On Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd February, Cloudwater Brew Co. hosted their second Friends & Family & Beer Festival. Coinciding with the Manchester-based brewery's fifth birthday, the two-day event was initially hosted in 2019 as a celebration of the independent values, collaborative spirit and community that defines the craft beer industry and, for the two days it existed, it embodied that convivial spirit.
This year we were delighted to be invited to the festival as a brewer of a different sort and the Workshop Coffee team showcased three coffees from our seasonal range throughout. Filling the hopper of our espresso grinder was our floral Ethiopian, Hunkute, and this was supported by two incredibly popular filter coffees options – our first ever Peruvian offering, Yolanda Cabrera, and Mahembe from Rwanda, which has firmly established itself as a staple in our range.
Our coffees fuelled a day of talks on the Friday, which spanned an impressive breadth of subjects, from the objectives of modern IPAs and the future of bioengineered brewing yeast, through to an insightful and inspiring panel discussion on the practicalities of independence and a keynote speech on building an inclusive and equitable work place from PhD Beer Scholar Dr. J. Jackson-Beckham.
As a damp and windy Manchester afternoon gave way to the evening, the doors to the main event space opened and the lights lowered in anticipation of what was one of the most impressive range of breweries and beers we’ve witnessed under one (rather beautiful, wrought-iron) roof. 72 brewers poured more than 500 beers of varying styles and strengths and amongst that impressive number were a host of one-off beers brewed especially for the festival or simply not available in the country at any other point of the year. The full list can be viewed here and has to be seen to be believed (and even then, it might take a few reads).
An enormous thank you once again to Cloudwater Brew Co. for the invitation and to everyone that took the time to join us for coffee and a conversation. The medicinal benefit of a caffeinated kick was no doubt beneficial as the number of beers mounted, but we were thrilled to see our coffee being tasted, savoured and enjoyed with the same excitement and sense of exploration as the beers in the room.
We’re already looking forward to next year.
With only a hint of tongue-in-cheek, Jorge stands and declares "I'm ready to be famous".
A cattle farmer from Pichincha, Ecuador, he has provided some of the most memorably mouthwatering cups in our recent history. Made all the more astounding when you realise there are only three harvests under his belt, Workshop has purchased the last two. Deserving to be as world-renowned as some of the 'rockstar' producers from neighbouring Colombia, Jorge Tapia's coffee screams delicious, delicate, nuanced, complex. Superlatives have yet to be written; it really is that good.
Jorge is not in coffee just for the fame, despite what he says. Ultimately, he wants to better his family's lives. Knowing full well the premiums attached to the coffees of Elias Roa, Arnulfo Leguizamo and Astrid Medina, some of Colombia's most famous producers, have changed their lives, Jorge wants this for wife Hilda, their children Jessica and Cristobal, Jessica's daughter Alison.
Continuous improvement. Easy to say, not as easy to implement, but that won't hold Jorge back. A loan from Caravela funds the purchase of a hand-cranked depulper, dropped in the middle of his trees, saving the effort of hauling coffee cherry up through the steep, overgrown forest. The slimy depulped coffee, their weight reduced by 70% now out of the skins, is transported to the farmhouse, location of Jorge's washing and drying facilities twenty minutes drive away.
Walking us through his steps of processing, Jorge knows where he needs to invest. Better washing facilities to process more volume. A cooler place than the current location, the eaves of his house, to do the initial drying. More prominent raised beds with greater adjustability in temperature and shade control. All of these plans achievable, all of these plans already being worked upon.
Expect big things from Jorge Tapia. This is a name to remember.
People should enjoy coffee with friends.
At Workshop, we always take a moment together to appreciate coffee grown halfway around the world by the producers we work with; made all the more delicious if shared, we suggest you do the same.
But what if some friends are also the ones who introduce you to those incredible coffees you purchase? It's harder to maintain relationships when 5,000 miles and the Atlantic Ocean lie between people, but when you do finally meet again, it's even better.
