FTO Division / Colombia + Peru April 21 2017

We are excited to introduce the latest iteration of our Fair-Trade Organic Division Blend, featuring new components: COMEPCAFE / Colombia  +  CENFROCAFE “APU” / Peru.

Division was designed to exhibit the fervor of multiple elements in alliance, creating a rich & complex profile of dark sugars. We crafted this offering on the foundation of rich chocolate and caramel notes with just enough sweet, dark fruit overtones to make it an exceptionally versatile coffee. Primarily intended to serve as a brewed offering, this coffee has been shaped to serve as a Fair-Trade & Organic alternative to Orion, our flagship espresso.

Division was created to be paired with food. The rich body holds up well against heavier traditional breakfast items. Inversely the fruit tones are held in careful balance to compliment a wide range of pastries and desserts. Although sweetness is clearly present in the cup, it is not overpowering. We created this offering to showcase the versatility of a carefully balanced cup. This makes Division an exceptional choice for cafes and restaurants looking for a “work horse” coffee. We like to think of this offering as the nicest “diner coffee” you will ever find; perfect for bookending your day.

Although the elements shift occasionally to reflect the seasonality of coffee harvests, we are careful in our selection of what we pair in Division. While looking for rich, sugared tones we make sure we are working with a seasonally rotating selection of reputable cooperatives, known for consistent quality and fair practices. 

Tasting Notes:
vanilla bean, black forest cake, aged rum

Purchase FTO Division Here


Maputo / Ecuador - Imperial Reserve March 27 2017

 

Henry and Verena Gaibor were victims of a horrible robbery on August 18th, 2016. That evening they were held at gun-point and restrained while two men took anything of value they could from the house, including 220 bags of coffee ready for milling. The thieves crashed one truck and the police were able to return a portion of the harvest, but the couple lost $35,000 worth of coffee. We at Spyhouse were able to make a donation directly to the family and purchased the lot to continue supporting them.

Henry is a veteran war trauma surgeon, and met Verena while they both were volunteering with Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations in Bujumbura, Burundi. The couple returned to Henry's home country, Ecuador, and operated their own clinic in Quito for 13 years. They have since retired and have spent the past seven years dedicating the same passion and precision to coffee production. Together they own and operate three farms, Finca Maputo, Hakuna Matata, and Rancho Tio Emilio. Tio Emilio was inherited by Henry's brother Jose, an infant heart surgeon, who spends his weekends on the farm with his family. Our Director of Coffee was able to visit their farms in the summer of 2015 and was incredibly impressed by the obvious attention they give to each element of their operation. It is an honor to be able to come alongside such a great couple in their time of need.

Maputo's Rancho Tio Emilio, Typica micro lot is incredibly complex, full of spice and tropical fruit tones, reminiscent of classic tiki drinks. The cup has a almond toffee sweetness supporting a bright creaminess that reminds us of pineapple whip and upside-down cafe. This coffee possesses all the wildness we have come to love in our favorite Ecuadorian coffees. It is the perfect coffee to remind us of the hope for brighter days ahead.

 Purchase Maputo / Ecuador - Imperial Reserve Here


Kunjin / Papua New Guinea March 27 2017

 

Kunjin has been a welcome exception for us. Asian-Pacific coffees have historically been processed in far-less-than-ideal means, which usually leads to unbalanced cups lacking clarity. Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands are not immune to these challenges. There are over 800 distinct languages spoken by the country’s immense diversity of indigenous tribes, many of which had no interaction with the western world until the 1930’s. Still today, the majority of the nation’s coffee production is done by smallholder farmers, each owning anywhere from just a couple to a couple hundred trees. These small scale operations then sell to mills, which still operate in much the same way as when they were founded as commodity plantations in the 1920’s. 

Kunjin is able to improve quality by purchasing cherry from select farmers in the Waghi Valley. They lease a mill on one of the original 15 plantations. At this mill they maintain complete control through milling. Days lots are cupped and micro lot level selections are isolated for separate processing.

Kunjin covers a range of sweet fruit flavors with complex herbal and spice tones dancing in between. The cup starts off with notes of nutmeg spiced blueberry pie, with fresh herbal notes of sweet sage and lemongrass. This coffee has a soft, effervescent tone that reminds us of gin & tonics or lemon lime soda. It is the perfect coffee for pairing with a wide range of buttery pastries, whether sweet or savory. 

Purchase Kunjin / Papua New Guinea Here


Spring Blend: Riff Raff / Guatemala & Honduras March 15 2017

  
Riff Raff, our Spring seasonal blend, was designed to highlight the comforting, rich flavors of the classic sweet treats you grew up with. We crafted this offering to have an approachable foundation with just just a sparkle of fruitiness dancing over the top. The San Isidro (Guatemala) provides a base note of rich chocolate and lightly roasted walnut. Our Osmin Reyes (Honduras) brings an oatmeal cookie sweetness with some overtones of tropical fruit. Together these coffees evoke memories of walnut fudge brownies, Grandma's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and banana split sundaes. That touch of strawberry syrup and crushed pineapple is a perfect reflection of the warmer days headed our way.
   
