This is going to seem well planned out, but in reality it kind of just happened that way and I got the idea this afternoon thinking about what this month’s blog/newsletter should be.
The Birthday Groups
When it comes to birthdays there are generally two groups of people. One group likes to celebrate their birthday, aren’t afraid to tell you when their birthday is and most likely there is a party going on. The second group is made up of people who were never born, they like to fly under the radar and it can be awkward when you randomly find out it’s their birthday on the day you are with them. Can you tell what group I belong to?
I Like to Party
If I was categorized in one of the two camps, I would be place into the first group - those who like to party! Now, I usually don’t shout my birthday from the rooftop, but I'm guilty of doing that now since I’m letting everyone know here on through the Fika newsletter. But I do love to celebrate it with my friends and good food. Two years ago for my 40th birthday, I booked a large AirBnb in Portland, OR and sent out an invite to friends to join me there. It was a great time to explore a new city, friends of mine met other friends of mine, we ate great food and drank wonderful coffee.
My Favorite Birthday Memory
One of my greatest birthday memories was my golden birthday, I turned 10 on December 10th, 1989. My parents somehow were able to secure some Packer tickets and my dad and I made the three hour plus drive from Marquette MI to Green Bay to take in a December Packer game. Honestly, I don’t remember much of the game, besides it was cold and we had brought our sleeping bags into the stadium to stay warm. Also after the game my dad drove us back home and I remember it was snowing and somewhere along the route we stopped and my dad helped a car get out of the ditch. Don’t ask me who even won, but this was before Brett Favre in the late 80’s, so I’m guessing the Packers lost.
Two Reasons to Celebrate
Today, Friday, December 10th in what turns out to be a divine coincidence between my birthday and Fika’s love for Guatemala, we have a pretty special coffee that has become available.
Excited... Yet Nervous
We are super excited, and honestly a little nervous, for some coffee that we purchased. We bought only 60lbs of a Cup or Excellence Winner from Guatemala. The Cup of Excellence (COE) is a competition in some coffee producing countries, so there is a Cup of Excellence Guatemala. I believe there are currently 14 countries that participate in this competition.How it Works
Generally speaking, farmers will enter their coffees into the competition, they go through a pre selection process, if they get selected they go through another 4 rounds of tasting and selection to whittle down roughly the 150 coffees that made it through the pre selection process down to the final 30 coffees that are considered COE winners. So we went in with a buying group from one of our partners in Guatemala, Onyx Coffee and brought in the number 11 lot of coffee from Don Petronilo de Jesus Martinez Castillo.
My First Trip to Guatemala
In my first origin trip to Guatemala hosted through Onyx, the first coffee that I purchased from a trip was actually from Don Petronilo. So we are pretty excited to have this special coffee from him and to be able to share it with you. We are nervous too, because we only have 60lb - that’s just four batches - that we will be roasting.
How You Can Try It
We have two options for you to get a taste of this coffee: the first is by purchasing an individual bag (only 16 available) and second is by purchasing one of our Guatemala Specialty Coffee 4-packs (only 50 available), which were both released today.
The Guatemala 4-Pack
We're REALLY excited about the 4-pack offering! In addition to having a bag of the Cup of Excellence coffee in it, it also contains three bags of coffee from the farm run by three other members of the Villatoro family. The coffee from those three bags are from a lot of coffee that was produced specifically for us at Fika Coffee. Each underwent a different processing method: washed, natural or honey. Processing refers to the way in which fruit is removed from the coffee bean and the way the bean is subsequently fermented. Each creates a different tasting coffee. We're so excited that these packs offer a unique opportunity to not only try beans that use different processing methods, but to be able to compare them side-by-side.
So what’s the difference?
The Washed Process has the skin and pulp removed within 24 hours of harvesting and is then held in fermentation tanks for 12–72 hours. Flavor notes are clean and clear while having a sugar sweetness and wide range of fruit acidity/brightness.
During the natural process the fruit is removed after the drying process. Fermentation happens inside the fruit around the mucilage of the seed. This whole process can take up to 30 days. It has noticeable fruity/jam flavors, can be winey and typical. Generally it will have a more syrupy body than a washed coffee.
During the honey process only the fruit skin is removed within 24 hours of harvest. It then dries and fermentation happens inside the fruit around the mucilage of the seed, similar to the natural process. This whole process can take up to 18–25 days. Very similar to a natural coffee that is processed using the honey process have jammy and stewed fruit flavors.
Grab 'em Fast!
If these products are something you're interested in, we suggest you grab them asap - we expect these to go FAST!
Share a Cup of Coffee
Whether it’s with this COE coffee or some other coffee, I want to encourage everyone to take time this month to share a cup of coffee and create a memory with someone in one of your circles.