Salomé Puentes chats to producer, Fabio Artunduaga - Pitalito, Huila.
Origin travel sounds like the dream to most and in many ways it is. Visiting the tropics, meeting producers, tasting and selecting delicious coffees, it can be pretty idyllic. However, the life of a coffee buyer is not perfect. On the bumpiest of roads for hours at a time, with anti-social start times resulting in supremely long days and the ever-present risk of stomach problems, all pale into insignificance compared to the loneliness experienced in remote hotel rooms and on long journeys. Being away from home and those you love hurts the most, so when those with you become more than just business associates, it dispels many moments you could feel alone.
Iliana Delgado Chegwin and Jairo Muñoz from Azahar Coffee - Yacuanquer, Nariño.
My relationship with the country of Colombia has been precisely that. Salomé Puentes from Caravela and Iliana Delgado Chegwin from Azahar started as guides and translators as I travelled Colombia looking for delicious coffees. Now I call them friends and each visit sees those bonds reinforced; moments of loneliness dispelled, long car rides become a time to talk, play new music and hang out.
To the job in hand then. Coffee.
Starting this trip in Pitalito, Huila with Caravela and Salomé provides a chance to meet producers who supply coffee to the Naranjos Espresso we released in June last year. The first stop is José Hernando Dorado and his niece, Marcela, whose farm straddles the main road to San Agustín, 1°51'25.3"N 76°13'49.0"W.
José Hernando Dorado and Marcela - San Agustín, Huila.
Growing Caturra and Colombia, alongside oranges (Naranjos), cacao, avocado and plantain, José manages the family farm and is currently teaching Marcela the ways of farm management and processing. Utilising washing channels to help remove the less dense beans, they ferment for around 24hr before transferring to the drying facilities José plans to rebuild in the coming months.
As with every farm visit, coffee is served. In most cases, the producer's own coffee, over-roasted and served already containing sugar, I struggle it down. Not here. Marcela, using a cloth filter, brews the best farm coffee I've ever experienced. Roasted by José in San Agustín on a hired roaster, I instantly message back to London with news of delicious farm coffee, before asking for a second cup and more details.
Lidier and Nery - Finca El Mirador, Pitalito, Huila.
Pitalito, 1°51'02.2"N 76°02'50.7"W, the largest town in Southern Huila, has a population of around 135,000, so there's plenty of places to eat and drink in the evenings. Some good, some not so good, you'll never go hungry and there's always a cold Club Colombia available. Coupled with Stop 44, the bar opposite the Gran Premium Plaza Hotel where I rest my head, there's plenty to do in the evenings after a long day visiting producers.
The handover to Azahar and Iliana takes place in Pitalito, but we don't dwell in Huila. Heading back to Bogota and a quick stay in an airport hotel (depressing and expensive in equal measures), the next day wakes at 04:00 with a flight to Pasto, the capital city of the Nariño department.
An airport runway situated on top of an Andean mountain, flights regularly get turned around and sent back to Bogota. Even when but 10 minutes from landing, the elements can change in an instant as clouds roll in from the Pacific.
The weather holds. So begins Workshop's first visit to Nariño.
We've bought Nariño coffees before, from producers Nectario Pascuaza and Eiver Gomez Melo. Both were outstanding and offered vastly different profiles from coffees we buy from Huila and Tolima. This is a different world to those regions. This is the Andes proper and the impetus for our visit.
Located at 2897m, Pasto, like Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, sees you descend to get to the coffee. Dominating the western skyline sits Galeras, a 4,276m stratovolcano, and currently the most active volcano in all of Colombia. Surrounding Galeras, a relatively new ring road circles the entirety; like a smaller, quieter M25, the distinct risk of eruption at its centre.
