It's that time of year... the air is getting crisper, leaves are starting to turn, and people are reaching for cozy coffees!
Recently we featured some of our landed seasonal lots; this week we are highlighting some of the coffees that are afloat now and will be arriving just as winter reaches its coldest.
Cranberry, stewed apple, orange, vanilla, and spice--what could be cozier? If you are looking for a classic profile from a young cooperative, look no further than Rebuild Women's Hope (RWH), a women-led cooperative that produces some of our favorite winter coffees. These coffees are great as single-origin options and add body and citric/spice qualities to blends.
Marcelline Budza, pictured here, established RWH in 2013 with a vision “to place women at the center of the integral development of her community.” RWH offers pre-harvest, interest-free loans that producers can repay during the harvest with either cash or cherry. Over the last several years, they have used their quality premiums, partner donations, and the prize earnings from a French human rights award to build a maternal and pediatric facility and offer medical services to the community. They also just piped in clean water, the village's first-ever potable water source.
This year's harvest will be available mid-November. We can't wait to have a hot cup on a cold morning!
One of our most highly anticipated arrivals of the year, the sweet, spicy characteristics of Muungano's lots are always crowd-pleasers. These coffees play beautifully with others, especially in espresso blends, and also shine on their own.
Founded in 2009, Muungano coop is comprised of around 4,400 smallholder farmers, nearly half of them women. Gender justice is a principal focus of the members, as is integrating farmers from different ethnic groups into the operation. The word “Muungano” means “Togetherness” in the Swahili language. When we first visited the group, they were milling coffee on equipment from the early twentieth century, yet still managed to produce the best Congo coffee we had ever tasted. Since then, they have installed two new washing stations, a new cupping lab, and have a trained roaster and cupper on staff. The fruits of their hard work are evident in the sweet, bright, and complex coffees they produce every year. This is Atlas' fourth year bringing Muungano coffees into the US and our second year featuring a natural-processed lot alongside community and women's lots.
If you love the classic profile of South American coffee, this one's for you! Our next Peru arrival from the El Milagro cooperative will be available in a few short weeks.
El Milagro has been hard at work since its inception to increase plant productivity, cup quality, and membership. They launched their coop in 2013 with 56 members and have since increased to 156 and counting. While Peru was hit hard with COVID-related difficulties in 2020, the El Milagro cooperative was still able to produce some beautiful coffees, and we are excited to share their efforts: this year's harvest features a sweet profile of grape, citrus, vanilla, and chocolate with medium acidity and a medium, creamy body. Pair it with washed coffee from Sholi (mentioned below) for a balanced, bright blend of Fair Trade, Organic Cooperative coffees!
Who doesn't need a little sparkle in the wintertime? Landing just before the winter solstice, this coffee is sure to brighten the darkest days of the year. Once again, we will have both women's and standard washed lots and a limited run of natural coffee from the Sholi Cooperative.
Sholi was established in 2008 and produces coffees with some of the deepest citrus acidity we’ve seen from the Great Lakes countries. They shine with notes of ruby red grapefruit and juicy blood orange. Additional layers of mango, orange, and dark berry are balanced by honey and finish with lavender. Last year, their natural lot was one of our highest scoring coffees of the year!
These coffees shine in their own right and are excellent when paired with heavier bodied, chocolatey coffees in a blend. We can't wait for you to try for yourself!