Guatemala

CleverCoffee

We’re ending 2018 in a great way. CleverCoffee is our December’s roaster, and our final featured roaster for the year! We had a chat.

CleverCoffee_international.png

How did CleverCoffee start?

Actually, we are coming up on our fifth birthday in February as CleverCoffee began in the beginning of 2014. However, it was in a very different format that what it is today; we began purely as a blog with nothing to sell – just purely informational articles about what we learned about coffee roasters, brewers, water, etc., and I had been a home barista about five years before that.

It was a great way to get people interested but the more we examined and learned, the more we found that it was hard to get to know the world of specialty coffee. For us, this helped form our approach to specialty coffee as we wanted – and still want to – make it more simply to experience world-class specialty coffee.

clevercoffee-beanportal.jpg
clevercoffee-beanportal-2.jpg

What drove you to the specialty coffee business?

In fact, I did not drink coffee until I was 26 years old. I started to be embarrassed if I was at a café or coffee show with my wife and she had coffee, while I was having hot chocolate.

Then a good friend of mine introduced me to a fantastic cup of specialty coffee. I think it was a lightly roasted Ethiopian coffee and I had no idea that coffee could be clean and sweet without being sour or bitter – and it got me hooked!

I started exploring the world of specialty coffee, but it was complex, so I wrote what I learned and the blog, CleverCoffee, was an easy next step. Here five years later, we have just relaunched our website for the third time and I have revisited the blog posts that I had not read for years. Some of them are still useful for people who are interested in specialty coffee, so I am adjusting a bit here and there and will repost them online soon.

How has CleverCoffee changed if you compare today, with the day you started roasting?

As I had been roasting quite a lot on a smaller scale before opening CleverCoffee, I knew that nothing beats using the best beans available. The very first bags of coffee we sold, I roasted on a Hottop coffee roaster and closed the bags with a vacuum sealer. Of course, we had every food grade certifications in order, but before making a huge investment in a complete roasting setup, In the way of LEAN startup, we just wanted to make sure that we were able to produce a product that people wanted to buy.

Later, we got the chance to buy an old 1963 Probat LG5 coffee roaster, that we restored and used for quite some time before upgrading to our current Giesen W15. Still, we are using the same formula when considering new investments in both coffee and equipment; we need to know that it works on a smaller scale before introducing it to a broader audience.

clevercoffee.JPG

How do you think CleverCoffee will evolve in the future? Have you got any specific goals?

Sure, we have many goals – but one of our main focuses right now it to develop our core business, which is to source, roast and present some of the world’s most interesting coffees, without adding unneeded complexity and doing it in a responsible way.

We believe strongly that we should have an environment impact, which is as low as possible. It is not easy but an important process where we have taken the first steps by only printing info sheets on our coffees on CO2-neutral paper, we are only using electricity that comes from windmills and we use recyclable coffee boxes to deliver coffee to coffee shops and hospitality businesses that are located nearby. Now, we are working on having our Misiones coffee registered as a Transparently Traded Coffee as we would like our customers to know how much the grower has been paid for his green coffee in order for them to make a more conscious choice more easily.

Additionally, we are exploring the opportunities to opening our own coffee bar but that would certainly add complexity to our business, but it also opens up for us to being able to display our coffees in our own way. Therefore, we are looking for likeminded and talented people from the hospitality business industry to take part in this project.

Many of our subscribers are tasting CleverCoffee for the first time. How would you describe coffee roasted by CleverCoffee?

Coffee comes from a fruit and we want you to taste this. We roast to highlight the natural sweetness and fruitiness in the coffee. This way all coffees will taste different and you can explore the huge variety there is in coffee.

We work exclusively with the most interesting coffee producers in the world. We buy our green beans directly from the farmer or through socially aware and skilled importers who, with great professionalism, add value in the form of knowledge about better production and organic initiatives while always having the best interest of the coffee farmer in mind. Simply, we feel that this is the right way to do business.

