Guatemala - Direct sourcing model
This season we have eight small experimental lots from our friends Roberto & Celeste in Guatemala. These include different varieties processed as honey, sun dried, or pre-fermentation natural coffees. The goal is to roast these small lots in a production setting and give feedback on which ones to focus on in future harvests. This project represents the pinnacle of direct trade sourcing.
Direct trade takes time, investment, and a bit of risk if you are doing it in a sustainable manner. If you are truly dedicated to a partnership with a farmer you will have issues with quality every now and then, problems with logistics, or need to pay a price reflecting the future value of a relationship while a farm gets on their feet.
When that investment results in forward progress, the sharing of risk in a way which challenges both the farm and roaster, and has the potential to increase quality and variety of offerings for the farmer and the roaster/consumer, it's a very exciting thing. We bought all of these experimental lots because we want to support this type of innovation, and Celeste and Roberto feel comfortable making the significant investment in doing these tiny experiments because we have told them multiple times over the last 3 years we have worked together that we would support them in this.
Direct trade isn't just about getting good pictures, great coffees from farmers you meet and never talk to again (or don't buy from again), and interesting stories. It's about forming mutually beneficial relationships that help both parties to learn and grow as coffee professionals. We hope you get the chance to try some of these really exceptional experiments; because the payoff is worth the work, and the proof is in gems like these and the coffees that will come in the next years because of these micro lots.