As the trip is relatively short, we don't stray far from Galeras, instead visiting a handful of communities that lie just off the ring road. Finca San Javier, owned by Javier de la Rosa, situated at 1° 05'14.9 "N 77° 25'35.3" W, falls under the locality of Yacuanquer.
Jorge Hernando Morales Daza, farm manager at Finca San Javier - Yacuanquer, Nariño.
Here the ground is fertile but incredibly rocky. I'm in no doubt that growing coffee can be laborious work, but I witness the most back-breaking of all at Finca San Javier. Three workers charged with removing a whole field of coffee trees. Having stripped the trees of leaves and branches, they now start to excavate the resulting bare trunks and remove what they can of the root systems.
Pick-axes and shovels wielded in 33° heat, the striking of volcanic rocks strewn throughout the soil, ring out. Enquiring how long to clear the last of the trees? Two weeks the answer.
Visiting Nariño, I was adamant about experiencing the local dish - Cuy (Guinea Pig). Colombians are under no illusions they are cute, with many soft toy cuys in shops, but that doesn't stop them featuring on the menu. CuyQuer is the place to visit in Pasto, the main dish a whole Guinea Pig, roasted and quartered. Photos sent home of the meal are greeted by a multitude of emotions from friends and family; from outright anger and disgust to somewhat jealousy and many queries as to how it tasted. It really was quite delicious. Would eat again.
Having just approved recent samples from both Caravela and Azahar, we look forward to the arrival of 4,200kg and 3,500kg of coffee from San Agustín and Yacuanquer respectively. Look out for them in the coming months, these will both be roasted for espresso and delicious additions to our range.
You’ve selected some great coffee beans, you’ve invested in a high quality burr grinder and you’ve even gone to the trouble of sourcing some top quality brew water from your local cafe. Then it comes to brewing your morning pour over and you just can’t quite seem to perfect the technique.
It’s not your fault.
The spout on your kettle is wide and dribbly, you can’t pour in an even stream, some of the coffee grounds are getting sloshed around more than others. All that work just to fall at the last hurdle.
With Fellow Product’s Stagg Kettle, not only will you have the ultimate control over your pouring, the tactile act of making a cup of coffee becomes so much more rewarding. With a built in thermometer and incredibly well designed spout, you’re armed with a more accurate brewing tool which ultimately results in more consistently tasty results (as well as less mess).
Having angled the spout in such a sheer way, Fellow have also made it possible to pour low and close to the coffee bed on both near and far sides of your pour over cone, overcoming a frustration with other more curved ‘gooseneck’ spouted kettle options.
Finally, we’d be remiss to talk about the Stagg without acknowledging its beautiful and considered design. Whilst enough to appease any aesthete, the finish comes from a place of practicality, meaning it looks and feels great on your hob and in your hand. The handle is weighted in such a way as to offer an extra feeling of control, as if every time you’ve used a pouring kettle before you’ve been playing pool with just your back hand on the cue. And now, suddenly, you’ve found a rest.
Another brilliantly busy year is hurtling towards its end and so we'll be taking a few days off to recuperate, celebrate and spend time with friends and loved ones.
As always, we'll be making the most of the only three days that Workshop Coffee is closed in its entirety – Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day – but will be back with you as normal from Thursday 2nd January 2020.
A full lis of our festive opening times, roasting days and Online Shop Christmas shipping cut-offs can be found below.
An enormous thanks to you, our customers and partners, for your support throughout the year. We hope you enjoy a well-deserved break and look forward to seeing and serving you more exceptional coffee in 2019.
Wishing you all the very best from everyone here at Workshop Coffee.
Marylebone + Fitzrovia Coffeebars
Tuesday 24th December: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 25th + Thursday 26th December: Closed
Friday 27th - Tuesday 31st December: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Workshop Coffee at The Pilgrm
Tuesday 24th December: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 25th + Thursday 26th December: Closed
Friday 27th - Tuesday 31st December: Open 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Workshop Coffee at White Collar Factory
Tuesday 24th December: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 25th December - Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Monday 23rd December: Open and roasting as usual (although, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the exact delivery date)
Tuesday 24th - 29th December: Closed
30th + 31st December: Open, roasting and dispatching (although, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the exact delivery date)
Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: Open as usual
Order by 7:00 a.m. Friday 20th December to guarantee pre Christmas delivery in the UK.
