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Impressions: star fruit, caramel, clove, papaya
Roast degree: light (1/6)
Region: Guiben (autonomous prefecture of Xishuangbanna)
Second Guiben drop of the season, this time a naturally processed coffee!
The natural process means that the coffee was dried with the full cherry still attached to the seeds (what we call beans ;-) ). The cherries are picked, rinsed and floated: any floaters will be removed as this indicates defect, or an unripe cherry.
The coffee will then be left alone to dry for 2-3 days, before being moved in a more controlled environment for up to 30 days.
This ensure a smooth sweetness and intense fruitiness.
One of the best relationships we have at origin is the one with Yunnan Coffee traders and the Guiben farmers. TianCai, the farm manager and overall genius behind the processing, farming and quality control of those coffees, aims to connect with buyers that share the same values as the farmer group, which is to develop long term commitment at fair prices. We have no plans to go anywhere and as of next harvest, we will buy exclusively from Guiben in Yunnan!
Mutual respect is key to build trust, and that is what we have been building by working closely together for the last 3 years.
Guiben is a small farming community. Coffee is getting more and more popular in China, and multiple farmers in neighbouring areas started to use chemical fertilizers as a mean to grow their farms faster.
Despite this situation, TianCai is committed to organic practices to preserve their environment. They are in it for the long game, and a healthy soil is crucial.
This is more costly though, so partnering with buyers willing to pay more for coffee is key. It’s a no brainer to buy exclusively from them because in a blind tasting, Guiben coffees are consistently at the top when it comes to complexity, cleanliness and sweetness.
A smooth but wild offering from the beautifully skilled Guiben farmers. This natural coffee is complex and fun to drink.
The brew start with intense fruitiness, mostly tropical: it reminded us of star fruit and papaya.
The first intensity quickly becomes a smooth ride with a nice caramel sweetness, and the clove like attributes gives the coffee a lot of depth.
The mouthfeel is silky, and the coffee lingers for a little while after.
Pair this with milk and the coffee is very delicate and rich, and the fruitiness will be more akin to cooked fruits, especially in espresso.
|Espresso||18 g||2.2:1||28-32 sec|
|Espresso with milk||18g||2:1||30-34 sec|
|Americano||18 g||2.2:1||28-32 sec|
|23 g||15.5:1||3:00-3:30 min|
Chemex & Batch Brew
|40-60 g||15.5:1||4:15-5:00 min|
|18-25 g||15:1||3:45 min steep time|
Farm manager: TianCai
Exporter: Yunnan Coffee Traders
Importer: Atlas Coffee
Price paid by us to Atlas for the landed coffee in the Continental warehouse in New Jersey: 4,89USD/lb
This includes storage fees until September 2022 (0,11USD/lb) freight cost (0,39USD/lb) and a new, special 7,5% US tax on Chinese products (0,29USD/lb).
Shipping fees + customs from New Jersey: 0,30USD/lb
FOB price (price from the farm up until it's safely in a container, ready for export): 3,83USD/lb
Estimated farmgate price (basically money in the farmers hand) after conversion from local currency: 2,90-3,10USD/lb
We have been working together closely for the last 3 years. We contributed to the installation of better drying patios last year by raising money with our Return to Origin coffee and fundraiser.
But this relationship goes both way and we help each other out. When covid hit and demand for coffee from within China grew crazy, making prices soar, TianCai refused to sell the coffee for a quick profit because it would have meant having no coffee for us.
So he sacrificed short terms financial gain for a long term partnership with us by keeping the coffee more affordable. (don’t worry, we still paid good money for those beautiful beans ;-) )
TianCai is a smart, motivated young entrepreneur that understands economics. When international prices are low, he expects his partners to buy the coffee at a price point that allows his family and community to still thrive, but when export logistics is expensive and prices are internally high in China, he doesn't hesitate to help his buyers get more his delicious coffees at a price point that benefits everyone.