Luis Roldan - Yellow Catuai

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Impressions: purple grapes, white chocolate, macadamia
Roast degree: medium (3/5)
Country: Guatemala
Region: Casillas, Santa Rosa
Farm: El Durazno
Farmer: Luis Roldan
Variety: Yellow Catuai
Process: Washed
Partner importer: Semilla

Probably our most impactful coffee. By buying coffee produced by Luis, you help us change the exploitative coffee status quo.

For the third year in a row, we are thrilled to bring this important coffee. This lot from producer Luis Roldan is not just a delicious coffee, it is much more than that.

It's the third time Luis sells his coffee internationally, and just like the other harvests, we bought all of his production. (including his wife Wendy's production in a coffee we will launch soon).

Luis is an active and well respected leader of the Cafe Colis Resistencia, a producing group from the Indigenous Xinka community around Mataquescuintla, Guatemala.
Within the Mataquescuintla area, nearly 90% of the population identifies as a coffee producer and yet, almost none of these producers have access to a market beyond selling in cherry to local intermediaries or to large farms who process their coffee and sell it as blended lots to their international market. This means around 35,000 people who live off of coffee as a primary income have no other options for sale.

That's why we love working with Semilla, as their primary goal is to give access to the specialty market to small holder producers who have almost no options to receive a fair price for their coffee.

The group Cafe Colis Resistencia is opposing the exploitation of the Escobal silver mine, owned by Vancouver-based Pan American silver. This Canadian company wants to go ahead and exploit the mine on Indigenous land despite being in contravention of the United Nations Declarations of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We are proud to join Semilla in their efforts to stand on the side of Indigenous sovereignty and landing our support for this producing group. Not only does Semilla buy the coffees at solid prices, they also lend their voices as Canadians against this illegal extractive project.

This year's harvest of Luis' yellow catuai is the best we tasted in 3 years. When you pay farmers well though a trusted importer and build meaningful and long lasting projects at origin, the quality will inevitably go up!
This medium roast is incredibly versatile: amazing black or with milk, it's equally good as filter and espresso.

What differentiates this year's harvest is the acidity. This coffee used to be all about nuttiness and sweetness. This year is full of white chocolate and macadamia nuts (hello subway cookie!)

The acidity is the most improve aspect of this latest lot. We taste crisp and vibrant purple grapes, and some stone fruits.
This gives the coffee a lot more depth without sacrificing any of what made this coffee our best seller last year.

A coffee you can truly sip from all day, everyday, and one of the most important coffee on our menu.

Method Dose Ratio Time
Espresso 16-20 g 2:1 28-32 sec
Espresso with milk 16-20 g 1.9:1 32-34 sec
Americano 16-20 g 2.2:1 26-30 sec


18-32 g 15.5:1 3:00-3:30 min

 Chemex & Batch Brew

40-60 g 15.5:1 4:30-5:45 min

 French Press

18-25 g 14:1 3:45 min steep time

Farmer: Luis Roldan
Exporter: Industrias Noviembre
Importer: Semilla

Two harvests ago was the first time Luis sold his coffee internationally and we bought 100% of his export volume (14bags of 69 kg of one variety, this yellow catuai).
After this first purchase, both because the coffee is very good and serves a purpose beyond the cup, we had committed to buying all his available coffee for export before the harvest even began.
Last harvest, we bought his entire production again: 21 bags of 2 varietals (9 of this yellow catuai and 12 of a red caturra).
Our commitment to Luis, Semilla and the Cafe Colis Resistencia group will remain, and we are happy to bring all of Luis' production once again: 14 bags of this delicious yellow catuai, but also 30 bags of red catuai that he blended with all of his wife Wendy's production.

By guaranteeing farmers a good price and a high volume, we are changing how people usually buy coffee, resulting in more stability and tastier coffees. 

Price we paid Semilla for the landed coffee in our Montreal warehouse: 13.95CAD/kg.

FOB price: 10.43CAD/kg

Farmgate price: 1850 Quetzal/quintal (up from 1750 last harvest). 1 quintal being around 100kg of parchment (parchment means the green bean is still not exposed)
National price: 1100 Quetzal (down from an average of 1250 last year)

Even when local prices dip, Semilla is commited to buying coffee outside of this system, while alos not basing price on cup score: Semilla pays farmer based on their cost of production.
Producers who have invested time and money into post-harvest processing are rewarded with an elevated price to reflect that investment.
These are the smallholders we need to support, and we’re honoured to be able to do so.

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