Carmen and Jorge are a powerful team. They farm a very curious varietal which they dubbed Caturra 'Chiroso' which they first purchased as seed from a neighbour. It's well known for its large elongated bean size and high yields, and has an exceptional cup profile which can tend to be quite Ethiopian in its floral complexity and lifted acidity.
Carmen's coffee won the 2014 Cup of Excellence competition, which prompted herself and Jorge (her husband) to expand their small production and purchase an even higher farm to plant – this lot is the first proper harvest from that farm. When we met them originally they were looking for an exclusive buyer for this parcel, and we – of course – jumped at the opportunity.
Carmen is one of the most serious dedicated farmers we've met – she's a true community minded farmer, inviting anyone onto her farm to see and learn and also gives seeds to her neighbours. She employs only her female neighbours to work with her on the farm picking and processing, providing them an income where they would otherwise have no financial autonomy within the household.
She also pays them a very high daily rate – normally pickers are paid by weight, which doesn't favour women and also doesn't allow a high level of selective picking for specialty. We did the sums and the day rate is the equivalent of 50% more than a typical weight rate (even during peak harvest). Carmen pays the women the same rate all year round, even when there's very little harvest.
In turn, because of Carmen's high operational costs, we pay a very high price for this coffee, and will continue to do so as our partnership grows. We agreed to committing to this high price over the long term if they would enter into our program of ecological production. They jumped at the chance to receive training to reduce chemical inputs – she already fertilises sparingly in accordance with soil analyses and only sprays a small amount for leaf rust once a year.
We feel very lucky to be working with Carmen and Jorge!
For more info on brewing your coffee for maximum enjoyment, check out the Brew Methods
Whole beans only. Roasted for filter brewing.