La Palma y El Tucan

Behind La Palma y El Tucán - Part three: Sustainability

THIS BLOG POST IS THE THIRD IN A THREE-PART SERIES. READ PART 1, AND PART 2

In Part 1 of this blog series, Nico wrote about La Palma y El Tucán’s (LPET) impressive social impact. In Part 2 he outlined LPET’s rigorous approach to quality

In this final blog post, I will tell you about BIODIVERSAL, a new project from the founders of LPET which seeks to support coffee growers and their land by diversifying and marketing their crops. 

Barriers to sustainable coffee production in Colombia

Coffee has been integral to Colombia’s rural economy for decades, but its current model is unsustainable. With the C-Price at an historic low, farmers struggle to cover the cost of their production. For some, it seems if they want to put food on the table their two options are to stay on their farm and grow a more profitable crop, often illicit products like coca, used in the production of cocaine. Alternatively they can head to the city where there are more economic opportunities. 

“As the average age of coffee farmers rises above 60 and their children seek non-farm employment or migrate to cities, the coffee sector will lose its viability,” said Felipe Sardi, cofounder of LPET. 

Additionally the mono-culture farming often practiced today is depleting the soils and requires more and more expensive chemical inputs. 

“We are convinced that coffee alone cannot generate adequate income to enable sustainable progress out of poverty or opportunities for the next generation of farmers,” Felipe said. 

They also see that monocultural coffee production is environmentally damaging, and vulnerable to global warming, which threatens to reduce viable coffee growing land in Latin America by 88% by 2050, according to the SCA. 

Biodiversity is one answer 

Felipe and cofounder, Elisa María Madriñan, see crop diversification as the answer to many of these issues. This involves cultivating other agricultural products in addition to coffee, to give farmers an additional source of income, and reduce the environmental impact of monoculture agriculture. Of course, this is LPET, so rigorous processing to uphold the highest quality in all products is the foundation of their project, giving farmers access to specialty markets for all of their crops. This is the core ideal behind BIODIVERSAL. 

“It brings forward a diverse pool of value-added agricultural products cultivated and sourced in a way that protects the community and the environment,” Felipe explained.  

“In today’s system, farmers have been encouraged, and eventually forced, into producing monocultures. We want to break this cycle. With the collaboration of our neighboring farmers, we will produce, transform, and commercialize value-added products in an array of local and global markets.”  

While this appears simple on paper, it involves great risk for the producer. Many come from a long line of coffee growers, so coffee is the crop they understand. Removing coffee trees and planting alternative crops presents many challenges, they may not know what will grow well on their land, or have access to the market for that agricultural product. 

With BIODIVERSAL, Felipe and Elisa plan to raise capital for the necessary agricultural research and development, to learn the highest standard processing methods, and to find the specialty markets for these new products.  

Holistic business model

The core idea behind BIODIVERSAL is to generate added value. This means transforming raw materials into something closer to the final product. Felipe noted, this requires a process of “continuous innovation in production, processing, and marketing to establish more direct, relationship-based trade between farmers and consumers in a high-quality agricultural market.”

Farmers involved in the project will benefit from LPET’s experience and expertise in design and marketing. The team intend to focus on the local market first, to reduce the carbon footprint of their products. “While we understand the importance and value of an international market,” Felipe said, “we want to focus on our local niche markets before branching out.”

Felipe refers to the multiple players required to make this business model work as a “symphony of collective efforts.”

Farmers are the production experts and caretakers of our ecosystems. Experienced entrepreneurs and investors bring the capital and experience to create value-added products through investments in technology and innovation. Conscious consumers support the project by seeking quality and the highest standards of ethical and ecological principles in the products they purchase.

THE PILOT PROJECT 

BIODIVERSAL will begin with a pilot project, working with twenty small-scale farms located around LPET´s farm in Cundinamarca, Colombia. The team have already leased a two hectare farm that meets all the characteristics of an average coffee farm in the region. They plan to implement four different BIODIVERSAL farming designs that will include over 24 species in addition to coffee. The results of these experiments will be shared with the local community and farmers. Farms will be divided into four groups, five farms will replicate one design, so that twenty farms can help test all four designs. Sixteen farms have already signed up for the challenge, all of which belong to LPET’s Neighbors & Crops Program. 

Some of the agricultural products that they intend to produce include:

  • Coffee

  • Pepper

  • Inca nuts

  • Archira (a local root vegetable used to make flour)

  • For shade:

    • Fourteen varieties of trees including Cedar, Chachafruto, Yarumo and Palm

  • For essential oil:

    • Lavender

    • Tumeric

    • Rosemary

    • Thyme

    • Citronella

    • Vetiver

  • For syrup:

    • Yacon

Following Colombia’s peace agreement and the withdrawal of FARC guerrillas from many parts of Colombia’s countryside, Felipe and Elisa see an opportunity to bring this new approach to conflict-prone areas. This could help farmers transitioning into legal crops create a more sustainable business model, strengthening peace in one of the world’s largest coffee producing countries. 







Behind La Palma y El Tucán - Part Two: Quality

THIS BLOG POST IS THE SECOND IN A THREE-PART SERIES. READ PART 1, AND PART 3.

In Part 1 of this blog series, I wrote about La Palma y El Tucán’s (LPET) impressive social impact.

In this blog post, the second in a three part series about LPET, I will dive deeper into the strict methodology and innovative processing behind the stellar cups that have earned LPET an impressive reputation for quality.

A quest for quality

When LPET began in 2012, the founders, Felipe Sardi and Elisa María Madriñan were convinced that varieties like Castillo, known for their disease-resistance, but not for their cup quality, had the potential to produce delicious lots, if they were picked selectively and processed well. Starting a farm from scratch meant that the pair could design both the processing facility, and the methodology, with quality as the number one priority. This is the vision behind LPET’s Neighbors & Crops program (N&C).

