In life, it can sometimes be tricky to combine your old friends with your new friends. They don’t gel, friction emerges and it gets awkward when nobody gets each other’s in-jokes. However, if you consider everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and allow the group time to form its own dynamic, everyone can happily come together and you may end up with a group that has the complexity, range and flexibility that you could have only wished for.
It’s the same with coffee, sometimes you want to blend your old favourite coffee with an exciting new find, but they don’t mesh and they bring out the absolute worst in each other. Other times, it really works out and your new blend is balanced, complex and flexible. Our newest Red Brick is a bit like that. We mixed our old buddy Meridiano with our new pal Bochesi, and we think they’re fast becoming new best friends!
You have to cherish good relationships in life, and we’re absolutely thrilled to continue our history with the producers who combine their individual small lots to make up the Meridiano coffee from Rioblanco in Tolima. As members of the Asociacion de Productores de Café Especial del Alto Saldana (ASOCEAS), the 58 small growers group together to benefit from economies of scale, such as access to better markets and better prices.
With farms averaging only 4.5 hectares each, these local grower networks are vital to helping support sustainable living and farming. They produce coffee using traditional methods, with each farm pulping and processing its own harvests and often drying the coffee on the roofs of their houses. The geography of the area also means they benefit from two harvests per year, we buy from their main crop (which is picked between October and January), but they also have a smaller mitaca, or fly-crop, in early summer. It’s always great to welcome the Meridiano back into the blend.
Producer: various smallholders
Varieties: Caturra, Colombia, Typica
Altitude: 1500-1900 masl
You should also be open to meeting new friends in life, and in that spirit, this is our first year buying coffee from the Bochesi washing station, located in the West Guji zone of the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Bochesi, which is named after the kebele (a small administrative unit within Ethiopia) where it is located, is the only washing station in the Abaya district, that used to be called Gelana Abaya before it was divided in two.
Some 550 small producers delivery their cherry to Bochesi, who have a very strict selection process when it comes to ripeness and uniformity of the picking. Coffee trees here benefit from rich red clay soils, good altitudes across the area and plenty of natural shade trees, resulting in the best possible quality potential. With cherries delivered in the late afternoon, processing starts as the sun sets and lasts into the late evening. With tonnes of sweetness and a characteristically Ethiopian soft floral note, this lot perfectly suits our Red Brick, and we’re pleased to be able to introduce this washing station to our customers for the very first time.
Next time you have your friends visit, we hope you’ll make everyone a coffee with Red Brick and take a second to appreciate the little moments that bring us all together!
Producer: various smallholders
Varieties: mixed heirloom
Altitude: 1900 masl
BUY SOME HERE