Here at The Captain's Coffee we believe coffee should not only be good, it should do good too! This article is the 2nd in our series of shining a spotlight on farmers, coops, producers and exporters who are doing good things for coffee, the environment and their communities. Today we're talking about JNP Coffee; an exporter in Burundi who works directly with small holder farms in order to improve the lives of farmers and their families as well as create a focus on incredible coffee. If you'd like to support their amazing work, we've got two coffees from them right now: Burundi Ngozi Bavyeyi Natural (Green/Roasted) and Burundi Ngozi Turihamwe (Green/Roasted) or you can pick up both Green as a discounted Bundle!
Image Courtesy Royal Coffee
So when I began this write up, I spent quite a bit of time reading through JNP Coffee's website as well as our importer's website, Royal Coffee. After an hour or two of reading, I realized two things: 1. I was seriously impressed with JNP Coffee. 2. Charlie Habegger at Royal did an amazing job writing about JNP and I would be spending more of my article quoting Charlie than I would actually writing anything new. After spending a few moments digesting a large slice of humble pie, I decided we'd all be better served letting his work speak for itself. So, credit where credit is due, below is his write up in it's entirety.
Source by Charlie Habegger
"Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, the founder of JNP Coffee, is without a doubt one of the most influential individuals in Burundi coffee today.
Raised in the capital city of Bujumbura, Jeanine would go on to earn an MBA from Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School, cycle through corporate America, and eventually reconnect with her birth country by founding Burundi Friends International, a not-for-profit funding educational and economic empowerment programs for rural Burundians, which is now in its 13th year. After a few years marketing Burundi coffees stateside for friends and family, Jeanine realized she had every reason to lead the business, and JNP Coffee was born.
Coffee grown in Ngozi Province has a special meaning for Jeanine, as that is where her mother grew up. Memories of her mother, leading the family’s coffee harvest to cover school fees, are woven into the name for this coffee. Bavyeyi in Kirundi translates to “parents,’’ a name given to honor the generations of hardworking parents, like Jeanine’s, whose labor in coffee (something many farming families either do not consume or cannot afford to consume) provides shelter, nourishment, and educational opportunities to their children. The producer group is women-owned and works closely with JNP Coffee’s trained Q Graders in Burundi on best quality practices and lot curation. Indeed, this coffee itself is comprised of five unique processing lots from different days throughout harvest.
JNP Coffee is highly focused on women’s empowerment, and along with a few local women’s rights advocates, supported the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. The network of IWCA farmer members in Burundi whose coffee is differentiated by membership, marketed for its traceability and impact, and which generates end-of-year premiums for all involved is now more than 2,000 strong. JNP Coffee has created additional programs to expand their farmer base and generate Dushime™ premiums. It seems they can’t expand fast enough. In Kayanza and Ngozi, the heart of the nation’s coffee production regions, competition for cherry can be fierce, so washing stations may pay well above the country’s minimum price to court premium harvests. JNP Coffee goes a step further, returning second payments to farmers and investing in opportunities for education and community building."
Once again, thanks to Charlie and the fine folks at Royal Coffee! If you'd like to read more of their findings on JNP Coffee, you can find their staff's specific write ups here for Bavyeyi Natural and here for Turihamwe Washed.
If you'd like to read more on JNP Coffee and all the projects their working on, you can visit them at jnpcoffee.com.
Here at The Captain's Coffee, it's important to us that our coffee should not just be good, it should also do good. That's why we're starting a series shining a spotlight on farmers and producers who are doing good things for the earth, their community and their coffee. Today's farmer spotlight features our Honduras Catracha Isidoro Sanchez Microlot: a partnership between a farmer, Isidoro Sanchez and the exporter he works with, Catracha Coffee.
Isidoro Sanchez is the owner of Finca el Poso, a tiny farm near Santa Elena, Honduras where he lives with his wife and 6 children. For many years he operated his 5 acre farm as many small producers do: he used conventional farming methods in order to boost his crop yield and sold his coffee to a middleman at low market rates. This arrangement was unsustainable for both his farm and his family and it is sadly, all too common in the specialty coffee industry. But exporters like Catracha Coffee mean to change all that.
