Finally! After a long time without the regular industry interactions, events and travel to origin, we teamed up with our industry friends, North Star Coffee Roasters, to present the Finca Margarita and Los Pinos Collaboration Pack.
For a time now, we’ve been sourcing coffee from mainly the East of El Salvador – Kilimanjaro by Aida Batlle from Santa Ana being a primary example. In late 2019 we started exploring a few small lots from the northeastern region of Chalatenango. Still, with the challenges 2020 presented, we decided to focus on our existing relationships in our El Salvador portfolio.
Drawn to the sweet, easy-going yet complex flavour profiles from Chalatenango, planning for 2021 without travel became much more research-based. This led me to a series of blog posts on the Chelezos group and a project my friend Holly from North Star Coffee Roasters in Leeds did with Finca Margarita in Chalatenango. Reading about their work with Caravela and knowing Holly, I was utterly inspired, sparking the conversation resulting in this collaboration.
Typically we cover a combination of sourcing avenues often involving trips to origin. These trips are primarily organised in groups with other speciality roasters and importers, and it’s here you meet like-minded producers, millers and exporters.
The adjustments of being unable to travel during 2020 have altered our sourcing avenues. Using a combination of online platforms to communicate and share our challenges, we have been able to build and even expand our sourcing network during the difficulties of Covid: allowing us to continue to purchase from existing suppliers and build relationships with new producers.
Collaboration in Coffee
What’s so exciting about this collaboration with North Star is that it’s a great example of how collaborative working is part of a healthy supply chain, facilitating the growth of speciality coffee in a balanced and sustainable way.
With the help of our import partner, Caravela, we managed to secure a lot from Roberto Landaverde and his farm Los Pinos, which is located about 1km from Finca Margarita.
Facilitated by Caravela and PECA (short for ‘Grower Education Program’ in Spanish), an agronomist team based in El Salvador – we’ve been able to engage Roberto in a meaningful way through numerous conversations. Exploring topics like coffee information, output and varieties, we get to better understand Roberto’s challenges and goals to build a stronger working relationship for years to come.
We purchased 10 bags (690kg) from Roberto, a somewhat small amount in coffee terms. And with the coffee contracted through Caravela, our small amount could be combined and shipped in a container containing 270 bags destined for other roasteries. As relatively small businesses within the coffee industry, both Roberto and Square Mile benefit from the economies of scale as part of a larger consignment.
To highlight the importance of collaborative working within the coffee industry inspired by North Star and showcase the exceptional work of the coffee farmer group, Chelazos, we wanted to share the Finca Margarita and Los Pinos pack. Finca Margarita, roasted by North Star, offers cherry, orange and marzipan notes, and Los Pinos roasted by us oozes orange and pistachio with a syrupy body.
Tom and Holly caught up to chat and share more about Roberto of Los Pinos, Maria of Finca Margarita and our impactful collaboration.
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Finca Margarita & Los Pinos Collab Pack£19.00