We have selected all of our coffees for their unique and exciting characteristics, and you can be sure that our selection always reflects the huge variation in flavor found in the world of coffee. Our coffees come from micro lots from all over the world. Carefully selected and gently profile roasted to the brighter side as to preserve the sweetness and the innate flavours in the bean. We omni-roast all coffees so you can brew them just the way you prefer.

What can we expect from this month’s coffees (Misiones, Ceiba and Biloya)?

As usual, we would like people to experience the diversity in specialty coffee and we aiming to do this by only having seasonal coffees in our lineup as well as having a limited number of coffees in our lineup. We believe that a lineup of 5-7 coffees that change with the harvesting season helps our customers appreciate the diverse tastes that lies within the world of specialty coffee.

Misiones

For us, the Misiones from Colombia is more than special. For a long time, we have been looking for a coffee that meets our quality and taste requirements, and a coffee, where we can trade directly with the producer. Therefore, we are extra proud of this coffee, which is our first directly traded coffee and at the same time exclusive to CleverCoffee in Denmark. Collectively this results in a sweet and transparent coffee with a balanced tasting experience.

The coffee plants grows in nutrient volcanic soil in 1500-1700 mas in areas with plenty of shade. The variety is Castillo, a typical Colombian variety known for its great sweetness and citrus aftertaste.

The coffee is as a fully washed coffee, to highlight the clean and transparent taste. The pickers are highly skilled and have picked the ripe cherries when the cherries have reached a sugar content of 14%. This highlights the coffees natural sweetness.

All of this combined, results in a sweet and transparent taste of ripe red berries and citrus in a great balance. It is a coffee with a high complexity where you will experience a change in taste depending on the temperature of the coffee. Grind it rather coarsely and you will get a super juicy coffee. If you grind the coffee finer, you will get a very sweet coffee. This coffee has a big spectrum to play with.

This is a great example of a classic Colombian coffee – and what the Castillo variety has to offer, when it has been grown and processed with the outmost care.

Origin: Colombia
Region: Cundinamarca
Washing station: Hacienda Misiones
Varietals: Castillo
Process: Washed
Altitude: 1500 - 1700 masl
Harvest: May 2018

Ceiba

Ceiba is a specialty coffee from the Huehuetenango region in Guatemala on the border to Mexico. Here we have a fantastic combination of the comfortable silky and creamy mouthfeel, as the coffee from the area is known for and the fresh fruitiness that our roast style emphasizes. This results in a balanced coffee that everyone can drink, while you can find a great complexity in new taste notes.

Ceiba is a sweet and balanced specialty coffee that gives a nice freshness with taste of milk chocolate, orange and vanilla. This is an easy-to-drink coffee that everyone likes while it contains a large complexity and it expresses new tasting notes clearly, if you let the coffee cool down a little.

Origin: Guatemala
Region: Huehuetenango
Washing station: Ceiba
Varietals: Caturra, Bourbon, Typica
Process: Washed
Altitude: 1350 masl
Harvest: Jan – April 2018

Biloya

Biloya from Ethiopia is the latest addition to our lineup and Biloya blew us away with a sharp cup profile: Clean, sweet and transparent with notes of red berries and red grapes. It is a beautifully balanced natural processed coffee and a great showcase of how fantastic a natural processed coffee from Yirgacheffe in Ethiopia can taste like.

Coffees brought to the Biloya washing station are grown between 1700-2000 meters above sea level. There are several tiers of drying tables on the slope below the washing station and Biloya’s workers turn and sort the cherries by hand as the coffees dry on raised beds. The mesh material allows for airflow both above and below the coffee to prevent the formation of any mildew or mold. It takes between 18 and 21 days for cherries to dry. Naturally processed coffees are milled to remove the dried cherry pulp and parchment at once, and then stored in a warehouse no closer than 50cm from the wall and 15cm from the floor before transport to the final processing warehouse in Addis Ababa where it is color sorted and packed for shipment.

