holdings. They also do not process their own coffees. This means that the coffees are delivered to a processing plant that may or may not be Fair Trade certified. The processing plant is normally owned by a cooperative, the cooperative owns the certification not the farmer, so the cooperative gets the Levy, not the farmer.
In theory this means that they should reward the farmers, however this brings us back to the first post. Do they and if so what is the levy. If we assume they do and they give the farmers 1% more, is that making a difference?
With the drive to quality two things have happened that we have seen. Either farmers form their own associations or cooperative that they all have shares in that allows them to control quality and certifications themselves. So in Rwanda 800 female farmers formed an association called The African Sisters where all the farmers work together in picking and processing each other’s coffee. Then the association gets levies for certifications that it invests in the association’s infrastructure, however each farmer is still rewarded on quality as the major way of earning more. They do share this since that is a the founding methodology of the association. But this is an exception in Rwanda.
Another example is in Burundi where Ben and his wife started the Long Mile Project (LMP). Over the years we have worked with them, and their South African Import agent, and this has been an interesting ride since the importing agent has changed a few times. Here the LMP are promoting quality by rewarding quality cherry, so they spend time educating farmers to get the cherry to them as quick as possible (within 24 hrs of picking before it spoils the coffee), and only pick ripe. They pay the famers 50c (USD) for basic grade and almost $5 for a coffee that cups above 87. They have decided not to be FairTrade but try and sell direct (through the aforementioned agents)
There is however a real life story of African coffees and FairTrade a unnamed local roaster that pushes FairTrade, has a contract with a farmers cooperative in Sidama (or Sidamo). Here once they received a quality product and are happy with it they pay a FLO certified levy direct to the farmers cooperative, who are then tasked to distribute it.
Essentially labels are just that labels. For large supermarket chains and international brands they are important, they force accountability at some level. However if you are buying any product from a micro producer that is driven by quality and is driven to reward quality produce then this is a far better way to go a conscious consumer.

Quaffee newsletter V5I5 August 2016

Since the last newsletter there has been quite a bit of news about our coffees that we have not updated you on yet. There is also an addition to the Jura model range, and we've been able to secure a working relationship with WMF.
Get yourself a quaffable cup of Quaffee and take a seat this newsletter is quite long, enjoy.

Coffees

Ethiopia2

Ethiopians

With the Ethiopian crop shipments being delayed because of issues in Djibouti (where most Ethiopian coffee is shipped from), we ran out of our specialty grade Yirgacheffee and are also running low on Limu.

Yirgacheffee

We sampled all the locally available Yirgacheffee’s and in the end made a call to fly in an emergency lot of Yirgacheffee to get us through. This Yirgacheffee we have had before just from 2015’s crop. It comes from CafĂ© Imports and their relationship with the washing station in the Addo region. We had to pay a premium on the coffee as well as having to pay extra to fly it in, so this coffee costs a bit more than normal. It is, however, a superb example of the coffees that are available near the town of Yirgacheffee.
We anticipate our new lot of Yirgacheffee will arrive late September. This will cost less due to the cost of the coffee, the cost of transport and the recovering rand. So we anticipate the pricing of Yirgacheffee to return to its old price or even less.

Limu

Also affected by the problems at Djibouti is Limu. At the moment we have two bags left of the 2015 crop. There is no town called Limu in Ethiopia, it is essentially a coffee term that means 'coffee from the Kaffa forest or West Oromia region'. While there is the bulk untraceable Limu available from the local importers, it is 2014 or 2015 crop and it has not been stored in grain pro bags so has aged a good deal. All we taste was a dominance of paper and cardboard in the coffee. We have however secured coffee from the Kaffa forests to get us through. This coffee is on the water already and should get us through to end October when we anticipate the 2016 crop of Limu Konjo to arrive.

New Coffees

We have three + 2 totally new coffees! One from Brazil, one from Costa Rica and one from Kenya. We will also be releasing the Nekisse limited Reserve and the new CoE from Heza Burundi. We are also making the coffees from the roastery at the Vineyard available for order (hence the + 2)
Paris de Minas, Patrocino & Coromandel Minas Gerais Brazil Apr 2016

Londrino, Brazil

During our recent trip to Brazil we met some great producers and also go introduced to Expocaccer who work with Falcon Specialty in identifying great specialty grade coffees. One of these was from Londrino. We selected the naturally processed Acaia from the lots we tasted and we hope you are going to love it as much as we do. We have tried to roast this coffee to expose the typical nut flavours in Brazilian coffees but have found some dry fruit flavours in the coffee too. Read more about Londrino here…

Zamorana, Costa Rica

Having not had a great Costa Rican coffee for a while we are excited to offer this coffee from the Zamora family. It has been sourced via Falcon Specialty almost as a trial to see how well it is accepted. You can read all about it about Zamorana here…

Ichuga Peaberry, Kenya

Although we have had this for almost 3 weeks now, we really like this coffee and we are trying to secure more. It is from one our favourite regions, Nyeri. more about the coffee about Ichuga here...

New limited reserve, Nekisse

Our first release of Nekisse from ninety plus will be roasted on the 30th of August. This coffee was used by more than half a dozen competitors at the WBC. It is a complex and fruity coffee and this is the first time it will be available in South Africa. To order email us at orders@quaffee.co.za. It is available in our limited reserve 200g tins. Read more Ninety Plus Nekisse here...

Cup of Excellence, Burundi

The 6th of September will be our first release of the Cup of Excellence winning coffee from The Long Mile Project’s Heza washing station. This is the first of their coffees that won the Cup of Excellence award and we will be roasting it every Tuesday from that date if there is enough demand. We have been very impressed with all the coffees from 2015/2016 season from the Long Mile Project, the coffees offer very good bang for their buck. We are busy trying to secure the new crop.

Coffees Roasted at the Vineyard

We are now also offering the coffees we roast exclusively at the vineyard for order. These coffees will be on the website and listed as roasted at the Vineyard hotel. At the moment we are offering the Honey processed coffee from the Long Mile Project, Nkonge (read more here…) and the El Salvador Santa Leticia (read more here…). Please note there may be a days delay in delivering these.
Remember all these coffees can be ordered online or by emailing orders.at.quaffee.co.za.

New Juras

Jura has release their “W” range of machines. The WE6 is a coffee only machine designed for offices and it has a sister in the WE8, which adds milk preparation based coffees.
Read more about the WE6 here… and the WE8 here…

WMF Coffee machines

WMF1500
We have started offering the commercial WMF range in partnership with the agents in South Africa. These are 100+ cups a day rated machines and are designed for commercial and office related deployment. If you travel to Europe, 1 in every 3 hotels has a WMF machine preparing coffees. With our agreement the agents themselves install and manage the machines. The two models that are automatic are the 1200 and 1500. They are available via rental and for outright purchase. Information is available on request here...