Nearly a decade ago, Mayra Orellana-Powell founded Catracha Coffee Company with the goal of improving the lives of coffee producers and their communities as well as the coffee they produced. They do this in several ways. First, they have a unique profit sharing model. Most middlemen in this situation simply purchase a farmer's crop and then do the leg work of selling the crops they purchase overseas, making their money off the premium they charge further up the supply chain. The difference here, is that producers who work with Catracha get paid twice: first when Catracha purchases their coffee and then again when the coffee is sold on the specialty market. Once they sell the coffee, Catracha sends a portion of their profits back to the farmer as a second payment. This profit sharing has allowed farmers the additional income to invest in their farms, families and communities. In the last few years of using this model, most farmers have received a total of around $2.50 per pound for their coffee. That may not sound like much, but remember that the Fair Trade average is around $1.40 per pound. Catracha further invests a portion of their own profits back into the community through a non profit called the Catracha Community which hosts training events for children and adults in everything from fine art and local crafts to entrepreneurship and business concepts.
Catracha coffee also works directly with farmers to improve the quality of their coffee. When he began working with Catracha Coffee 2 years ago, Isidoro immediately began improving things around his farm. First, he switched to organic farming practices including using lime to control the pH balance of the soil as well as using organic compost and organic fungicides. He then learned how to use his personal micro mill so that he could process his coffee on site and control its quality himself rather than sending it to a large mill. Most recently he has been refurbishing the older areas of his farm in order to expand production as well as investing in more and more organic farming practices to revitalize the soil and create a generations long sustainable farm.
Sources: catrachacoffee.com and royalcoffee.com. Picture credit: Royal Coffee.
Hey friends! It's been a while since we had some new coffees on tap but the wait is over! I'm incredibly excited to share these with you, we've got a new Crown Jewel Ethiopian, a Tanzanian that's processed with Anaerobic Maceration, a couple different mixed fermentation coffees as well as a pair of Burundis in fully washed and natural!
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Wolde Hirbe Natural Organic: This Crown Jewel selection is from farmer Wolde Hirbe who has been producing quality microlots like this one for 10 years in a row. Funky, juicy and sweet is how we'd describe this coffee with a focus on stone fruit such as super ripe peach and nectarine along with raspberry and a floral undertone. It's surprisingly easy to roast for a natural owing to Wolde's exacting processing which results in incredibly consistent greens.
Tanzania Finagro Ascona Anaerobic Maceration: This exciting selection comes from Finagro Ascona Estate, owned by the Vohora family. It's processed in a relatively new and increasingly popular method called Anaerobic Maceration. This process imparts a "spicy-ness" to the coffee along with highlighting funky and fruity flavors already present in the bean. Look for notes of honeydew and tropical fruit mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Ecuador Zamora Mixed Fermentation Organic: This is the very first coffee from Ecuador we've had in years! If that weren't exciting enough, this coffee is also unusual for it's processing method: mixed fermentation. It's a semi-washed method like honey processed that strikes a balance between fully washed and natural coffees. We really enjoyed this cup for it's moderate acidity, big body, sweetness and complexity.
Colombia Tolima Indigenas de San Pedro Organic: This mixed fermentation coffee comes from a group of Indigenous farmers in the southernmost area of Tolima. It's processed using a local variation of semi-washing that results in an unsually sweet yet clean and crisp cup! It's balanced and full bodied with big notes of brown sugar with hints of orange and baker's chocolate.
Burundi Ngozi Bavyeyi Natural: This delicious coffee comes to us from JNP coffee which is doing incredible work with the producers of Burundi. This particular lot is a natural with a lengthy processing time, making for a slightly more mild and accessible cup than you'd find in a comparable Ethiopian natural. It's zesty and juicy with notes of orange, raspberry, pineapple and dark cherry.
Burundi Ngozi Turihamwe: Our fully washed Burundi also comes to us from JNP Coffee (can you tell we really like the work they're doing?). This washed coffee is much more delicate and subtle as well as bright. It's also very balanced and clean with notes of apple cider, caramel, peach and lemongrass.
Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona: This single estate gem comes to us from farmer Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora. He's got 4 generations of coffee farming behind him and that heritage shines through in the cup. It's got great body and a buttery texture with a slightly crisp front end. Sweet flavors of ripe apple and orange and balanced with lime acidity and a dark chocolate background.
We've also got all 7 of these amazing coffees available freshly roasted as well!
Hello friends! Well at long last, we've finally got our new shop roaster in! Oh, and we just got in 6 new coffees including 2 top shelf Crown Jewels! Read on to check it all out:
Peru Chacra Don Dago Organic Biodynamic: This Crown Jewel from Royal Coffee is not only delicious, it's a case study in environmental stewardship. Biodynamic farming goes above and beyond organic farming and we are happy to support the movement. The cup is as stellar as the story: it's slightly complex yet clean with a full body, a bright, citrusy front end and a creamy texture. Look for sweet notes of peach, pear, tangerine, cinnamon and butterscotch.
East Timor Ermera Eratoi Organic: Our second Crown Jewel from Royal Coffee is an absolute treat! Unlike other coffees in the Oceania region, this one is fully washed resulting in a clean, crisp profile but with plenty of body to spare. Look for notes of apricot, maple syrup, green grape and pecan. Quick heads up, we were only able to secure a half bag of this, so grab it while it's here!
Kenya Kirinyaga Rungeto Kii AA: Kenya AA's are notoriously pricey and we didn't want to settle for a mediocre offering while charging an arm and a leg for it. The bar was set high for this one and we're pleased to announce that this coffee delivers! Tons of silky body, bright and tangy with a dry finish, it's got notes of juicy red grapefruit, lime, cocoa and a distinctive herbal undertone.
Honduras Catracha Isidoro Sanchez Microlot: This microlot supports an amazing cause, the Catracha Community, as well as ensures the farmer, Isidoro Sanchez, receives a fair price for his coffee, no matter what the commodity price is. That's coffee we can get behind and it's delicious to boot! Balanced and slightly sweet with a creamy texture and full body. We noted dark chocolate, papaya, red apple and walnut in the cup.
Brazil Serra das Três Barras Red Catuai: With all of the coffee pouring out of Brazil, it can be difficult to find a really special one that stands out, but we feel confident we've found one here! This single estate coffee is super drinkable and makes for a great blender, especially in Italian style espressos. It is moderately complex, creamy and mildly bright with note of strawberry, peach, brown sugar and walnut.
Sulawesi Toraja Sapan-Minanga: One of the highest grown coffees in Indonesia, Sapan-Minanga is unusually crisp, while still possessing the luxuriously rich body you expect from a Sulawesi coffee. It's like Sumatra's more refined and sophisticated friend! Syrupy and complex, look for notes of baker's chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla with a sweet woody finish.
We're finally roasting coffee for sale again! Last week we received our Aillio Bullet V2 roaster and have spent the time since then breaking it in and getting it all set up for production. We're super happy with it and the fine tune control it gives us as well as the ability to replay our favorite profiles for consistency! We're currently packaging our roasted coffee in 12oz resealable bags which we are heat sealing before shipping. As before, we're keeping our packaging simple and clean in order to keep prices low, but expect the look of them to evolve over time as we test different labels and bags. Let us know what you think! We've got a small selection of our current favorites available at this time, but we're planning on expanding the selection to cover almost every coffee we have in the warehouse in the very near future.
Happy New Year, friends! It's time for out with the old and in with the new, so we're having a clearance sale on a bunch of our green coffee stock! We've got some coffee as low as 20% off, so head on over and see if your favorites are on sale before they're gone! No need for a coupon code, just click the image above to go straight to all the coffees on sale.
Also, we've finally finished up our first tutorial video in 6 years, whew! This was a really fun project that involved tons of learning and research and we're hoping to release videos much more frequently now that we're getting the hang of it. This week's video is a Beginner's Guide for the SR800 and SR540 from Fresh Roast. I'm sure lots of folks got these as Christmas gifts so click the video and watch your crash course now! Even folks who've been roasting on these machines for a while will likely learn something new. Don't forget to like the video, subscribe to our channel for the latest and comment your tips and tricks as well!
Our next video is going to be on the extension tubes for the SR800 and SR540 as well. What would you like us to cover? Let me know!