41 Minutes Listen
Salomé · Rory · Marisabel
Relationship Building and Marketing Team
In recent years the demand for something different and exciting has exceeded what the market can realistically provide. This has directed influenced production trends at origin.
This month’s podcast looks at the impact of producing exotic varieties for small scale coffee producers in Latin America. For a lot of farmers, Gesha is the exotic variety of choice but why has the introduction of this variety, as well as others, been so problematic. Find out more on this and also hear the abridged interview with Ratibor Hartmann regarding how he achieved great success with his exotic varieties.
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It’s unfortunate that the terroir in Colombia is not conducive to producing quality Gesha like Panama or even the Gori Gesha Forest in Ethiopia but this variety is not ruining coffee; people’s own baggage does that to coffee and we look outside of ourselves to place blame. Exotic varieties have brought more attention to Specialty Coffee than ever before. The demand for all Specialty Coffee is higher now than 10 years ago. Coffee competitions, cup of excellence and auctions have brought recognition to exotic coffees and now innovative fermentation and processing techniques that in turn influence the increase in demand for Specialty coffee.
Good summary that could cover all let’s call special varieties. In Colombia for the time being some increasing tendency to plant Gesha without knowing seeds source, crop management and other. Big risk, hope farmers don’t have issues.
Thank you for this very interesting interview. Tibor is a friend of mine and the person whom I send my samples for Q-Grading. I have been struggling on a dynamic coffee project in the Province of Coclé, Panama. He was also very encouraging and helpful in this project. Hopefully, we will get it off the ground this year.
We produce what is common in Panama, caturra, tipica and gesha. Our farms are between 1000 – 1200 meters. The farms are tiny. We are experimenting with maragaype, bourbon and obatá. Our tipica is our best. It has been graded between 85.5 -87 points. The caturra around 84-85. We hope to find out how good the gesha is this year. In my opinion, our gesha has more flowery notes like roses than lemon. Who knows this time?
Marketing is a struggle I cannot get my head around. What a lot of us micro-farmers need is importers or roasters who will take us by the hand and explain in layman’s terms how we can work together. The way it is right now, the importer and roaster have so much to choose from that there is no need to help us little guys. We continue to be overlooked making even more elusive our dream of exporting quality coffee.
Wow…Damian! Great stuff here about the need for more connection in the supply chain. We oftentimes see the supply chain (even in terminology we use) as a stream where information runs downstream but very little is sent back upstream. How awesome would it be if we can see more and more roasters, importers, etc communicating to producers about what it is their consumers are wanting and what their needs are?
Many of the activities and attempts at a farm level are just producers throwing darts at a board. Granted we are getting better and more consistent at the darts we are throwing, but it is still a guessing game knowing if the consumer will like this, buy this, or even if they want it! Having more information from the consumer side changes the game from a dart game to a more directed approach where when you marry skills in processing coffee with the desired outcome, we can truly begin producing coffees to order, thus creating more stable revenue.
Keep powering forward. Best of luck to you with your new coffees!