Village Espresso | House Coffees - Clifton Coffee Roasters

Village Espresso

House Espresso Blend

Tasting notes

Milk Chocolate / Hazelnut / Caramel

Sweetness

4/5

Body

4/5

Acidity

3/5

Clear

PRODUCT INFO

Brew Recipe

Dose: 18g in Yield : 36g out Time: 28 seconds

Process

Washed & Natural

DESCRIPTION

50% Cocatrel, Minas Gerais, Brazil. (Pulped Natural)

30% Café ANEI, Sierra Nevada, Colombia. (Washed)

20% Agri Evolve, Rwenzori, Uganda. (Washed)

 

Village Espresso, our original house espresso blend that delivers taste in abundance. A traditional and balanced blend, combining sweet notes of milk chocolate, caramel and hazelnut. Village Espresso shines especially well in cappuccinos and lattes.

 

50% Brazil – COCATREL, Minas Gerais. (Pulped Natural)

Everything about Brazilian coffee production is modern and efficient. All farms are mechanised (even the small ones), they are managed effectively and efficiently with yielding high levels of fruit per tree with extremest consistent processing. The standard exports for commercial and speciality coffees are naturals. Minas Gerais is very dry during harvest time, and the coffee is grown in direct sun-light and organised in neat rows rather like wine. The most common practice is simply to allow the cherries to dry naturally on the tree and then harvest them mechanically.  

The COCATREL cooperative was founded in 1961 and is involved in the promotion and aid of dairy and coffee farming. Despite being a large cooperative, COCATRALS members are mainly made up of ‘ smallholders’. Which in Brazil is regarded as farms under 50hectares. As well as export facilities they market off-grade coffee from their producers on the internal market, provide loans and capital for the development of production, offer out rentals of picking and pruning machinery, and provide subsidised products for agricultural use. They host regular seminars on the international market, trends and developments, processing, agronomy and risk management, and Gabriel our primary contact travels to all the major industry exhibitions in consuming countries to develop their market.

The lots purchased for Village are bought specifically on a flavour profile basis, with each container coming from a different farm of >50ha. The first container is from a producer called Francis Figuerro at his estate Fazenda Santa Margarida, a 900-1000masl farm in Tres Pontas near the cooperative’s HQ.

 

30% Colombia – CAFÉ ANEI, Sierra Nevada. (Washed)

Our supply partners in Colombia are the element of our sourcing framework that we are most proud of. Most coffee in Colombia (especially speciality) is sourced from the more Southern regions with names you’ll recognise (Huila, Tolima, Narino etc). There is good reason for this as the coffee is excellent and it’s easy to do business. We have an established partner, Azahar, who help us bring in one container a year from the Southern regions for our House Decaf, and exclusive micro-lots etc. With that being said the vast majority of our Colombia coffee comes from the Northern indigenous reserve of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a beautiful mountain range at the North-Eastern tip of Colombia between Cartagena and the Venezuelan border. This region is the ancestral home of four indigenous groups; Arhuaco, Kankuamo, Wiwa and Kogi. Their history is a chequered one, they were uncolonised by the Spanish, but have been oppressed very heavily by Capucin missionaries until very recently, with mass kidnap of indigenous children for ‘orphanages’, cutting off their traditionally long hair, outlawing of the indigenous language & traditions and forced conversion to Catholicism. 

As you can imagine this has caused them to be a very private culture, and they are almost totally closed to outsiders. The Arhuaco we work with are subsistence farmers who produce all their own food, as well as coffee as a partial cash crop (they also drink it which is unusual for coffee farmers). The region in which they grow coffee is one of the most remote places we have ever come across. This has resulted in very specific practices with regards to processing which gives the coffee a very unique taste. 

ANEI was founded by Aurora Izquierdo, an indigenous woman from Yerwa who walked to Bogota, aged 16 (at the time she had left she had never seen a car), to study agriculture and business. She brought these skills back and, after much discussion with the Mamo’s (the spiritual leaders of the community) was allowed to start ANEI as a way of educating others to help continue the traditions of the community she is a part of.

The Arhuaco are very focused on meditation, contemplation and harmony so they place an incredibly heavy focus on organic agriculture, biodiversity and sustainability. They refer to us as their, ‘Hermanitos’ – Little Brothers, and see the Western world as toddlers who haven’t grown up yet, and are causing damage all over the planet. They are made up of around 2000 producers from the Arhuaco, Kogi and Kankuamo populations, we specifically by coffee from the Arhuaco.

