Uganda Mbale Mountain Harvest Honey
Blood Orange, Yogurt, Dark Honey, Chrysanthemum
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COFFEES OF THE MONTH - JUL 2023
Variety: SL-14, Nyasaland
Fermentation Time: 78 hrs
Drying: Sundried on Beds, 21-30 days
Elevation: 1600-2200 MASL
Producer: Smallholder organized around Mountain Harvest Project
Region: Communities around Mount Elgon
Mountain Harvest is a very young and big-thinking group, first established in 2017. The company is dedicated to long-term economic and environmental sustainability for smallholders on Mt. Elgon. These farmers are Uganda’s highest and most diversified coffee growers with incredible quality potential thanks to the climate, soil fertility, and a longstanding culture of land stewardship, but who historically struggle to meet specialty standards by processing coffee in tiny amounts on homemade equipment.
In an effort to raise the economic standard in remote coffee-growing Elgon communities, Mountain Harvest began as an impact investing project, expanded in just a few years to include farmer education and training, central processing infrastructure, storage facilities throughout the region, detailed quality control, and international marketing. As of this year Mountain Harvest works with 850 individual smallholders across 8 communities on Mt. Elgon, with each farm growing between 600-1,000 coffee trees.
This harvest is the gem of a coffee, with a beautiful body and depth of flavours!
Myanmar Behind the Leaf Natural Anaerobic Catuai
Strawberry Jam, Fig, Cocoa
Process: Natural Anaerobic
Drying: 22 days raised and covered
Producer: Behind the Leaf project
Elevation: 1100-1650 MASL
Region: Pa-O Villages
Run by three amazing individuals and located outside of a small township called Pinlaung, the founder of the Behind the Leaf project is an American woman named Melanie Edwards. Melanie has been living in Southeast Asia for over a decade. She first moved there with the intention of bringing a sustainable source of clean water to remote areas in Thailand and, soon after, Myanmar.
Melanie runs two operations that function simultaneously. The first is a micro-mill called Behind the Leaf. Behind the Leaf's aim is to organize nearby villages, so they can produce coffee at a higher tier of quality and to educate them on the potential that this crop can yield. Many of the nearby Pa-O villages are not connected to stable power sources and do not have roadways. They are truly off the grid. On top of that, Myanmar is the second-largest producer of opium in the world. People like Melanie and her team are working to connect with these indigenous groups, to help them develop a more sustainable life.
One initiative that Behind the Leaf is doing is creating sustainable water systems. After working with a chemical engineer in Cambodia in the early 2000's, Melanie has learned how to build clay water filtration systems. Melanie's knowledge of these filtration systems, as well as the Christian church, was what originally led her to Myanmar. She felt she could benefit the people in rural communities by providing them clean water. People such as the indigenous group referred to as Pa-O. Here she founded a company with two Myanmar locals and began building and distributing these water filters. The water filters are built with rice husks infused into ceramic, to give it the proper porosity, and are paired with silver nitrate to act as the filter and strip toxins. The water that comes out the other side is noticeably clean and very nice to drink.
Colombia Paradise Koji Inoculated Striped Bourbon
Lychee, Rose Water, Watermelon
Variety: Striped Bourbon
Process: 2x Koji Inoculation Anaerobic Washed
Producer: Wilton Benitez
Farm: Granja Paraiso 92
Altitude: 1900 masl
This coffee was experimented with a Koji fungus (Aspergillus oryzae), used traditionally in Japanese Sake brewing, which breaks down more complex sugars into fermentable sugars, creating amino acids, glutamates, esters and aldehydes, enhancing weight, mouthfeel, fruity aromas, and sweetness. This coffee is super juicy and sweet, resembling a lychee slush on a summer day!
Wilton Benitez is a Colombian coffee producer highly specialized and with vast experience in production and processing of exotic coffees. El Paraíso 92 is a family farm that uses highly innovative farming systems such as terraces, drip irrigation, shading and laboratory nutrition count aimed to produce a unique coffee. The farm also houses a processing plant, microbiology lab and quality lab, for careful management of conditions to guide decisions throughout the processing stages, resulting in great qualtiy control in their production.