January Green Coffee Outlook: Harvest Updates in Africa and Central America

In this Green Coffee Outlook edition, we will take a look at how harvest is coming along in parts of Africa and Central America where our 2024 coffee buying begins.

At the Hambela coffee mill, this whole coffee cherry laid to dry for 'naturals' is sifted through by hand in order to remove under and over ripe coffee.
At the Hambela coffee mill in Ethiopia, whole coffee cherry laid to dry for ‘naturals’ is sifted through by hand in order to remove under and over ripe coffee.

The latter part of the year is one of our slower times for incoming coffees. Be that as it may, activity in our warehouse is anything but ‘slow’, as our focus shifts to managing order fulfillment and keeping a well-stocked website during the holiday rush.

With the main event now behind us, we take a good look at our inventory, what we have, and what we’ll need to round out our list well into 2024. The timing of all this couldn’t be better, as it coincides with the harvest seasons in many African and Central American countries, parts of the coffee growing world that make up the lion’s share of our annual volume.

Buying coffee isn’t an exact science, and there’s always some guesswork involved. We have sales reports, and of course current inventory numbers, to look to for guidance. But the fact of the matter is, the coffee we buy over the next two months won’t arrive in the states until Spring at best, some even as late as the Summer, which can make calculating volumes feel a little like reading the tea leaves.

The timing of harvests in different producing origins adds another layer of unpredictability. Harvest begins when coffee cherries are ripe, and the rates at which that happens is tied to weather patterns that change from year to year. This is part of the reason we don’t publish a harvest schedule graphic, because it would need to be updated every year!

With harvest well underway in many parts of the Global South, here’s a cursory look at how things are shaping up in some of the origins where our buying begins in 2024. I’m including harvest and shipping months, the latter being when we expect our coffee to ship. The actual shipping window for these origins is a lot bigger than what’s cited below.

This line of workers are hand-picking the coffee for any defects while it dries. So much hand labor goes into producing these grade 1 coffees! Chana site in Dhibabate village.
This line of workers are hand-picking the coffee for any defects while it dries. So much hand labor goes into producing these grade 1 coffees! Chana site in Dhibabate village.

Ethiopia –

  • Harvest Months: October – February
  • Arrival Months: May – September

Early price ideas are trending lower than last year, due in part to an excess of coffee not having been sold from the 22/23 harvest coupled with a slightly larger 23/24 harvest. This is a double-edged sword, as on the one hand, the high prices of last season led to low demand, which is part of the reason there is so much carry over volume from 22/23. But lower prices come at a time of double digit inflation and loan scarcity, meaning cash for buying coffee is harder to come by for exporters, and ultimately less money for farmers.

Commercial grades bought on a differential basis take the biggest hit. The top grades that we buy aren’t as closely tied to the market, and remain relatively high actually.

The harvest reports we’ve received show that the crop came early this year, and fast. In southern regions like Yirga Cheffe, large volumes of cherry ripened at the same time, which for us means being presented with a pretty full selection on our visits in early 2024.

In terms of coffees we plan to have again this year, we will return to many of the same suppliers in he hopes of repeat business. However, quality is never guaranteed, so while we put contracts in place at the start of the season, the coffees we fill those with will depend on how things taste at the cupping table. Our first visit is planned for next month, so there’s a good chance we’ll be able to offer some specifics in our next Green Coffee Outlook.

Fragrant, white coffee flowers at the Aguacatones farm in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
Fragrant, white coffee flowers at the Aguacatones farm in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

Guatemala –

  • Harvest Months: November – April
  • Arrival Months: May – September

Harvest started in late November, and production is looking to be on par with last year. This is good news for us, as we hope to maintain volumes in the areas we currently buy coffee from, like Antigua, Chimaltenango, and Huehuetenango. Early reports from our export partners are generally positive, with very nice cherry selection coming into their mills, and samples from the first pickings showing promise at the cupping table.

There continues to be a shortage of seasonal workers to pick coffee, which can be said for all of Central America (and beyond). Low wage manual work like this is being left behind for the hope of better jobs in nearby cities and abroad. Emigrating is often the only ladder of opportunity out of the coffee fields for many pickers.

Nevertheless, farmers are faced with a real issue of keeping an important part of their workforce staffed, without which they are left to find other means, or coffee goes unpicked. The positive side of this is increased wages to attract locals for seasonal work, but an ever shrinking workforce means there is a lot of competition to keep coffee flowing from trees to mills.