Farms are tiny in scale with very low productivity (for the world not just for Colombia), with the average farm producing two or three sacks of coffee. The coffee is pulped and washed at the household level and dried on small racks about the size of your kitchen hob. From here the parchment is bagged into Cargas (125kg parchment) and transported, usually by Mule, down the mountain to the ANEI collection hub at Pueblo Bello. 

 ANEI purchase the parchment from the producers providing it fits into their quality standpoint and then allocate a second harvest quality premium paid to the producers after export. They take the single cargas and cup them, before blending to develop a product that specifically hits our target flavour profile. 

Projects 

Last year we supported a large scale development project with the women of the Yerwa community (a subset of the Arhuaco). 91 indigenous women were each provided with 2ha of coffee, 150 plantain shade trees, native beans and vegetation for nitrogen-fixing and food production, and organic fertiliser. They were trained on-farm management systems, agronomy and processing and those in need were given new pulpers. This project, in partnership with ANEI and the FNC, is estimated to be worth around $600,000 p/a in value to the community. 

This year (2020), rather than working with a larger project already ongoing, we are engaging specifically with the small community of Moratuwa, who’s coffee is in the Village blend. Built into our purchase price for this coffee is a $50,000 investment to expand and develop the community school (previously one room with a broken roof). The school will become a 50/50 balanced centre, with 50% of the lessons taught in the indigenous language, and focused on the cultural and social traditions of the Arhuaco, as well as sustainable organic agriculture in the large garden we are working on (food crops, coffee, animal husbandry). The other 50% of the lessons will be taught in Spanish and focused on literature, maths, science, history etc to give the students a nuanced and balanced modern education without undermining their cultural heritage and what makes them Arhuaco. 

 

20% Uganda – AGRI VOLVE, Rwenzori. (Washed)

Our partner in Uganda is Kyagalanyi coffees. They are part of Volcafe group (owned by ED&F Man) and are responsible for around 17% of Uganda’s coffee exports. Kyagalanyi operates in all of the major regions of Uganda (Mt. Elgon in the east, the Rwenzori mountains in the west on the border with Congo, and West Nile which is a major robusta region and upcoming in Arabica). They trade in all qualities of coffee from high speciality to off-grade robustas and run several different supply chain setups.

The Mt. Elgon region in Eastern Uganda is on the border with Kenya (the mountain itself is cut in half by the border) and is the most established area of high-quality arabica production in Uganda. As it’s so close to Kenya the coffee supply chain is structured in a similar way to in Kenya. The area produces washed coffee, with large central washing stations surrounded by clusters of huts inhabited by the smallholders who feed into their local washing station. 

This is the region that comprises 20% of our Village Espresso Blend. It is a washed lot from Kapchorwa washing station, in the foothills of Mt Elgon and very close to the popular tourist location of Sipi Falls.

 Production in Elgon is the most sophisticated in Uganda, with strong programs developed by Kyagalanyi to educate on agronomy, best farming practices and productivity. 

 Kyagalanyi have worked to try and resolve some of the social issues in this area. Access to education is non-existent, as is access to banks and other things that we consider to be a given. The producing communities are rife with domestic abuse and alcoholism, as well as lung problems from indoor fires. We visited the beneficiaries of a multi-faceted project designed to address some of these issues. The project was geared around developing common goals and communication between husband and wife, with similar techniques that we would see in modern marriage counselling. They meet monthly and contribute small amounts to a common fund, this is then available for all of them to use for interest-free loans for projects (eg bridging while they stump their trees, buying a new cow for additional income etc). Every time the savings group meet they play a game loosely based on monopoly but structured around a coffee farm that teaches good financial management year on year as well as encouraging the couples to work together as a team. We played the game with them and can confirm it is quite challenging, very educational and great fun. This savings group has been incredibly successful, and all involved were incredibly proud of the work they had achieved with this. Our meeting concluded with the secretary of the savings group reading us their entire loans ledger for the previous year, with detailed info on how much money lent, to whom, for what and the impact on their families. This took well over half an hour and was incredibly tedious, but we left feeling extremely impressed with the implementation and delivery and how proud and excited the farmers were over the impact on their lives. This year we are funding the development of the same kind of group with producers we are working within the Rwenzori’s.

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