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Our Newest Single Origin: Ecuador, APECAP Cooperative

Ain’t Nut-thing But a Good Cup

Much of the coffee coming out of Ecuador isn’t top notch. In fact, the majority of their coffee export is naturals and robusta which funnel into the international instant coffee market.

The climate of Ecuador includes heavy rain year round and temperatures range from 50-80 Fahrenheit. A perfect climate for coffee, yes, however coffee rust will always be a problem for organic coffee, and the fungus loves a wet climate. After surviving the disadvantages, the cup holds up to our standards as a quality, organic roastery.

This coffee, grown in the south within the Palanda, Zamora-Chinchipe region at 1300-1600 meters above sea level, consists of a fully washed typica, caturra, and bourbon varietals.

Our Flavor Notes

We found that this coffee cups very nutty at a Full City roast. Over the course of three cuppings, we found almonds, walnuts, and peanut brittle in both the nose, the finish, and the taste, curving around notes of tangerines, malt and rye, nougat, and green veggies. Its acidity is pleasant, non-astringent, which goes well with its chewy, heavy body, and the cup finishes with a calm dryness. Bound to be a new favorite.

Stop in for a pound or click here to purchase from the site.

 

Flamenco, a Proud Sponsor of the Selling Desserts show, MPLS

Flamenco Organic Coffee Co. is one of the featured sponsors for the Selling Desserts show, which focuses on creative and innovative post-entrée items. Somewhere between creamy cheesecake and tiramisu lies a cup of a Flamenco single origin or demitasse of Matador espresso. We will be there serving up quality, organic beans along with our ideas for helping restaurants leave their patrons caffeinated and satisfied.

It has been long enough that Flamenco Organic has participated with a specialty foods show here in the Twin Cities. Being so close to home, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be there. Plus…think of all the treats that will be there to try!

What:  The Selling Desserts Show

Where: The McNamara Alumini Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

When: Wednesday, March 19th from 10:00am to 3:00pm

Who: Flamenco Organic Coffee Co., along with many other vendors specializing in desserts, cheese, coffee, and specialty drinks. 

Click here for a link to the Selling Desserts’ website, or here for registration.

Visit Flamenco Organic Coffee at the Midwest Foodservice Expo in Milwaukee!

Your favorite organic coffee fellas will be vending at this year’s Midwest Foodservice Expo in Milwaukee on March 10 – 12. Flamenco Organic Coffee has been pouring coffee at this show for the better part of 10 years alongside Upper Midwest Gourmet. This year, you can expect Flamenco Organic’s roaster Alan to brew unique pour-over coffees from India, Bali, Rwanda, Peru, and more. Up Cafe‘s head barista, Evan, will be slangin’ drinks using their powder white Synesso Cyncra. Be sure to bother him for a  Salted Caramel Macchiato, using his handmade syrup and Flamenco Organic’s exquisite Matador espresso .

There are goodies galore at this show, all of which can be consumed and enjoyed. Visit Flamenco Organic Coffee at booth number 748.

Contact us for a chance to get a few passes to attend the show for free!

 

The Wet Mill Process

Getting Past the Pulp

Coffee pulp after the seed has been removed

Coffee pulp after the seed has been removed

The wet mill process refers to the separation of the bean from the coffee fruit, also known as a cherry. The coffee, which because of the procedure is dubbed wet milled or washed coffee, is dumped in a large vat of water. The unripened or bad coffee will sink to the bottom while the good quality coffee cherries will float. The cherries are then pressed against a screen, allowing the bean to emerge out and the pulp to fall.

 

Naturally, some pulp may get through the screens. This is where methods may diverge. Firstly, some mills may opt for a ferment-and-wash method, where the beans are allowed to ferment in their juices (dry fermentation) or with extra water (wet fermentation) inside a deep concrete bed. The goal is to break down the remaining cellulose from the bean’s parchment. The time of this depends greatly on the climate and weather, mucilage and enzymes, and it is important to not over ferment, which will lead to taints in the coffee. Time will usually range from 20-40 hours.

 

The second method, called machine-assisted wet processing, does not involve fermentation, but rather scrubbing of the bean to remove the mucilage. Machine demucilaging uses less water, is more predictable, and is faster than ferment-and-wash. Because this process uses less water and the resulting water does not have any fermentation “stink,” it is generally preferred by those conscience of their environment. However, by removing the fermentation element, the quality of coffee drops.

 

AMSA Wet Mill 8

 

Because of ecological concerns, those mills using the ferment-and-wash method have several recycling methods. The pulp is often collected and used as compost, alongside corn husks, dirt, and manure. The water used may be reused having been filtered. In some rare cases, the wasted, fermenting water is stored in a large vat underground. The gas then produced can be used by the mill, and thus creating a self-sustaining process.