This blend was created to be a drink-throughout-the-day type of coffee. It has a richness that will hold up to heavier breakfast items. Additionally, the balanced sweetness allows it to go well with pastries and dessert. We see this as a "crowd pleaser" in the best sense of the term.
   
Purchase Riff Raff / Guatemala & Honduras Here

Pre-Sale: Luis Ortega / Gesha - Colombia March 07 2017

Luis Alejandro Ortega has a long history of producing Caturra and Castillo varieties in San Agustin. Our Green Buyer and Director of Education had the opportunity to visit his farm, La Cabaña, while sourcing coffees from the Los Naranjos producer group this past November. Luis graciously hosted a meeting of the association members along with Cafe Imports and Fairfield Trading. The three groups have worked together for over seven years, developing a strong and fruitful relationship. Following the meeting, Luis showed us his farm. Just beyond a small plot of pineapple, which were only beginning to show fruit, stood a portion of his farm that declared its uniqueness to us immediately. Compared to the neat rows of densely packed Caturra and Castillo, this parcel, with its wild, reaching branches, looked like a jungle forest. 

Gesha is packed with wildness. The original seeds were taken straight from the native coffee forests outside the village of Gesha, Ethiopia. Its limbs grow long and spindly. The cup characteristically possesses an equal wildness, with high floral aromatics and bright citric acidity. Luis processes his harvest in a traditional washed method, with one unique modification. He strains the honey from the pulp before adding it back to the parchment, creating a cleaner honey process before sending it to the raised beds.

This coffee jumped off the cupping table in San Agustin with all the vibrant notes of sweet florals and citrus that Geshas are known for. What really drew us to this coffee was how much the fuller body rounded out this selection, completing the cup.

* Our production of this offering is limited to forty 8-ounce jars. This offering will be produced, packaged, and shipped on Tuesday, March 14.


Pre-Order Luis Alejandro - Gesha / Colombia Here


Kayon Mountain / Ethiopia - Good Food Award Winner January 23 2017

We could not be more excited to announce our 2017 Good Food Award winning coffee: Kayon Mountain / Ethiopia.

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Ato Esmael and close family friends came together in 2012 to establish the Kayon Mountain coffee farm with the aim of producing superior quality coffee and exporting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. The shareholder members of the group had spent the previous thirty years submitting their coffee to the local auction system. With the establishment of their own farm, they have been able to build their own washing station, dry mill, and exportation system — allowing them to take complete control over the quality and handling of their product. Additionally, they are able to directly export their coffee, bypassing the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange, and increasing transparency. The farm is nearly 500 hectares, divided in equal parts with heirloom typica and a mix of cabbage and indigenous shade trees. They manage the farm with biodynamic principles and are certified organic. 

Kayon Mountain starts with floral aromatics with citric overtones, similar to elderflower liquor. The flavor then transitions into fresh green apple skin before finishing with flavors of chocolate-dipped shortbread. This coffee carries many of the citric and floral notes that washed Ethiopians are known for, but gains an additional complexity from the terroir of its Southern growing region. It is the perfect coffee to share with friends and toast your accomplishments, large or small.

Purchase Kayon Mountain / Ethiopia Here


La Bendición / Nicaragua December 28 2016

We are very pleased to introduce the latest addition to our lineup: La Bendición / Nicaragua.

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This Maracaturra lot from La Bendición was produced by Luis Alberto Balladarez Moncada amidst the Dipilto-Jalapa Mountains in the northern portion of Nueva Segovia. This specific lot was produced in a portion of the farm known as El Bosqué, or “the forest.” The farm employs forty people in the pre-harvest season and increases to one hundred during picking. The entire farm is nearly 440 acres; 183 of which are planted with six different varieties of coffee, with the remaining 256 dedicated to natural pine and broad-leaf forest. Luis is proud that his farm is able to support a diverse range of indigenous plants and wildlife.

The El Bosqué lot is planted exclusively with maracaturra on just over twenty-seven acres in the northwest portion of the farm. Coffee from this lot carries the annual characteristics of being very juicy with notes of ripe citrus, possessing fruity sweetness, and having medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. In the last Nicaraguan Cup of Excellence, Luis was a finalist with coffee from this farm. We are excited to bring this offering to our customers for the first time this year.

La Bendición starts off with bright citric tones of pineapple, lemongrass, and lime before developing a fruited baking spice tone that wavers between apple pie and peach cobbler. The finish holds onto that butteriness and picks up notes of vanilla that reminds us of a well-refined Chardonnay. This coffee has nice elegant overtones while still having a very balanced foundation. It is the perfect coffee for these cold winter mornings.

