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Christmas Blend

About Christmas Blend

Our Head of coffee

Will says:

“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!”

About the blend

With a tinsel-tastic taste of mince pies, our Christmas Blend is made up of three coffees: Finca El Sapote, Mi Tazita and Remera Natural.

About the Farm: El Sapote

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!

A quick Q&A with the farmer Bernabe:

How did you get into growing coffee?

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.

About the farm: Remera Natural

The Codukaki Cooperative in Kigoma is made up of 80 coffee farmers, including 39 women coffee farmers. The leader is called Mukasarabwe Madelene. Madelene and the other members of this cooperative started out very small, growing a small number of coffee trees and building from there. Thanks to their hard work they are now at a level where coffee has educated Madelene’s five children, built them a nice house to live in and enabled them to buy some livestock. She’s also now invested in coffee bikes, which have allowed her to decrease the cost of transporting her coffee. About the washing station: BUF Cooperative

Once the cooperative have grown their coffee they process it at the Remera coffee washing station, which is run by Bufcoffee Ltd., a famous Rwandan, family-run company. Bufcoffee Ltd. was founded by Mukashyaka Epiphanie in 2003.

Originally Epiphanie’s husband had a coffee farm of his own and their coffee was sold locally. Then the 1994 genocide left Mukashyaka a widow with seven children to care for, so she had to make a change. She soon got support from PEARL and launched Bufcoffee Ltd., which now produces and exports coffee across the world, while offering social and economic support to 4,608 women, their families and a great many small coffee farmers.

About Mi Tazita

The farmer, Lorving Calderon

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 processing

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.

A quick Q&A with the Mi Tazita farmer, Lorving:

What’s your biggest ambition for the farm?

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.

Details

ACIDITYMild citrus peel (Orange)
ALTITUDE2000/1700m
FLAVOURDried fruits, cranberry and nutmeg
MOUTHFEELRound, full
ORIGINRwanda/Honduras
PROCESSNatural/Washed
PRODUCERBUF Cooperative/ Bernabe Bejarano Aguilar
ROAST PROFILEMedium-dark
SWEETNESSJammy, ripe, baked fruit
TASTING NOTEMince pies
VARIETALBourbon/ Red Catuai, Pacas
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