November Subscription

Papua New Guinea Kunjin

This coffee was sourced from the Keto Tepasi Progress Organization. Similar to other cooperatives around the world, Keto Tepasi works with a range of coffee producers, with some overseeing only a few plants (we call these “garden farms”) to large-scale farms with hundreds of coffee trees. The goal of the organization is the result of two tribes coming together: Keto and Tepasi. The result is an organization that spans across different language groups and cultural identities in one of the most diverse nations in the world. Keto Tepasi uses the money made from each harvest season to provide healthcare and education to members of the organization. Kunjin is the specific area this coffee came from. We’re tasting classic tones of melons, herbs, and cedar in this sweet and deep island coffee.

In the cup we taste tones of sweet cedar and melons akin to cantaloupe with a soft herbal finish. The result is a really interesting cup profile that’s still very approachable.

Processing – Fully Washed
Varieties – Typica, Ashura, Mundo Novo
Harvest – Feb-September
Farmers – Various Regional Smallholder Producers
Altitude – 1400-1800 MASL
Region – Waghi Valley, Western Highland

 

Mexico Lachao Lot 1

You can’t talk about coffee from Mexico without focusing in on Oaxaca in particular. This state situated in the heart of Mexico produces some of the most dense and delicious flavors we’ve ever tasted. Geographically, Oaxaca is an extremely unique place to grow coffee: two mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre del Sur and Sierra Mixteca merge to form the Sierra Madre Occidental which juts north. This mountain range is home to innumerable coffee producers, growing the mysterious and coveted variety found only in Oaxaca: Typica La Pluma. This type of coffee tree is the result of the original Typica plants, which were brought to Oaxaca more than two hundred years ago, naturally changing and adapting to create an entirely new and unique variety named Pluma after the area it was discovered.

This particular lot comes from the Lachao Municipality of Sierra Sur and was produced by the UNECAFE (Unidad Ecologica para El Sector Café Oaxaqueños) cooperative. Historically, Oaxacan farmers have not organized into cooperatives, but more and more recently we’ve seen farmers coming together to collectively bargain and protect from “coyotes” or predatory coffee buyers who exploit vulnerable farmers and purchase their coffees at extremely low prices. UNECAFE is led by Joaquin Sanata, who meets monthly with farmers in the cooperative to talk shop and taste coffees together. The cooperative has aggressively pushed organic-only practices for fertilization as well as regular pruning of the coffee trees and investment in growing new trees from seedlings. The result is the best Oaxacan coffee we’ve tasted. In each cup, you’ll smell the deep sweet oak and chocolatey tones Typica La Pluma is known for, with a rich and deep mouthfeel. We taste tones of Shortbread Cookie and Chocolate Brownie with a bright citrus flair akin to Orange Peel. The result is an exceptionally nuanced and blissful cup that you’ll wish was bottomless more and more with each sip.

In the cup we’re tasting classic Oaxacan tones of shortbread cookie, chocolate, and cedar with a lovely finish that reminds of orange peel. 

Processing – Fully Washed
Varieties –  Typica La Pluma
Harvest – Nov-March
Farmers – 32 Members of Community
Altitude – 1700-1900 MASL
Region – Oaxaca State, Sierra Sur Region, Lachao Municipality

 

Guatemala Los Dos Socios

In 2019 Utopian Coffee visited Guatemala for the second time. We spent most of the five day trip in the Huehuetenango Department which is located in the far West of Guatemala. Traveling to this region is very interesting, to say the least. We rode in a rented a bus and followed a single road for about eight hours all the way to Huehuetenango City. Once we reached the city we were told it would be another six to eight hours to reach the actual farms which are located high in the remote mountains. It was at the tops of these mountains where we met coffee producers. From the top of the mountain we could see the border with Mexico. It was breathtaking to stand among the coffee trees and pick cherries with the producers. There’s truly no experience like going to a coffee farm and speaking directly with people on the ground producing the actual coffee we drink every day. On that trip alone we visited three distinct growing communities and were able to witness the diversity of microclimates firsthand. 

As you may know, the best coffee comes from the highest elevations, but this is also where the poorest people tend to live. Often, coffee producers in these mountains do not have access to the markets needed to sell their specialty coffee for reasonable prices. They end up selling their coffee to “coyotes” or dishonest buyers, or selling their coffee into the commodity market and receiving nothing near what they deserve or need to thrive. The result is an endless cycle of poverty for these producers and their families. 

Luckily, there are companies changing this narrative. Onyx Coffee Importers was founded 15 years ago in order to give remote coffee producers in Guatemala an opportunity to sell their coffee at fair prices to clients around the world. Onyx was started by Edwin Martinez, whose grandfather began the “Vista Hermosa” coffee farm in 1957. In an attempt to sell coffee for a better price, Edwin began Onyx and started importing coffees to the United States. Quickly, Edwin found coffee roasters who were interested in traceable, high-quality coffee from Guatemala. Since then, Onyx has grown massively and now is one of the main companies importing high-quality specialty Guatemalan coffee to the United States. We got into touch with Onyx and fell in love with their mission and their desire to truly provide stable relationships for producers. One of the producers Onyx is currently working with, whose coffee we tasted earlier this summer, is Don Concepcion Villatoro Matias.

Don Concepcion Villatoro Matias purchased his farm in 1990, and since then has focused his life and energy on growing beautiful and healthy coffee trees, which in return produce the best-tasting coffee-cherries. As his operation has grown, Don Concepcion has purchased small parcels of land around his original farm, planting Bourbon and Caturra trees, both varieties known for producing exceptionally high-quality coffees. He named one of his parcels or lots Los Dos Socios, which translates to the two partners. In his heart, Don believes God is a part of his project and ongoing success, and it is God’s favor that sustains his farm. This past summer we tasted Los Dos Socios and it stood out from the 10 Guatemalan coffees we cupped through as the highest quality and most memorable. 

In the cup, we taste tones of dark chocolate truffle with dense fruit tones reminiscent of blackberries and citrus. We also capture aromas of flowers and mixed nuts. This coffee is definitely a wonderful display of the unique attributes Guatemalan coffees can contain. 

Processing – Fully Washed
Varieties – Bourbon and Caturra
Harvest – Nov – April
Farmer – Concepcion Villatoro Matias
Altitude – 1700 Meters Above Sea Level
Region – El Chalum, La Libertad Muncipality, Huehuetenango

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As always, thank you for choosing Utopian! We hope you enjoy learning more about the coffees you drink and share. If you have questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to leave them below or email to .