We’ve recently added a host of new hardware to our range of brewing equipment to help ensure we’re continually offering the best apparatus to get the most out of your brew.
As always, we’ve been testing, experimenting and working with each new piece of equipment for some time to understand just what it can do. Our experience with the Acaia Pearl Scale has been nothing but a pleasure.
The Acaia Pearl scale is, in our opinion, the most beautiful, minimalist and versatile coffee scale on the market. Accurate to 0.1g with a 20 millisecond response time, the scale boasts several built in modes that combine timing and taring on demand or automatically, meaning you’ll be able to customise your brewing experience to suit your needs.
The scale also connects to a suite of apps made by Acaia. These provide you with a host of data points and metrics that go beyond brew water weight and time, encompassing things like flow rate, which allows you to track and evolve your technique over time.
Given the intelligence of the Pearl scales, one of their biggest benefits is rather simple. The ability to recharge the scale using a micro-USB cable will strike a positive chord with home brewers, many of whom will have been caught short when making their morning AeroPress or Clever Dripper only to find their scales batteries have died and having to resort to cautiously eyeballing their dose.
Herein lies perpetual accuracy for every type of brewer; the large platform means that even brewers like the Chemex or a large French Press sit atop the scale easily, with the display still completely visible.
An investment in something like the Acaia Pearl is significant, and you may be nervous about pouring boiling water onto your brewer – what if water or, worse, coffee spills? Even this has been considered in its design. A buttonless platform and the enclosed side panels mean that the scale is water resistant and spills won’t affect its performance.
It’s worth noting that it won’t function when fully submerged in water, but, then again, who expects that of a coffee scale?
At the end of September, Japanese outdoor lifestyle brand, Snow Peak, announced that they’ll be opening their European flagship store in London’s St. James’s Market. Alongside their array of high quality clothing, camping equipment and gear, their first ever European location will also be operating a full-service café in the three-story store, which will proudly serve Workshop Coffee.
Having spent several months working closely together on both the design of the coffeebar and the equipment it will hold, Snow Peak will be pulling shots of our seasonal espressos using a combination of Nuova Simonelli Mythos One grinders and a 2-Group La Marzocco Linea Classic AV. The team will also be showcasing our filter coffees using their own range of titanium coffee brewing hardware to make clean, sweet and fresh cups brewed as pourovers.
From the moment we began speaking with Snow Peak’s Vice President, Lisa Yamai, the parallels between their approach and our own were apparent and abundant. As we continued our conversations and gained a greater insight into their approach, we realised those similarities ran to the very core of both companies.
As well as sharing a passion for things done well, Snow Peak are in continual pursuit of better products. To do this, they're forever tweaking and iterating on what has come before with the aim of making something better.
Their desire to inspire more people to enjoy the outdoors also struck a chord with us. We're always looking for ways that offer people access to the exceptional coffee wherever and whenever they choose to drink it. Snow Peak's beautifully designed, carefully considered outdoor brewing gear is an exciting way of helping people to do exactly that.
We're incredibly excited to begin working together and know exciting things lie ahead in the coming months.
Snow Peak’s London store opens on Friday 25th October and will be located at 16a Regent Street, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 4PH. If you can’t wait to visit their first European store, their UK online shop is open now.
For the first time in our eight years of roasting coffee, we’ve decided to create a dedicated filter roast profile for our decaf offering.
The quality of the most recent crop from El Teruel is exceptionally good, and we know that a lot our customers enjoy brewing decaf as a filter coffee. Until this point in our coffeebars, we've chosen to amend our Clever Coffee Dripper brewing recipe when preparing a cup of decaf filter using our dedicated espresso roast profile.