Purchase La Bendición / Nicaragua Here


GESHA - Acatenango / Guatemala - Limited Release December 17 2016

 

Guatemala, Acatenango, Gesha is NOW available online, and in our cafes, for your Holiday shopping fever!

Limited Edition of 75, 8 oz jars, $50.

Flavor Notes: Rose / Honey / Lemon Tea

Available for purchase here

Gesha, the most sought-after variety in specialty coffee today, has an epic story to match its legendary status. In 1936, the Kenyan Director of Agriculture tasked Captain Richard Whalley with collecting ten pounds of wild coffee seeds from around the Gesha Mountain, in what is now Ethiopia. These were to be contributed to a census of the hundreds of regional micro-mutations of the wild coffee in its place of origin, the forests of Ethiopia. The ultimate goal was to find the most viable genetic strains to spread throughout Britain’s colonies in the New World. The seeds were eventually spread to Costa Rica, via Tanzania.

The contemporary legend begins on Finca La Esmeralda where, in 2004, the Peterson family won the Best of Panama competition for what was the first 100% Gesha lot ever produced. Previously, the family had discovered that their Gesha trees, which were mixed in with other varieties, were showing the greatest resistance to coffee leaf rust. Daniel chose to spread the variety throughout the farm, and as a result planted it at higher elevations than ever before. For the 2004 competition, they chose to separate lots by region of the farm — one of which was a high-grown pure Gesha lot which went on to win the competition and set a record price for coffee.

These events led to the discovery of Gesha as we know it today. It is a variety marked with unparalleled aromatics. The cup is generally very bright, with sparkling citric acidity. The low supply and uniquely rare cup experience have driven the market for this variety incredibly high.

This lot we are offering comes from a farm in Acatenango, Guatemala. It was grown on a family-owned farm established in the 1940s. Gesha seeds were first planted on this farm in the 1990s, well before the legendary events of La Esmeralda. These seeds likely were spread through the same channels that lead them to the Petersons. The producers of this lot own 350 hectares — 150 of which are dedicated to coffee production, with the remaining 200 left as natural forest.

Post-harvest, this lot has been washed using disk-depulpers and allowed to ferment for 24 hours. It was passed through long washing channels for density separation before heading to the patios for drying.

This offering carries all the typifiers of the classic Gesha. The aromas are highly floral, with notes of rose and jasmine. In the cup you will find notes of white grape and honey with a sparkling citric acidity that reminds us of lemon tea. The body is slightly higher than what is found in many newer Gesha crops, which aids in supporting the brighter tones.

* Our production of this offering is limited to seventy-five 8-ounce jars. The final roast will be done on Monday, December 19. All online orders will ship from this batch.

 


Gatuyaini / Kenya December 17 2016

We are very excited to introduce a new coffee into our rotation this winter: Gatuyaini / Kenya

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The Gatuyaini coffee factory is a member of the Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society Limited in Nyeri. The combined group of 19 mills has produced some of our favorite lots, and this mill has been the stand out one for us year after year. The group is comprised of 785 members, 591 men and 194 women. Together the group grows predominately SL28 & SL34 across nearly 70 acres. The Scott Laboratories varieties are the most sought after in Kenya, however we have found that a small percentage of the other two round out the cup profile, bringing more balance to the extreme nature of Kenyan coffees.

Gatuyaini's starts off with complex berry flavors ranging between red currents, wild raspberry, and strawberry bon bons. The flavors continue to develop notes of whipped honey and sweet, herbal white wine, similar to sauvignon blanc. This coffee carries all the complexity that Kenyan coffees are known for with a round, rich body and dense sweetness, making it more approachable than many. It is the perfect coffee to add a little brightness to these short winter days.

Purchase Gatuyaini / Kenya Here


Ohh...Fudge! Holiday Blend December 17 2016

Happy Holidays to all! It is the season of giving, and quite honestly, who wouldn't want to be the recipient of a bag of delicious coffee? Our holiday blend, Oh...Fudge!, is equal parts comfort and whimsy. Like a warm blanket knitted for you by your "fun" aunt.

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Ohh...Fudge! was designed to highlight the nostalgic flavors of winter holiday traditions. We crafted this offering to create an approachable yet delicately complex chocolatey cup. San Isidro / Guatemala provides a dark berries and subtle mulling spice tones over a foundation of chocolate morsels. Kunjin / PNG brings a bright citrus and sweet savoriness over a base of milk chocolate, similar to hot cocoa.

This blend was created to fit into your holiday traditions, pairing well with a wide variety of season desserts. It also holds a strong enough foundation to match many breakfast foods. We see this a a drink-throughout-the-day kind of coffee. 

We feel that this is a "crowd pleaser" in the best sense of the term. If you are looking for a gift for that coffee lover in your life or want to bring something more unique to a holiday party we suggest you consider Oh...Fudge! This coffee lands in that beautiful sweet spot that will go over well with just about anyone.

Purchase Ohh...Fudge! Holiday Blend