Origin Trip: Nicaragua 2015 – Day 2
Adventures at Origin: Nicaragua
Jacob Long, Nicholas Hoskyns, and I (Jonah Katzeff) traveled together from March 23rd-27th. We visited first and second level coffee cooperatives that produce approximately 25% of our annual green coffee purchases. We cupped and selected our Nicaraguan coffees for 2015, met with cooperative leaders and farmers, and visited beautiful coffee farms.
We were received warmly everywhere. I am so grateful to the hundreds of hands that touch coffee, from the time it is picked to when it is exported. Our 2015 Nicaraguan coffees will be exceptional. The new harvest is now available now!
Read the first post in this series here- Day One: Solcafe and Byron Corrales’ farm visit
Solidaridad Cooperative, Tour of Sol Café, and dinner with Pedro and Byron Corrales
Began day at the Solidaridad purchasing station and office, located in Aranjuez, which is a small community north of Matagalpa. We had coffee and introduced ourselves in their new meeting room.
The new wing was built this year for meeting space and offices using funds from the Fair Trade premium they received last year.
Additionally, the cupping lab is going to be moved to the purchasing station. An old building where the lab is now located will be sold.
We toured two farms.
Returned to purchasing station for lunch – Gallina Rellena y Sopa de Gaillina con albondigas (typical meal served on Christmas, New Year’s, and occasional special events).
We had a 2 hour meeting negotiating a three-year contract that would provide security for both the Solidaridad Cooperative and Thanksgiving Coffee.
Return to Solcafe for a tour of the new coffee roaster and dryers used to dry coffee mechanically.
Dinner with Pedro Haslan, Byron Corrales, Nick, and Jacob; discussion of raised beds for drying natural coffees. Pedro calls it Cafe Ancestral or Ancestral Coffee.
Turns into a bigger discussion on how to promote natural Nicaraguan coffee with a national event that would bring roasters and co-ops together. Pedro proposes working with the co-ops that were involved with the cupping labs.
More to come from this origin trip in our post about Day 3!
The green coffee sourcing team:
Nicholas (on right) is the Managing Director of Etico. He organized our visit and traveled with us throughout the week. Nicholas was born in England, but Nicaragua is his adopted home after spending almost 25 years there! Etico imports our coffees from Nicaragua as well as green coffees from Guatemala, Mexico, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Jacob (second from right) is the Director of Coffee Control and Roastmaster at Thanksgiving Coffee. He is responsible for developing the roast profiles of all our single origins, blends, and decafs. He approves all the green coffees we purchase and ensures that the coffee roasted at Thanksgiving is consistent roast after roast.
Jonah (on left) works in Business Development and as an Account Manger. He serves in a variety of roles that include green coffee sourcing, managing the San Francisco Bay Area accounts, and special projects, as assigned by Senior Management.