Similarly, for home brewers, getting the best results from our decaf for filter has involved tweaking normal brewing specs ever so slightly. The results have been good, but with this new roast approach designed specifically for filter brewing the coffee has never tasted better. We’re really happy with the results, and hope you enjoy this first from Workshop Coffee.
As with a lot of regions in Colombia, the micro-climate of the area around Planadas, Tolima allows farmers to harvest coffee cherry twice in one year, which helps a great deal with cash flow. The Asopep (Asociación de Productores Ecológicos de Planadas) Co-operative, made up of 35 coffee producing families, all practice organic farming and are certified as such. The coffees making up this particular lot, El Teruel, underwent a 22-hour dry fermentation before being fully washed and subsequently dried on raised beds. It then underwent the Sugar Cane Ethyl Acetate process to decaffeinate the beans. Not only does this method provide a secondary income to the producing country, the Descafecol plant between located between Planadas and Medellín in Colombia, but the green coffee only needs to be transported by boat once rather than twice. More eco-friendly and less costly, reducing the travel time compared with coffees decaffeinated in Germany, Switzerland, Mexico or Canada means we get to work with a fresher tasting product. The conditions in which coffee is transported are rarely conducive to preserving quality, and so avoiding this process from happening twice is always beneficial for the cup.
The filter roast of our El Teruel is tasting complex and layered, with sweet fruity notes of dates and papaya, turning almost jammy in the finish. Gone are the days of forgoing a delicious cup of coffee after dinner for fear of hindering a deep slumber.
Driving to Perú Profundo.
As we approach our 9th birthday, it's impressive to think how far we've come in that time. Starting with a roll-call of just seven producing countries - Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Brazil and Colombia. Today, we buy from double that number. Fourteen different origins now keep us, and you, supplied with delicious, fresh coffee all year-round. This increase has been brought about through ourselves expanding our horizons, coupled with quality programs in countries that have resulted in delicious coffees becoming abundant in more places.
However, we can't rely on finding the best coffees from new origins whilst sitting in Bethnal Green. Trips oversea are required, this time to the thirteenth country we've had the pleasure of visiting. That country? Peru.
Unreal scenery on the road to Calca town.
Hairpin turns on the roads, pretty much all the way.
One of the benefits of setting off before sunrise is getting to see the early light dancing through the clouds.
The first three coffees, purchased for our hotel coffee programme last year, all came from the historic region of Cusco in southern Peru. With this the focus of our trip, we arranged to meet the association of farmers behind two of the lots; Valle Inca Group.
The newly elected president of Valle Inca, 29-year-old José Prudencio, greeted us on our arrival in Cusco before driving us to the nearby town of Calca. Home to the cupping lab, warehouse and offices of Valle Inca, they provide agronomical advice, along with financing for farmers to implement infrastructure improvements in their land.
Cool storage for the coffee at Valle Inca’s warehouse in Calca, 2,980m.
Beautiful clean parchment coffee from one of the association’s members.
Growing up, José used to pick coffee with his father, sleeping on sacks of coffee after a long, hard day's work. Enthusiastic and incredibly hard-working, he tries to connect as frequently as possible with the members even though they live in incredibly remote areas around Cusco. José's goal is to connect all the small scale producers in the group with buyers by finding the correct market for their coffees. Having paid $5,000 last year for an organic certificate, applicable to all their producers, gives Valle Inca an edge in marketing their coffee to specific buyers, especially those in the US. Word has spread about the group and the positive work they're doing, that has seen numbers grow from 100 members last year to 200 at the current count. However, being a member of Valle Inca isn't just about having the right coffee varieties like Typica or Bourbon. A willingness to improve, adapt and possess the right mindset is crucial if a farmer is to benefit from everything membership to Valle Inca has to offer.