It’s looking like we will see our first Guatemalan samples in February. Coffees from the higher altitude zones comes later, hence the longer wait. We hope to see the first new crop coffees by May, but the bulk won’t likely be available until next Summer.

Father Luis Duarte (front), and son Luis Jr (back) give us a tour of the Miravalles farm in Ahuachapán, El Salvador.
Father Luis Duarte (front), and son Luis Jr (back) give us a tour of the Miravalles farm in Ahuachapán, El Salvador.

El Salvador

  • Harvest Months: November – March
  • Arrival Months: March – June

The coffees we buy from El Salvador are usually our first Central American lots to arrive. Part of the reason is that the harvest season comes early, and is a little shorter than some other coffee countries in Central America. But honestly, a big part of the expedience is that the exporter we work in Ahuachapán, Finca Miravalles, just seems to get things moving FAST!

Getting coffee early means a lot to us as there’s obviously a competitive advantage to being one of the first with new crop. But it also means a shorter gap between running out of coffee from the previous year and the new arrival, which is a good thing for everyone!

This year, Miravalles plan to produce a dry process Bourbon lot just for us. They’re trying out a new method that involves piling whole cherry in a large cone shape to ferment for up to 2 days before spreading out onto the raised beds to finish drying. We’ve been buying the natural from their other farm, Finca San Luis, and are look forward to tasting the results from this higher elevation region.

Talking with Luis Duarte who oversees harvest operations, other than a few dry weeks at the start of the season, the weather has been favorable, despite it being an El Niño year. The first cherries were picked at the end of November, and they are now well into the main part of the harvest and on track to have their first offer samples by late January. We are expecting more cultivar separations from Miravalles, as well as honey, and dry process coffees from both farms

Pablo Alceron removes a few unripe cherries from the drying beds at Cafetalera Buenos Aires in Ocotal, Nicaragua.
Pablo Alceron removes a few unripe cherries from the drying beds at Cafetalera Buenos Aires in Ocotal, Nicaragua. Noticing that measurements on the tags are “Cajillas” which is 1.5 latas.


  • Harvest Months: November – March
  • Arrival Months: April – July

Though the harvest had a late start, all signs indicate volumes to be in line with last year’s numbers in Nicaragua. Talking with Olman Valladarez of Cafetalera Buenos Aires, the slow-to-start rainy season had little effect on the health of the trees in Dipilto region where his farms are located.

Cherries are maturing nicely, and the first picking has already started. Like all of Central America, he’s feeling the shortage of workers to pick coffee. Last year he told me that the #1 export from Nicaragua in 2022/23 was workers. For their part, Olman and his family have managed to keep many of the same families they employ by offering more than just competitive wages. In addition to housing and meals, they provide schooling for the children of coffee pickers in an adjacent building near the Buenos Aires farm, as well as medical insurance for workers who stay on for the whole year.

The harvest peak is expected to be fairly short this season, and Olman predicts that picking from the main part will be all but completed by early February. Coffee will continue to be harvested until March, but the quality of the later lots tends to be inconsistent since it’s a mix of what’s left on the trees.

We usually visit in late February/early March, when there is a wide selection available for cupping. It’s also ideal to taste the coffee with some rest after drying, though we do cup test fresh coffees all the time. Fresh coffees can taste “green”, medicinal, and be a little drying, all aspects that settle down with rest. With practice you can cup through that type of noise, but it’s always nice to be faced with a table of well-rested coffees when possible!

Jute bags filled with the Yemeni coffee we purchased are loaded into a 20 foot shipping container headed for the Port of Aden.
Jute bags filled with the Yemeni coffee we purchased are loaded into a 20 foot shipping container headed for the Port of Aden.

Logistical Challenges and Expectations in 2024

2023 was a banner year for logistics when compared to the issues we faced during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The Oakland Port was once again our target destination for 90+% of last season’s shipments, with any exceptions made based on preference rather than desperation.

We prefer bringing coffee into Oakland for a few reasons. One, even in cases such as Africa, where there’s significant time savings when shipped the East Coast, much of that is lost to the time it takes to then transfer the coffee to the West Coast. But perhaps more importantly, there’s a real cost savings to avoiding intermodal transfers from the East Coast and Gulf. Shipping rates are not dropping, whether by rail or by road, so moving our coffees through Oakland helps keep costs and prices lower.

Like the rest of the world, we are currently monitoring the situation with shipping disruptions in the Red Sea due to drone attacks on container vessels by Houthi militants. Even though most of our shipments don’t use that lane, approximately one-third of global container ship cargo moves through that trade route, and re-routing those shipments has a major impact on port congestion, vessel availability, and cost.

