This is where our new Coffeesmith Coffee comes from! Upto 1900 metres above sea level in the Huila department of Colombia. Palestina, located in the south of Huila, is also known as Agua Azul, (Blue Water) because it is home to 6 rivers and is the main water source for this area.
The coffee farmers in Palestina formed a collective 2 years ago, to help each other and to make it easier to get their speciality coffees to market. The varieties commonly found on the farms are: Caturra, Colombia, Castillo, Tipica, Red Bourbon, Pink Bourbon and Tabi. Our single origin beans are Caturra- this is a type of bourbon bean discovered in Brazil in 1937, and now very popular in Colombia. The higher the altitude, generally the higher the quality and lower the yield.
Harvest starts in October and peak harvest is in November. The farmers harvest and mill their coffee following strict quality standards; they do a selective hand picking of ripe cherries, ferment the coffee then dry it in the sun. Once the coffee is dry enough, it is taken to the Aromas del Sur warehouse ready to be packaged up for the long sea journey to its final destination.
Aromas del Sur isn't just a farm collective- it also has a project called “Universidad del Café” (Coffee University) to teach and implement quality procedures amongst the farmers. The goal of the project is to train the farmers in best agricultural practices, commercial know-how and cupping ability. The warehouse also has a well-equipped cupping lab for quality control. Each lot is cupped to get the coffee profile and to check the quality.
For us, the driving force behind this new venture was to ensure quality and consistency of our main coffee supply. And also to provide our customers with a range and quality of coffee that isn't available elsewhere locally. But we will still have our guest coffees from other micro roasteries. Part of the Coffeesmith ethos is that we just love coffee and we love trying out different things and introducing them to our customers. With almost 400 members of our coffee club now, we know that you feel the same way too!
The tasting notes for this coffee are Toffee, Butterscotch and Lime. Try it as espresso - there is none of the bitterness you might have previously experienced with espresso- it really is delicious! We also have some Brazilian beans still afloat in the Atlantic and arriving soon!
We're working with a local artist friend to come up with some beautiful ideas for packaging. We want you to be able to take some home with you, or give it as a gift. The names of the various coffee blends are inspired by the local area and the River Thames that links our roaster Lynsey over in Tilbury, with us here in Kelmscott. The river and the countryside around here have always been special to our family so it makes sense that we incorporate that into something else very special- our coffee.
Witta's Island will be our Coffeesmith House Blend named after the Anglo Saxon name for Witney. Radcot Siege will be our Filter Coffee, named for the civil war skirmishes that happened down the road in Radcot and Faringdon (and which we are completely fascinated by). Brandy Island will be our Decaf blend; this is named after the Distillery that existed on an island in the Thames near Buscot in the 19th Century. Now long gone, it exported alcohol to the French brandy-makers of the day.
Once the packaging is finished, we look forward to unveiling it in time for Christmas. Here's a sneaky peak of some initial 'doodles' and ideas from local artist and friend Silvi Schaumloeffel.
Let us know what you think of our new coffee!