Along the narrowest of Andean roads, as we climbed well above the clouds to 4,568m at our peak, a myriad of frozen lakes, thermal springs, Incan ruins and waterfalls flashed by on the long journey to visit the remote farms of members. We were most definitely in 'Perú Profundo' (Deepest Peru) and, unapologetically, a little unsettled at times as we witnessed José both cross himself and mutter a quick prayer as he navigated the seemingly endless blind, hairpin corners. Llamas, alpacas, vicuña, sheep and wild horses were plentiful to spot, but sightings of the secretive puma or bears wearing red hats remained, unfortunately, elusive.
Beautiful animals roam the historic countryside.
We shared the roads with plenty of animal herders.
It's a strange feeling, descending to coffee farms, as we usually climb when in most producing countries. After several hours in the car, with any remnants of phone reception lost much earlier in the day, we arrived at Finca Progreso in Huaynapata, the farm of Agustin Ccasa Ccoyo. Due to the remoteness of the farm, when José wishes to visit or collect coffee, he must first visit Quebrada. There, at the local radio station, he transmits a message to Agustin as they have no other means of communication; hopefully he's within earshot! Luckily our trip was pre-planned, so Agustin knew to expect us, greeting us on arrival.
Having bought 20 sacks of his coffee last year, it was a pleasure to meet Agustin and witness his farm and production techniques first-hand. With mineral-rich black volcanic soil and situated at 2,150m, his farm has incredible agricultural conditions for coffee!
The mature cherries here are very large, growing at 2,150m.
The view from Augustin's house, where he relishes the peace and quiet gained from being so remote.
The mature cherries here are very large, growing at 2,150m.
Predominantly growing Red Bourbon, Agustin explained that coffee produced above 1,650m in Peru sees both Roya and Broca become much less prevalent. Rise above 1,850m, however, and these two major threats are, thankfully, all but non-existent. However, humidity is an issue in Huaynapata, so Agustin lets his trees grow tall, pruning back any growth on the first metre of the trunk to allow better ventilation between the trees, reducing the chance of moulds. The resulting willowy three-metre trees are too tall to harvest normally, so workers, armed with a rope and hook, bend the trees as they pick.
Clearing the first metre or so of growth to create better ventilation.
Agustin amongst his bourbons.
Thankfully for Agustin and his pickers the tall coffee trees are willowy and supple, able to bend over to pick.
In processing their coffee cherries, they first float in water to skim off the less dense fruit. Fed through a manual disc depulper to remove the seed from the fruit, the depulped parchment is then sieved to remove any coffee cherry skins.
Floating any damaged or unripe coffee cherries.
Experimenting in their approach to fermentation, they place the mucilage laden parchment coffee into GrainPro sacks and then seal in a plastic barrel. A tube allows for degassing, as the microbiome breaking down the coffee's mucilage produces CO2 during this stage. After 24-28 hours, the fermented coffee is washed before being put out to dry on their tiered, raised beds in a ventilated secadore (solar dryer).
Ready to ferment in barrels.
Turning the parchment coffee whilst drying.
Back at the farmhouse, we chatted over a strong coffee. Brewed in the 'Gota Gota' (Drip Drip) method and roasted in a traditional Q'analla (a clay pot pronounced with a click on the Q), it was the perfect accompaniment to the chirimoyas we munched on. Having farmed coffee here for decades, we discovered we were the first buyer to visit! A freshly slaughtered rooster soon became a hearty broth made in our honour and, coupled with some beers, we raised a toast to Pachamama (the Quechuan name for Mother Earth) to thank her for providing everything she does.
A toast to Pachamama when the work is done.
José Prudencio preparing Gota Gota coffee.
Preparing vegetables for lunch.
The next day we set out to visit Ricardo Ccallo at Finca Pampa Blanca in Quinuay, from whom we bought 50 bags of coffee last year.
Beautiful still lakes added to the eerie quality of this region.