Origin: Ethiopia
Region: Yirgacheffe
Washing station: Biloya
Variety: Heirloom
Processing: Natural
Altitude: 1850 masl
Harvest: January 2018

We hope you all enjoyed December’s box with CleverCoffee. Don’t miss out on our next roaster!

Lippe

From our neighbouring country in the west, we're happy to announce Lippe from Oslo, Norway, as our October’s roaster!

lippe-logo.jpg

Glad to have you back in our subscription! First time you were featured was about 18 months ago.

Great to hear! Glad to be back, cooperating with you and sharing our coffee with you all. :-)

What has happened since our last collaboration?

18 months, yes, well always lots going on, always tasting new coffees which has of course been made easier by receiving delivery of our Røst sample roaster which we’re very happy with. We have continued to strengthen our relationships with our suppliers, endeavoring to give back to the communities we buy coffee from as well as educating our customers about this and about how to get the best out of the coffees.

We have seen an increased awareness of our brand overseas which is always pleasant. It’s great to see and to hear how others outside of Norway react to our roasts. Something that we are very happy to confirm is that we now have the possibility to sell wholesale to EU customers with 0% customs duties which is a big help to those cafes out there who are looking for a supplier of premium Norwegian roasted coffee!

Further, 2018 is a special year for us as it is our 10th anniversary as a coffee roaster and our 20th anniversary as a company, two things that we are very proud of. The first 10 years we grew organically providing the market with coffee brewing equipment, machines and service, this growth was made ever easier thanks to the Rancilio Silvia which is also celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. A machine that has been close to us since our earliest days.

lippe-2.jpg
lippe-1.jpg

Is there any project you are working on right now that you are extra excited about?

Absolutely, we’re very pleased to say that over summer we confirmed our order of a brand new Loring roaster which will allow us to continue in our goals to be known as one of the leaders of specialty coffee in Norway. We expect to receive delivery and to install it early in 2019. We will hold onto our old roaster as it gives us the flexibility that we need.

What can we expect from this month’s coffees (La Esperanza, Uraga, Los Pirineos)?

Esperanza is a real fruit bomb. Big mouth feel, tastes of honey snaps and sweet citrus. Uraga is a beautiful example of a Guji from very high altitudes. We have taken coffee from this producer (Israel Degfa) a number of times over the years and we’re always very happy with their coffees. We find tastes of strawberry jam, tropical fruits and herbs. Los Pirineos is the coffee we chose for this year’s Nordic Barista Cup, a standout honey processed pacamara with a beautiful acidity and sweetness with tastes of ripe stone fruits, prune juice, nougat and chocolate. We were lucky enough to meet the producer of this coffee, Gilberto Baraona, during the event and can only confirm that he is a very knowledgeable and fun guy to be around.

How would you recommend brewing them?

Pour over, aeropress…we have also experimented with the Pirineos on espresso but at a slightly different roast degree

Looking ahead, what can we expect from Lippe in the future?

More of the same that has put us where we are now, providing the market with some of Norway’s best tasting and best value specialty coffees.

Thank you Lippe for providing us with delicious coffee for October!

Don’t miss out on our next box. Get your subscription going!

Cloud Picker

How can a year possibly start better than with great coffee? Our first roaster 2018 is the fantastic coffee roaster Cloud Picker Coffee from Dublin, Ireland.

cloud-picker-coffee.jpg

From Cloud Picker we sent three fantastic coffees from Rwanda, Guatemala and Costa Rica. What a month!

Don't miss out on our next box!

Love Coffee Roasters

We are very excited to let you meet our December’s roaster, Love Coffee Roasters. The roastery was our first ever featured roaster back in September 2015. Now they’re back, and we have shipped some very special coffees.

love-coffee-roasters-logotype.png

Love Coffee Roasters from Lund, Sweden, have been roasting coffee since 2009, but the founder Daniel has more than 16 years of experience in the field. Love Coffee Roasters have a must visit coffee bar in the centre of Lund, a unique spot with a great courtyard.

