The last number of months has seen us engage in many projects, but two have been very close to our hearts for very different reasons. Both of these projects involved the two most expensive coffees we’ve ever bought, one of which we believe is the most expensive green coffee ever brought to Ireland.
We received an email from Qima Coffee back in May of 2019 and It immediately piqued our interest in both a personal and professional capacity. Yemen is frequently thought to be the birthplace of coffee and it would be hard to avoid hearing of the human tragedy that’s currently taking place there.
The coffee was very expensive for obvious reasons, it’s high in quality and also, given the conditions in the country, very difficult to produce. When we made the decision to purchase we had made another decision that was fundamental to our business. We started roasting coffee in Dolphins Barn in May 2018 and decided from the get go we would donate 1 % of our coffee sales to Women’s Aid. By the time we bought our coffee from Yemen we had decided we would donate an additional 1% of sales to causes in coffee producing countries so Yemen seemed an ideal place to start.
We bought this coffee and six cafés agreed to stock it and sell on our behalf which was no small thing, so we owe Clement and Pekoe, Lotts and Co, The Fumbally, Mister Magpie, Storyboard and These Hands our sincerest thanks. We ended up raising €2,425 and all proceeds were donated to MSF for their work in Yemen.
In August of this year we were visited by Panamanian coffee farmer, Pedro Moss of La Huella. As well as growing his own coffee, Pedro processes the coffees of small neighbouring farms at his mill.
Panama in our opinion produces the best coffee on the planet, with its Gesha varietal breaking world price records every year. We had bought some of his coffees in 2018 and it was a very big deal for us that he came to our roastery.
Nobody in Ireland had roasted Gesha from Panama before and meeting Pedro really helped bring the story of this coffee to life. It takes 4 to 5 years for the Gesha tree to produce fruit of a standard Pedro believes good enough and even then, the yield is generally only 450 to 500 grams of green beans per tree. He is not just a farmer but a custodian.
We’ve recently put this coffee on our site for sale and at the end of October we spoke to Pedro as we wish to buy another of his Geshas. It’s our hope to bring several coffees to Ireland this year and next that haven’t been seen here before. We’ll do this whilst continuing to donate 2% of our sales and looking to further initiatives that help all involved in our value chain.