No shortage of breathtaking views.
With a very different environment to that on Agustin's farm, Pampa Blanca is much drier and windier. Growing mostly Typica on his 1,900m farm, Ricardo actively tries to keep moisture in the soil by leaving any fallen matter from shade trees along with any spent Coca leaves, chewed by workers as they pick, which grows in rows amongst the coffee.
Ricardo amongst his typica trees.
The quantity and health of the flower buds will determine the fruitset.
He also creates a rich compost, mostly from chicken and guinea pig droppings, as well as spent coffee pulp, which worms break down into rich black humus. A good handful is added to each tree just before the rains come, to help distribute the nourishing organic fertiliser, with any trees looking less vigorous receiving two handfuls of the nutrient-rich mulch.
Home to Ricardo’s homemade compost.
Black and rich in nutrients for his coffee trees.
Farming coffee here for 25 years, most of Ricardo's trees are between 20 and 30 years old. All trees get pruned right back every 6-8 years, but he admitted that some of his farm requires replanting soon.
Ricardo likes to very gently and smoothly manually de-pulp the coffee, which he says is only achievable with a ripe harvest. With the sugars acting as a lubricant, it makes the job of turning the hand crank that little bit easier.
Ready to process a tiny batch.
Floatation is still performed with these small pickings.
Once sieved to remove cherry skin, large batches ferment in a plastic-lined tank with a lid placed on top. Smaller lots, which have been more prevalent this year, are processed in the same manner as Agustin; bags sealed in barrels to perform what they call an "anaerobic fermentation".
Ricardo wakes around 3 am to wash his coffee when fermentation is complete as he wants to get it out into the rising sun to maximise the hours of sunlight available. Dried on black mesh on patios and under a plastic roof with both sides open for ventilation, Ricardo wishes to eventually invest in raised beds to have more control over his drying.
The biggest and best avocado I've ever eaten.
As we sat down for a very late, but delicious lunch of yucca, rice, broth, Ricardo handed me the largest avocado I've ever seen!
Well above the clouds.
Back at the Valle Inca lab in Calca, we cupped some fantastic coffees from other members in the Valle Inca association with José explaining some of the very in-depth processing techniques being employed to maximise the potential for quality on each of the farms.
As we had a flight to catch in Cusco, some hurriedly prepared samples passed through the huller before being visually graded. In removing visible defects and screen sizing the coffee to take only 15+ size beans, José mimicked the process at the dry mill allowing us to cup again back in London.
A sample of clean parchment coffee.
Back in Lima, we visited the Expo Café dry mill, where the parchment coffee will arrive after a 32-hour drive from the cool warehouse at 2,980m in Calca. Here we witnessed how the coffee is graded and refined, from initially checking certain physical traits like the moisture content of the coffee, through to hulling, size grading, density grading and optical sorting.
One of many cuppings during our travels in Peru.
Peru is a fantastic country, and in travelling to visit Agustin and Ricardo, we witnessed some of the most breathtaking yet remote scenery imaginable. We promise to follow up soon with the announcement of those lots we've chosen and are sure you'll be mightily impressed with the quality in the cup. Workshop will be back.
We’ve teamed up with our friends and partners at tokyobike and Kinto Japan to bring you the chance to win an incredibly covetable commuter package.
From an ongoing to supply of coffee, to everything you need to brew and transport it, the prize will also include your own two-wheeled transportation in the form of a brand new tokyobike.
The lucky winner will receive:
A 12-month Workshop Coffee subscription, straight through your letterbox each week
A place on one of our Home Brewing Masterclasses for you and a friend.
A tokyobike Classic Sport Limited Edition
A white 350ml Kinto Japan Travel Tumbler
A Kinto Japan 4-Cup Brewer Stand
With a combined value of over £1,500, entry is simple: just enter your details below between now and Sunday 8th September.
We wish you the best of luck.Win A Covetable Coffee Commuter Package