A closer look at the wide range of new crop Central American coffee on our website.
With a harvest season that spans from December to March, right now we have the widest selection of Central American coffee is known for its "classic," balanced profile.: Central American coffee is known for its "classic," balanced profile. Centrals are primarily wet-processed since the climate is... ...more in stock.
Central America has been a continual source of high caliber coffee for us, and makes up a good portion of our annual volume. They’ve long been the standard for High Grown, or HG, is a coffee designation that can mean different things in different countries. : High Grown, or HG, is the highest quality Mexican coffee designation... ...more Wet-processing starts by removing the outer skin of the coffee cherry with a machine called a pulper, then fermenting the remaining fruit (with green bean inside) in water... ...more coffee, and innovations in The removal of the cherry and parchment from the coffee seed.: Coffee is either wet-processed (also called washed or wet-milled) or dry-processed (also called wild, natural or natural... ...more and harvest practices has only broadened the range of flavors coming out of these countries.
The three main mountain ranges that make up the “Cordillera Central” stretch across this Equatorial zone, from Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country. For that reason, coffees from Coatepec and Veracruz are much different from Oaxacan Plumas, which are in... ...more all the way to Panama coffee ranges from medium quality lower altitude farms to those at 1600 - 1800 meters centered in the area of Boquete in the Chirqui district near the... ...more. High peaks and diverse microclimates have afforded many farmers ideal conditions for growing coffee.
Let’s have a look at the harvest selections from Central American countries currently stocked.
Guatemalan coffee is considered a top quality coffee producer in Central America. Due to our proximity to Guatemala, some of the nicest coffees from this origin come to... ...more is one of the jewels of our list, and not just in the context of Central America. The areas we operate in – Antigua, Chimaltenagno, and Huehuetenango – all experienced an abundant rainy season, and an up-year in terms of crop size and quality. Increased supply often drives down price, however the high cost of agronomical inputs and continued shortages of workers to pick coffee has kept the base prices high for Specialty.
Right now (mid-September) we have a nice mix of Antiguan estate-type coffees, and small-holder lots from Hueheutenango. Between these two distinct regions lies a wide range of flavor profiles, and lot sizes range from single digits on up to 50 bag producer blends. Arrivals between these mainstays were staggered, meaning you can expect even representation of the two on our site going forward.
As one of our suppliers in Nicaraguan coffees from the Segovia, Jinotega, Ocotal and Matagalpa regions are nice balanced cups. They often possess interesting cup character along with body and balance, outperforming many other... ...more told me during this year’s visit, the only exported commodity outpacing coffee in Nicaragua is labor. Nicaragua migrant workers tend to follow the harvest in Central America. However, with record numbers emigrating to other countries (mainly Costa Rican coffee is typically very clean, sweet, with lots of floral accents. hey are prized for their high notes: bright citrus or berry-like flavors in the acidity,... ...more and the US), Nicaraguan farmers are feeling the labor squeeze.
We once again focused on coffees from Cafetalera Buenos Aires/the Valladarez family. Their farms are mostly in the Ocotal region, a high elevation zone in Nueva Segovia that lies just across the southern border of Honduran coffee was absent from the top ranks of the Specialty market, but that has changed. It has all the environmental factors on its side: soil, altitude, climate.... ...more. They mostly grow Catimor is a broad group of cultivars derived from a Hibrido de Timor (HdT) and Caturra cross, highly productive, sometimes with inferior cup flavor. The main issue is... ...more and As the name indicates cross between large-bean Maragogype and Caturra cultivars. : As the name indicates cross between large-bean Maragogype and Caturra cultivars. It seems to be found... ...more, and their investments in renovations at their farms and mill (this year saw several new covered drying patios and Raised beds, also referred to as "african-style beds" are elevated beds used for drying coffee when dry-processing.: Raised beds, also referred to as "african-style beds" are elevated beds... ...more built) has made them a consistent source of top-tier coffees. We have several wet process Caturra is an Arabica cultivar discovered as a natural mutant of Bourbon in Brazil in the first decade of the 20th century, but wasn't studied until 1937. It... ...more lots lined up, as well as Dry process coffee is a method for taking the fruit from the tree to an exportable green bean. The whole intact coffee cherry is dried in the sun... ...more and "Red honey" process gesha at a coffee farm in Costa Rica's Central Valley growing region. The honey process has nothing to do with honey other than the fact... ...more microlots.