Patio drying
Patio drying
Large, industrial driers

Large, industrial driers

When finished, the bean will have lost its slimy texture and feel more pebble-like. The beans, left only with their silver skin and parchment, also known as pergamino, are then washed clean to halt the fermentation process and sun dried on a patio. Every 6 hours or as needed the beans are raked and rotated on a tiled or concrete floor. In some cases where the weather is too hot, the coffee beans are piled up and covered by burlap or black mesh, as to not over dry the coffee, during the sun’s peak hours of noon to 3:00pm. The beans are ready for hulling when the parchment is easily broken off. Biting a bean will also give one a good indication as to how much more time the coffee may need to stay out and further dry.

Larger wet mills will use rotating dryers to speed up the process. As the dryers rotate, the outside moisture will evaporate easily. Then the beans will rest, allowing the beans to equalize inter moisture before further drying. This helps attain correct moisture without ever burning the outside of a damp bean.

Cesmach Cooperative

Flamenco Organic’s visit to Cesmach Cooperative, Feb 2014

Union El Truinfo at a dry mill

David and Patrick at Cesmach

On a recent origin trip to Mexico, David and Patrick visited the cooperative responsible for Flamenco’s Mexican El Truinfo Biosphere Reserve crop. The Cesmach Cooperative is one of three groups to be apart of the Union El Truinfo. Nestled in the modest city of Jaltenango, it lies north of the biosphere reserve along two hours of rocky trail.

Beginning in 1994, Cesmach strives to help local coffee producers switch from conventional to organic coffee production. Currently, Cesmach is responsible for 478 families in 31 different communities and brings about 2 million lbs of green coffee. Along with the other two groups apart of Union El Truinfo (Truinfo Verde and Comon Yaj Noptic), they offer producers a foundation to change over (financing, organic fertilizer, ect). From 2008 to 2013, they grew by 46% in production and of their total intake only 14% is transitional (in other words, non-organic, but taking the necessary steps towards organic certification).

On average, the USA gets 78% of the coop’s coffee crops annually – all of which is organic. In order to receive organic certification, producers have to practice organic farming for three years.This allows for the soil to be cleansed of conventional chemicals and treatments. During this time, Cesmach will still take in and sell transitional coffee, however only within Chiapas and Mexico, roasted and ground in their facility.

Transparency and Changing of the Guards

The financial transparency of Cesmach (along with their partners in Union El Truinfo and other farms we visited) was very much a sigh of relief. Flamenco Organic Coffee Co. prioritizes fair trade organic coffee, and in a presentation by Cesmach, they pinpointed to the cent where their profits spread out to. On the average bag of coffee taken in by Cesmach and resold, producers directly received 21% of the sales price and have the option to save. Before that number, Cesmach pays off any credit and basic costs.

Outside the complex of Cesmach in Jaltenango

Those in charge of Cesmach do not get paid, but rather are members of the coop and producers themselves. Every three years, an election takes place to name influential and avid members to positions within Cesmach, ranging from vigilance counselors, regional directors, and smaller committees to handle individual production, certification, community development, commerical relations, and administration. It is possible to be placed in an elected position consecutively, not never the same.

Costa Rica Honey Process!

Costa Rica Honey Process

Organic coffee in Costa Rica is almost non-existent; couple that with this caliber of cup and you have a truly one-of-a-kind microlot of incredible distinction. The quality of the honey process is evident from the beginning, contributing a remarkably clean and diverse fruitiness. Sweet berry notes preside, but with an under-layer of soft citruses and stonefruits. This coffee is the complete package, with a gel-like smoothness, a lively, bright acidity and a persistent sweetness rounding out the entire cup.

(For additional information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)

Flamenco Lighted Signs

Do you love Flamenco Organic Coffee?

Do you want everyone to know?

flamenco sign

Get your very own Flamenco Lighted Sign!

This 12″ x 24″ beauty can be yours today!

(For additional information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)

Origins and Blends

Please enjoy our newest origin and blends sheet:

Origin Sheet 5.9.13

(For additional information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)

FTO Congo!

This was a huge hit at our release party for it at the UP Cafe Grand Opening last week!

Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo, Sopacdi Cooperative Tsheya Washing Station, South Kivu

Light Full City Roast

A uniquely interesting cup to accompany an inspiring story. Begins with an unmistakable nose of clove, black tea, and orange peel, which continues into the mouth while contributing both the sweetness and flavor of honey. Possesses the classical crisp, tart acidity associated with fine East African coffees and a body far more substantial than its weight would suggest. Finishes with a dessert-like sweetness and hints of bourbon.

(For additional information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)

Cup of Excellence – Mexico Finca La Lagunilla

We are very excited about this one!

Mex COE3

Mexico Finca La Lagunilla, Ixtlan Juarez, Oaxaca #3 C.O.E. 2012

City Roast

Cup of Excellence Mexico Ixtlan Juarez, Oaxaca #3 C.O.E. 2012
Finca La Lagunilla, Andres Martinez Leon

Grains and sweet syrups develop out of generous aromatics. Bold and bright, bursts of pomegranate and unripe banana push through a thin-yet-balanced body. A glimmer of white whiskey curls this coffee into its cereal-like, resonant finale.

(For additional information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)