Summertime Red Brick always showcases the welcome arrival of our Central American coffees, and while we’ve been winding down the last few bags of the current blend (Colombian Meridiano and Ethiopian Bochesi), we’ve simultaneously been profiling their Guatemalan and Costa Rican replacements.
This season has proved a challenging one for the logistics departments of many coffee roasters, however. Shipments have been delayed for several reasons, and timelines have had to be adjusted at short notice, often on the fly. Container shortages, natural disasters, failing computer systems at ports and queues at customs sometimes get in the way of the best-laid plans.
That being said, we’d never leave you hanging without your delicious daily Red Brick hit, though, for the reasons mentioned above, we aren’t expecting this blend (which is a straight 50/50 mix of Santa Anita from Costa Rica and Red de Mujeres from Guatemala) to last quite as long as we’d normally like!
This is our second year buying coffee from the Santa Anita Estate in the West Valley, and we’re very excited to continue another great relationship with a producing family that is innovative, forward thinking and pushing for progress and education.
Juan Manuel Sanchez Benavidez is the owner of the farm, and we’ve had the pleasure of both visiting him at his farm, and hosting his son and marketing representative Enrique here at our London roastery.
The five-generation family operation manages farms in both the Central and West Valleys, with their mill located in Naranjo de Alajuela. Tradition and innovation go hand in hand for the Sanchez’ family.
Costa Rica as a country has a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021, and one of the things Santa Anita mill are doing as their part of the work towards this is running their whole milling facility on solar energy. Of their vocation and mission, the family say: “We promote respect, hard-work, transparency, health, progress, vision, conservation of the environment, protection of wildlife, social wellness and a bright future for our planet. Surely last but certainly not least, the best coffee beans mother earth can yield!”.
Country: Costa Rica
Region: West Valley
Producer: Vijuan Manuel Sanchez Benavidez
Varieties: Caturra, Catuai
Process: White Honey
Altitude: 1300-1350 masl
RED DE MUJERES
Huehuetenango is possibly our favourite region in Guatemala, and we’re always excited to explore the coffees from the producers who make this area their home. One group working here is the Asociación de Cooperación al Desarrollo Integral de Huehuetenango (ACODIHUE).
Founded in 1996 with the support from the EU and the Guatemalan government, the group is based in the Cuchumatanes Mountains, and their work reaches far across the 32 municipalities of Huehuetenango. Within the larger organisation, several subgroups have been formed, and one of them is a network called Red de Mujeres Productoras de Huehuetenango.
Aimed at providing support and services exclusively for female producers, the group focuses on the vulnerable population of women who have been widowed during the civil war or left behind during the coffee crisis, during which many of their husbands went to the city to find work.
Finding ways to combat extreme poverty and food insecurity, the group apply strategies in both social, environmental and economic services. This particular lot from the group is from the San Antonio Huista area and is the product of 50 female producers.
Amongst other skills, the group aims to teach the best agricultural practices in organic farming methods, from producing and applying fertilisers, to rust and pest control methods. We are pleased to be able to support their work and help establish a secure trading platform for their ongoing work.
Producer: Groupo Red de Mujeres
Varieties: Caturra, Pache, Bourbon
Altitude: 1650-1800 masl
The chocolatey, plummy sweetness of the Santa Anita combined with the fruity, berry flavours of the Red de Mujeres make for a lovely summertime Red Brick that we hope will delight your taste buds whether you’re drinking it hot or iced, at work or the beach.
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