Both CMA and and Maersk have signaled that they will resume service through the Red Sea, and a look at the Marine Traffic tracker shows several dozen shipping vessels currently passing through. We are still a few months away from any of our Ethiopia coffees shipping, and are optimistic that things will resume back to normal by then.

Upcoming Coffees January & February

Below is a list of upcoming green coffees currently on the schedule to be added to our website for December and January. This list is still being updated:

January Outlook:

Brazil Dry Process Doña Marta30
Brazil Pulp Natural Wania Maria60
Burundi Honey Process Kibingo50
Colombia Honey Aponte Hugo Agreda14
Colombia Inzá Las Estrellas11
Colombia Honey Los Naranjos Chiroso14
Congo Organic Dry Process Kabare Katana40
Costa Rica Yellow Honey La Union40
El Salvador Finca Miravalles H120
Ethiopia Organic Gera Genji Challa80
Guatemala Finca Rosma Maragogype5
Guatemala Proyecto Xinabajul Axel Villatoro20
Honduras Los Andes Doña Teodosa Parainema5
Keny Nyeri Kamoini AA7
Kenya Nyeri Rukira Peaberry8
Kenya Tetu Mungaria AB6
Nicaragua Maracaturra Los Medios20
Rwanda Rulindo Tumba80
Sumatra Wet Process Ribang Gayo20
Sumatra Anaerobic Kerinci Cooperative20
Sweet Maria’s 10 Speed Blendn/a

February Outlook (so far – check back later this month for an update):

Congo Organic Kivu Kalehe20
Ethiopia Honey Process Dehab Mesfin Farm3
Guatemala Huehuetenango Boqueroncito75
Guatemala Antigua Finca Cabrejo Lot 215
Guatemala Chimaltenango Tecpán37
Guatemala Proyecto Xinabajul Dos Villatoros20
Kenya Kirinyaga Gikirima AB40
Rwanda Karongi Gitesi40
Sweet Maria's Coffee Shrub Coffee Sourcerer
Sweet Maria’s Coffee Shrub Coffee Sourcerer

Incoming coffees currently on the water: January onward

Please keep in mind that the coffees on the Upcoming Coffee Outlook schedule with a location status of “In Transit” are still a bit of a wild card, and the month we have them listed under is based on the current shipping ETA, and subject to interruptions out of our control. Thanks for your patience!

African Incoming Coffees

Burundi Kayanza Gahahe40ETA 1/18
Burundi Kayanza Gakenke40ETA 1/18
Burundi Kayanza Kibingo Station40ETA 1/18
Burundi Kayanza Nemba40ETA 1/18
Buruni Honey Process Masha40ETA 1/18
Burundi Dry Process Kibingo60ETA 1/18
Burundi Dry Process Gahahe60ETA 1/18
Burundi Dry Process Agahore24ETA 2/3
Burundi Dry Process Agahore22ETA 2/3
Burundi Dry Process Agahore17ETA 2/3
Burundi Kiganda Murambi10ETA 2/3
Burundi Dry Process Kiganda Murambi25ETA 2/3
Rwanda Rulindo Tumba80ARRIVED
Rwanda Kivu Kageyo40ARRIVED
Rwanda Nyamasheke Gitwe54ARRIVED
Rwanda Karongi Gitesi40ARRIVED
Rwanda Nyamasheke Mutovu45ARRIVED
Rwanda Kivu Kageyo Peaberry30ARRIVED
Rwanda Dry Process Kageyo8ARRIVED
Rwanda Honey Process Gitwe20ARRIVED
Rwanda Rubavu Rwinyoni40ARRIVED
Rwanda Ngororero40ARRIVED
Rwanda Nyamashek Nyaco40ARRIVED
Rwanda Nyamashek Kanyege50ARRIVED
Rwanda Dry Process Nyamyumba26ARRIVED
Rwanda Honey Process Kibirizi50ARRIVED
Rwanda Dry Process Mashesha26ARRIVED
Rwanda Dry Process Nyamiyaga16ARRIVED
Rwanda Dry Process Nyakabingo32ARRIVED
Rwanda Gitwe Peaberry30ETA 12/26
Rwanda Kivu Kageyo Lot 225ETA 12/26
Rwanda Dry Process Gitwe21ETA 12/26
Rwanda Rusizi Mushaka50ETA 12/26
Tanzania Mbozi Ilomba AA50ETD December
Tanzania Dry Process Acacia Hills AB22ETD December
Tanzania Honey Process Acacia Hills AB16ETD December
Tanzania Mbozi Kanji Lalji Farm50ETD December
Yemen Mokha Matari100ETD 12/20
Yemen Bani Haraz100ETD 12/20
Yemen Al Qafr Hawari100ETD 12/20
Yemen Mokha Saanani100ETD 12/20
Yemen Mokha Peaberry50ETD 12/20

