Jack (CEO) and Dismas (Head Roaster) are on a coffee buying trip to Central America. These are notes from their journey.

At one of the micro-mills.

Feb 17, 2015

We get to the lab about 9:00am. We have a lot of cupping to do. With so many farms and single origin lots to choose from, it’s a bit daunting. Each table has 48 cups and we cup 4 tables. This is not easy cupping, as there are so many similarities. We have to be watchful of palate fatigue or we’ll make mistakes. At 2:00pm, we wrap up and I hope we are done for the day. Not at all. We jump back in the van and are off to visit more micro-mills. Our guide asks if we want lunch now or when we get closer to our destination: we all say now. Ninety-five minutes later I ask, “lunch soon?” “Well, I decided to go to a better place.” Hah! If there’s anything I always take away from these trips, it’s to stay loose & enjoy the ride.

The family of Granitas de Alturra micro-mill.

After a lunch with the most stunning view ever (worth the wait), we were back in the van for Granitas de Alturra Micro-mill. This mill is operated by four sisters and was one of my very favorite coffees last year. They greet us with gifts and smiles. After a nice tour, one of the younger women says, “Thanks for buying our coffee, see you next harvest.” Wow. So cool. We visit two more mills and drive back to town. Francisco hosts a big dinner and we eat amazing fish sitting next to the Toby’s Estate buyer (Brooklyn) and the Campos Coffee buyer (Australia). We had a great time chatting about our favorite coffees and of course drinking. It’s another late night, but we go home tomorrow and savor every last moment.

Feb 18, 2015

Jack inspecting the coffee on a raised drying bed.

We get up, pack, grab breakfast, and head to the lab. We’ll be making all final decisions this morning before heading to the airport about 1:00pm. We get there and discuss the things we are deciding on. Fortunately, we only have two tables to cup. After a couple hours, we’ve made our decisions. Watch for Herbazu SL 28 (Kenya varietal), with a cup score of 90; Los Brusmas Geisha natural, with a cup score of 92; El Pilon natural, with a cup score of 88.5; and Granitas de Ortiz, with a cup score of 89. These are the best of the best and I’m so excited to offer them to you, our customers at Caffe Ladro.

Dismas and I had an amazing journey. Thank you all for making it possible!

– Jack