Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya: on coffee bags, the emphasis is often on origin, on the country from which the beans come. While some roasters choose to give only the name of the country as information, others, like us for example, choose to give as much information as possible, to localize the origin of the coffee as much as possible. It's not uncommon to find the name of the farm, village or town, then the province or state, followed by the country. We even go a step further by displaying a map of the country of origin on the back of the bag, along with an arrow to give you an idea of where the coffee you're about to drink comes from. But why so much detail? The simple answer: because we consider coffee to be a product of a terroir. So we believe it's very important not only to name the beans, but also to show where they come from.
The more complicated answer now: Origin is one of the most important pieces of information about what we can expect from a coffee, provided it's accurate. Knowing that a coffee comes from Ethiopia doesn't tell us much. Of course, if you're familiar with Ethiopian coffee, you'd expect it to be sweet and fruity, but it's hard to know much more than that. On the other hand, if you know that this coffee comes from a village, Raro Majoo for example, that this village is located in the Guji zone, in the south of Ethiopia, that you know that this village is situated at an altitude varying between 2100 and 2300 meters above sea level and that you also know that the coffee has been dried naturally, then you know what a fruit bomb you're dealing with. You expect a lot of sugar, character and acidity. In the end, knowing what to expect helps you choose the right coffee. That's why we make it a point to provide as much information as possible on our coffees, to help you understand and therefore buy better. We avoid disappointment, but above all, we encourage discovery and experimentation.
Then there's the question of naming the cafés. How do you choose the name that will appear on the bag? For us, it's pretty straightforward. When the coffee comes from a single producer, we name the coffee after that producer. Karol Ortega or Adalberto Zanon are good examples. When the coffee comes from a community lot, or from a washing station grouping together several producers, we give it the name chosen by the community, as in the case of Laboyano or Qabballe. When we choose to mix origins to create a blend, we try to give it a name that recalls the origins of the coffees making it up. With this in mind, we have designed the Amazonie blend, for example. It's made up of 50% Colombian coffee (Laboyano at the moment) and 50% Brazilian coffee (Adalberto Zanon at the moment). The Amazon is an immense region of Brazil, home to part of the Amazon rainforest that extends beyond its borders into Colombia. For us, it was a way of linking the origins.
As we often like to remind people, information taken out of context doesn't help us understand much. There's a tendency in the coffee world to make a lot of assertions, without ever attempting to prove or demonstrate them. For us, on the contrary, the purpose of roasting coffee is to serve both as a transmission belt between the work of talented producers and the palate of our customers, and also, if possible, to be a spark plug for future coffee enthusiasts. We will always strive to put the coffee we work with into context, trying to explain as clearly as possible how it was produced, by whom and where. We believe that this is the best way to help, in some small way, to raise awareness of the reality of the work carried out by the producers who make it possible for us to enjoy our favorite beverage.