Indonesia & SE Asia & Oceania Incoming Coffees

Timor Leste Honey Process Daurfusu20ETA 12/29
Timor Leste Dry Process Daurfusu20ETA 12/29
Timor Leste Hatletegeo30ETA 12/29
Timor Leste Sabelu25ETA 12/29
Timor Leste Manulo25ETA 12/29
Flores Wet Hulled Bajawa Wawo Wae47ETA 12/29
Sulawesi Kahayya Village15ETA 12/29
Java Sunda Iyan55ETA 12/29
Java Sunda Cirambai40ETA 12/29
Java Sunda Anaerobic Honey15ETA 12/29
Sulawesi Dry Process Topidi8ETA 12/29
Flores Bajawa Anaerobic Honey25ETA 12/29
Flores Albertus & Reti20ETA 12/29
Java Sunda Wet Hulled Dani30ETA 12/29
Papua New Guinea Morita30ETA 1/28
Papua New Guinea Tairora30ETA 1/28
Papua New Guinea Honey Process Baroida30ETA 1/28
Papua New Guinea Dry Process Baroida30ETA 1/28

South America Incoming Coffees

Brazil Dry Process Sertao Yellow Bourbon70ARRIVED
Brazil Dry Process Santa Ines70ARRIVED
Brazil Pulp Natural Santa Ines55ARRIVED
Brazil Dry Process Pedra Branca60ARRIVED
Brazil Dry Process Fazenda Sertao70ARRIVED
Brazil Jose da Conceicao52ETA 12/30
Brazil Matheus de Oleivera Pereira21ETA 12/30
Brazil Amarildo Jose Borges39ETA 12/30
Brazil Flávio Caixeta Nunes49ETA 12/30
Brazil Marcio Martins Ferreira48ETA 12/30
Brazil Luis Otavio Turati32ETA 12/30
Brazil Dry Process Flavio Nuñez49ETA 12/30
Brazil Dry Process Marco Antonio30ETA 12/30
Brazil Dry Process Wilderson Avelar21ETA 12/30
Brazil Dry Process Agenito de Oliveira20ETA 12/30
Brazil Dry Process Alex Sandro62ETA 12/30
Brazil Dry Process Weber Washington62ETA 12/30
Brazil Bahia Viviana Aparecida60ETA 12/30
Colombia Frutas del Cauca35TBD
Colombia Inzá Vereda San Antonio19TBD
Colombia Inzá La Chorrera26TBD
Colombia Inzá Veredas Vecinas43TBD
Colombia Inzá Cresta El Hato27TBD
Colombia Tolima China Alta17TBD
Colombia Nariño Vereda Veracruz9TBD
Colombia Nariño Vereda Buesaco5TBD
Colombia San Antonio Doña Rosa5TBD
Colombia Inzá Vereda Pedregal16TBD
Colombia Inzá Las Estrellas9TBD
Colombia Inzá Río Páez16TBD
Colombia Buesaco EA Decaf58TBD
Peru Women’s Producers Group 140ARRIVED
Peru El Diamante Doña Luz50ARRIVED
Peru Nuevo Trujillo Marcial Olivera40ARRIVED
Peru Productores Del Diamante40ARRIVED
Peru Women’s Producers Group 230ARRIVED
Peru Huabal San Antonio25ARRIVED
Peru Huabal Edilberto Torres25ARRIVED
Peru Dry Process Alto Pirias27ARRIVED
Peru Huabal Perlamayo30ARRIVED
Peru Cajamarca San Ignacio20ARRIVED
Peru Jaen Alianza Mika31ARRIVED

22 Responses

  1. I am a new home roaster. Like 2 months new and I have no idea why I never considered roasting my own coffee before now. Better late than never! I actually stumbled across your website by accident when I started this new obsession and honestly could not stop reading all the descriptions of your coffees and the great info you have about every coffee region. Just fascinating! Now reading these incoming coffee lists I feel like a child walking into a Toys R Us back in the 80’s. 👀Oh my. This is amazing!