The harvest started a little early in El Salvador coffee had an undeservingly poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality in an unstable political climate. Unfortunately, agriculture... ...more, and they were our first Central American coffees to arrive as a result. This year, we went all in on a full container (285 bags) from the Duarte family who’ve managed plots in Ahuachapán for several generations (“Spanish 101: Finca is the Spanish word for farm. Sometimes the term Hacienda is used to imply an Estate, which would mean the farm has its own wet-mill.... ...more Miravalles” and “Finca San Luis” are the names we use). They do an incredible job with farm management and post harvest processing practices, hence the bump up in our 2023 volume.
They’ve replaced a lot of original A mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Salvador in 1949: Pacas is a natural mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Salvador in 1949. It... ...more Cultivar is a term used interchangeably with Varietal in the coffee trade to indicate plant material, although there are distinctions.: The naming of a cultivar should conform to... ...more with other highly regarded varieties like Caturra, A coffee cultivar; a cross between Typica and Bourbon, originally grown in Brazil: Mundo Novo is a commercial coffee cultivar; a natural hybrid between "Sumatra" and Red Bourbon,... ...more, and Gesha is a long-bean Ethiopia selection with unique cup character.: Gesha (often wishfully misspelled as Geisha) is a long-bean Ethiopia cultivar selection with unique cup character. It is... ...more, as well as hybrids such as Tabí, and Castillo is a selection of the Colombia cultivar that has become the most commonly grown coffee in Colombia. It is preferred to the older resistant variety, Variedad Colombia... ...more. This is the first year we’ve offered such a wide selection of cultivar separations from a single family (or any one In coffee talk, it refers to a coffee-producing region or country; such as, "I was just at origin." Of course "Origin" for most product we use is not... ...more, for that matter!), and we still have a few lots in the wings that should help keep El Salvador stocked for a while yet.
In general, Costa Rican farmers had a rougher time last year with a very low harvest, and high cost of production (this year is looking to be much better). We still saw very good quality from the regions we are buying from, and in particular, were able to procure more coffee from Tarrazu/Los Santos region than previous years, though it came at a higher price.
Known for clean washed coffees, this year’s offerings are no exception, and where we invested the most. However, we bought more In coffee, honey-like sweetness is often found, but we use terms such as refined honey (highly filtered and processed) as opposed to raw honey rustic honey sweetness. This... ...more process coffees than previous years as the quality seemed exceptionally good from the mills we typically buy from (or at least the samples we tasted!). We also bought our first dry process Costa Rican coffees. Is the quality improving, or is our taste changing?! Whatever the case, look to mid-October for our first dry process Costa Rican coffee to be listed.
The last few years we’ve been buying coffee from In Kenya, a "Factory" is actually a coffee wet mill (called a washing station in other parts of Africa) where the fresh cherry is brought for wet-processing. It... ...more San Vicente, a well established source of Honduran microlots. While there are now many others offering a similar service, San Vicente were one of the first. In a country where volume was typically the focus, Founder Fidel Paz saw value in applying the microlot model to coffees from his town of Peña Blanca, and beyond.
We’ve managed to book 13 separate lots from San Vicente, most of which are less than 10 bags, and highlight single farmers. There’s a very interesting mix of varieties, and process methods, including a few honey process and dry process coffees.
While really a part of the North American continent, Mexico occupies our “Central America” origin category, as we don’t have one for North America since there’s literally one country we buy from! Plus, most of the coffee is grown near the southern tip of Mexico, in Oaxaca, just across the border from Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
This year’s coffees are mostly from cooperatives around the state of Chiapas, and blended by town. A lot of the coops are certified Grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, etc.: Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms... ...more too, which you’re likely to find on our offer list. We tend to have fewer Mexican coffees than most of the other Central American regions because the lot sizes are larger. But rest assured, quality is not blended away and these coffees score high marks for roast versatility and dual-purpose (brew/espresso).