For December’s box we shipped three very different coffees, from three different countries. When brewing these coffees you will be able to experience the great diversity between them.

INGA APONTE

Origin: Colombia, Narino, Tablon de Gomez
Producer: Various Cooperative Members
Process: Red Honey
Harvest: 2016
Soil: Volcanic
Altitude: 2150 masl
Variety: Caturra
Tasting notes: Fresh Tobacco, Mint, Ripe Yellow Fruits, Red Berries, Milk Chocolate & Brown Sugar

Almost all Colombian coffees are fully washed, but there are a few exceptions. This Colombian coffee is a honey-processed coffee, which results in a cup that is very sweet, full bodied with a soft acidity.

Love Coffee Roaster’s words about the coffee:

“The indigenous tribe Inga Aponte was for a long time forced by guerrilla groups to cultivate coca in their territory and they have historically also been driven away from their place of origin. Today, through efforts by state and the governor of the Inga Aponte, they aspire to produce the Colombian Caturra variety. The soils of the Narino region are made up by volcanic ash and the area is highly elevated with lower temperatures than average. This unique terroir gives long maturation and excellent growing condition for the coffee trees. We love it and are showcasing our second harvest with these coffees. Many more to come!”
 

MAGARISSA

Origin: Ethiopia, Danbi Uddo, Shakiso
Producer: Gigesa Washing station
Process: Washed
Harvest: 2016
Soil: Red Volcanic
Variety: Ethiopian heirloom
Tasting notes: Lemonade, Rose Water, Bergamot & Brown Spice

Included in the 2x250 and 3x100 Tasting box.

This sweet Ethiopian beauty is as delicious as a perfectly ripe fruit. About 850 farmers deliver their coffee cherries daily to the washing station in Shakiso. The production is organic and this lot is a grade 1 coffee.

Love Coffee Roaster’s words about the coffee:

“This coffee comes from a new washing station in Shakiso. The station is privately owned by Faysel Abdosh and about 850 small scale farmers deliver their coffee to his mill. By default the production is organic and this lot is a grade 1 coffee. Processing is done by using clean water from the area and drying is done on raised beds. We chose this coffee because of its clarity and very sweet character. It will leave you wanting more and more.”


 

LA ESPERANZA

Origin: Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Finca La Esperanza
Producer: Eleodoro Villatoro López
Process: Washed
Harvest: 2016
Soil: Limestone
Altitude: 1400 - 1600 masl
Variety: Caturra & Bourbon
Tasting notes: Dark cherries, Cranberries & Dark Chocolates

Only included in the 3x100 Tasting box.

This is the first time we’re shipping a coffee from Guatemala, and when you’ve had your try you will see why. It has taken the farmer Fransisco Morales 39 years to reach the quality you are about to brew.

Love Coffee Roaster’s words about the coffee:

“Fransisco Morales started farming coffee in 1977 on a small plot of land. Year by year he managed to buy a little more and today he has a good size farm which produces great coffees. It has taken him 39 years to reach his destination, of which he is very proud.
The farm is run with the help of his family and he now employs other families nearby to help with the farming practises. Fransisco strives to produce coffees of the highest quality and has been doing so for a long time. 18 years ago he formed an alliance with neighbouring farmers to share knowledge and gain technical support from the agronomists at the National Coffee Organization of Guatemala. This has helped him understand what his trees needs to prosper and produce better coffees. He is particularly interested in soil biology and the surrounding environment and he wants the future generations to be gifted with the wonderful coffees he feels so fortunate to have.”
love-coffee-roasters-2.jpg


 

We hope you will enjoy the coffees for this month. If you don’t want to miss out on our next box, be sure to join for January’s box! Subscribe here, or buy a gift box!