    1. Hi Todd, that’s great to hear! Roasting at home is not for everyone. I think for some the fact that it’s not something you can walk away from, like a microwave, is a barrier. But some of us get hooked! It certainly opens up access to coffees from all over, which was a big draw for me.

      Thanks for your comment, and happy roasting.


    2. Dan, I am currently using a Whirley Pop because I already had it on hand. It’s been a lot of fun to use as it’s very hands-on and really forces me to use all of my senses. Not only has it been a great learning tool, it actually produces a great roasted product (although probably nowhere nearly as good as actual coffee roasters). One day I will graduate to something more “professional” but I think the WP will make me a better roaster in the end. Do you all plan to get any more Ethiopia Buno Dambi Uddo? That one was quite delicious!

    3. Hey Todd, that’s great to hear. +1 on Whirley Pop and air poppers being fantastic roasters to learn on since you have so much visual access to the coffee while it’s roasting. Honestly about the best window into the roasting process of any roaster (and lowest $$ entry)! We don’t have Dambi Uddo in the wings, but do have an incredible lot of Dry Process Goro from the Buno folks, who also produce Dambi. Should be available in Feb.


  2. These all look great, but I’ve been waiting I think a couple years now for you guys to get the Vietnamese beans again. Not complaining…just anticipating?!?! They were the single best beans I’ve ever roasted at home. Don’t know why, but they were freaking awesome and can’t wait to find them again. Keep up the great work

    1. Hi Dave, we just don’t see a whole lot of offer samples from Vietnam except Robusta. We too would like to be able to offer a nice lot or two from Vietnam. Part of the barrier is that we aren’t able to buy full container loads, like we do in most other origins we buy from. This makes buying direct a little tricky. That said, we keep feelers out for good options, so it’s bound to happen sooner or later! Fingers crossed.


  3. I’m scouring the list for more of that transcendent, otherworldly, Guatemala Acatenango Gesha. I don’t see it. When will it arrive?

    1. Hi Glenn! We won’t likely have 2024 Gesha until close to Summer. We want it sooner too! But the coffee is just starting to be harvested, and we aren’t likely to taste the first samples until March. But it WILL be back 🙂


  4. Very interesting and helpful to see this information. It allows planning for buying rather than just random purchases at the time. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Brent! I’m glad to hear this information aids in planning ahead. Hope to have the next Outlook posted early Feb.


  5. I see the flowers, where are the beans? I’ve been waiting and watching a long time for “Guatamala Huehuetenango Aguacatones Honey “. Please!

    1. Hi Nick,

      We just talked to Fredy of Aguacatones today, actually! It sounds like harvest is coming along nicely, and we hope to get out for a visit and cupping mid-March. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to pick up that coffee last year, but are hoping to secure a honey lot in 2024. We do have a Maragogype from his other farm, Finca Rosma, right now. You can check that out here.


    1. Howdy David, this arrival was bumped to today, however it hasn’t quite hit the port. Realistically, you can expect at least 1 each Sulawesi and Java by end of Feb. It takes a little bit of time to turn them around once they’ve arrived.


    1. Good question to ask. Our container is already in transit, and fingers crossed, has made its way through the Red Sea. We are awaiting an update this week and should have that ETA listed in February’s Green Coffee Outlook.


  6. Cool. Thanks Dan. In fact today I see about 5 Yemens – Peaberry, Matari, Haraz, Saanani etc. listed. The ETA says 12/20 – from what you said about a container being in transit and hopefully just through the Red Sea surely that ETA is gonna be February or even March no? I’m just about out of Yemen and it’s an important part of my blend….

    1. Hey there thanks for the reply. 12/20 is when the coffee departed from origin port (“ETD”), and ETA is going to be much closer to March. Sorry for the confusion!

      The good news is, both Bani Haraz and Hawari are cupping very well if you need something to tide you over til the new crop is availability.


  7. Your list has shown that Brazil Dry Process Pedra Branca has had status of ‘arrived’ for about month, but I don’t see it for sale. Will these beans be posted for sale soon or is the ‘arrived’ status a mistake?

    1. Hi Ross! Pedra Branca is scheduled to launch on 2/23. I think the “Arrived” status is a little confusing, because just because a coffee has arrived at the Port, it doesn’t mean we have access to it. The turnaround from port, to truck, to the Annex (the offline storage facility) is about 3 weeks. The other factor to consider is that we can only list what we can fit in our warehouse, and tend to have many more lots in the wings. So even if a coffee is available, it might be a month or so before we actually list it on our website. Hope that helps clarify the lag!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.