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Our Head of coffee
“This blend has a rich round body, with flavours of spiced dried fruit, raisins and nutmeg and a smooth citrus peel acidity. The sweetness is jammy and ripe with added notes of shortbread - you might even get a bit of a brandy flavour too!”
With a tinsel-tastic taste of mince pies, our Christmas Blend is made up of three coffees: Finca El Sapote, Mi Tazita and Kangunu.
Will visited the Cangual region of Honduras a year ago, to meet with local coffee producers and talk through speciality coffee production. Visiting a number of farms with the group, they also talked about small process changes that could drastically increase coffee quality. It was then that Will met Bernabe, a relatively young farmer in his early thirties - recently married and owner of a small amount of land. He was inspired to try and produce speciality coffee himself! Over the following year, he carefully followed the instructions given to him: selecting only the ripest cherries, using a basic flotation tank to sort them, controlling their fermentation and drying them very carefully. All that extra attention really paid off!
I grew up producing coffee with my father and, after receiving a small amount of land as inheritance, I decided to start my own farm. Now my wife and I rely on coffee alone to support our two young children.
The Kangunu Cooperative in Njumbi, Kenya is made up of 1700 active members, and was opened by Minister of Agriculture Hon. Masinde Muliro in the 1990s. Aside from creating one of the component coffees of this Christmas Blend, this cooperative does a lot to make coffee farming a more positive space. All thirteen of its managerial staff are taken to seminars and educational tours to other cooperative, government institutions and other relevant places, to give them the knowledge and experience they need to keep producing quality coffee. With the help of the Coffee Management Services, they aim to increase coffee production through training, financial help, seminars and relevant and up-to-date printed materials. The cooperative is fully committed to supporting it members - providing financial aid for emergency situations, school fees and farm inputs - and we pleased to work with a group like that.
Lorving Calderon produced an exceptional lot of honey-processed coffee for Pact Coffee in 2015 - in fact, the coffee sold out in just a couple of days - it was that great! With flavours of ripe papaya, it went down a treat with everyone that tasted it. So Will had no hesitation in asking him to produce the coffee for us again last year. The coffee has the same unique ripe papaya characteristics but the quantity grown is still very small. Lorving manages his farm with the help of just three employees from the local community, and the process of honey drying is extremely labour intensive.
The honey process is a system used mainly in Central America, derived from the pulped natural process often seen in Brazil. Coffee beans must be removed from the coffee cherries in which they grow; in the case of the honey process this means using a pulper to remove the beans (still coated in sticky fruit) from the inside of the cherry before they are put onto patios to dry for around 3 weeks. The increased moisture from the fruit means that the coffee must be regularly moved around to prevent the buildup of bacteria or the beginning of fermentation - both of which lead to unpleasant flavour characteristics. The extra work and risk to cup quality involved in this process means it is rarely carried out - but in this case the result is excellent.
My ambition for the farm is to grow and get bigger. By improving the quality of our production, we can increase in size and hopefully generate more employment opportunities and improve the quality of life of our workers.
Pact Coffee are proud to be fuelling Shelter’s emergency helpline advisers over Christmas, to support people struggling with homelessness. We will donate 50p from every Christmas product sold to Shelter*.
*All donations + VAT will be donated to Shelter Trading which donates all taxable profits to Shelter (Registered charity no. 263710).
|ACIDITY||Mild citrus peel (Orange)|
|FLAVOUR||Dried fruits, cranberry and nutmeg|
|PRODUCER||Lorving Calderon/Bernabe Bejarano Aguilar/Kangunu Cooperative|
|SWEETNESS||Jammy, ripe, baked fruit|
|TASTING NOTE||Mince pies|
|VARIETAL||Red Catuai, Pacas/Ruiri 11, SL 28, Batian/Catuai|