To ensure perfect ripeness, the cherries destined for the N&C lots are picked by LPET’s own team of highly-trained women who select only the ripest cherries. (The deep cherry-red nail polish they wear helps them identify the perfectly ripe fruit!) The cherries are then transported by truck to the LPET farm for processing. 

Receiving the cherries at the station

Receiving the cherries at the station

Due to the very small size of their farms, a single N&C producer is unlikely to produce sufficient cherries in a single day to fill a ten bag lot, so lots are usually composed of cherries from five or six different producers. The lot will keep the name of the producer who has the most cherries in a single lot. 

Checking the pH of the lots.

Checking the pH of the lots.

Measuring the Brics

Measuring the Brics

Adding rigor to research

Each lot will be tracked and recorded. At the farm gate an LPET team member notes the weight of cherries. At the station gate they measure the pH and sugar content. All this information is recorded on a physical tracking sheet for each lot, and transferred to a spreadsheet. This is essential data which they can use in the future. For example, this year the team reviewed every cupping sheet for the lots they produced in the last five years. They identified the best lot for cup profile and scores, and noted the relevant data including brics, pH, and time spent fermenting. With this data they created several “recipes” which they applied to cherries delivered this year. If you get a chance to cup the incoming fresh crops from LPET, you will understand the positive impact this rigorous approach has on quality. 

After the cherries pass the quality controls, they will undergo lactic pre-fermentation, water sorting, depulping, fermentation, washing and drying. To share all the details of these processing method is a blog post for another day, but we can at least tell you about their star process: lactic fermentation.

Tracking the coffee through the quality process

Tracking the coffee through the quality process

What is LPET Lactic Fermentation?

LPET lots show extremely diverse cup profiles. From a juicy tropical punch to a rum raisin syrupy shake, they can fit all preferences and curiosities. This is due to the extremely “picky-picking,” the state of the art equipment of their processing facility, and the knowledge of the whole team. Additionally, a large chunk of credit must go to this innovative Lactic process they have mastered over the years. A unique acidity structures each lot with its milky or winey tones, bringing a heavy body and a sparkling touch to the cup.

Sweet cherries ready to ferment!

Sweet cherries ready to ferment!

Before depulping begins, cherries are placed in a closed tank. Sugar content, temperature and pH are noted. The high sugar content of the perfectly ripe cherries provides ample food for yeast and bacteria naturally present in the air and on the cherries, so fermentation begins. One by-product of this fermentation is carbon dioxide. As the tank is closed it will slowly fill up with CO2 and the air will be chased out. Under these anaerobic conditions (meaning without oxygen), the bacteria that survives will produce lactic acidity, hence the name. For Lactic Fermentation, LPET will leave cherries fermenting in tanks for approximately 70 hours before depulping.

An easy way to see if cherries have been through a lactic fermentation is to look at the beans after depulping. If everything went well, a bit of alcohol was also produced during the fermentation, transferring some color from the pulp to the beans.

Lactic fermented beans after depulping

Lactic fermented beans after depulping

The quality control is not finished yet. After drying and milling, each lot, be it a Neighbors and Crops micro-lot of 350kg, or a Heroes Series nano-lot of 25kg, is sorted again by hand with the objective of achieving zero major and zero minor defects. Perfection is always the goal.

Final hand sorting

Final hand sorting

All of these sorting steps give us an incredible ratio of cherries to green of 1:8,5. On average, LPET needs 85 kilos of cherries to produce ten kilos of green. Think about that on your next sip!

Innovation never stops behind this farm’s doors, ambition to improve is always carrying them forward.  We are more than happy to chat to you about this project by phone, or over a coffee when we see each other somewhere on our beautiful home planet.

This season, we have fifteen stellar lots for our customers in Europe. The first ten lots are ready to go and will arrive in Hamburg early December. Five additional lots from the late harvest are being processed as I write this. Expect those around February 2019!

Nine lots have been already booked so hurry, before they all go. To book your LPET Neighbors and Crops lot, contact me at nicolas@collaborativecoffeesource.com !

Cheers – Nico

Read Part 1 of this blog series here.

Behind La Palma y El Tucán - Part One: Social Impact

This blog post is the first in a three-part series. Read Part 2, and Part 3.

I could probably write a book about La Palma y El Tucán (LPET). Instead I will limit myself to three blog posts.

I was lucky to travel to the LPET farm in August to make the CCS 2018-2019 selection, along with my team mate, CCS Global Buyer, Matt Hassell. Together we went behind the scenes to discover the strategy, science and hard work behind these stunning coffees.

In Part 2 of this blog series I will tell you about the famous processing and the laser focus on quality, and yes, we will review the crazy varietals they grow on their eighteen hectare farm. In Part 3 we will learn about LPET’s plans for increasing biodiversity and protecting farmer incomes with a new project.

Here in Part 1, what I really want to share with you is the positive social impact that the LPET team have on the local coffee growing community.


Let’s start at the beginning

Felipe Sardi and Elisa María Madriñan bought the LPET farm, located at 1600 masl in Cundinamarca, about 2 hours away from Bogota, and planted trees between August and December 2012. They employ 22 permanent workers and 60 to 70 seasonal pickers for the harvest. 

The farm is eighteen hectares, four of which remain wild primary forest. The fourteen hectares in coffee production are separated into five plots: Typica, SL28, Sidra, Geisha and Java. This is the coffee that will become the LPET Estate and Varietals series, including Heroes Series nano-lots of 25kg. Also on the farm is the state-of-the-art LPET processing facility, where they process coffee cherries purchased from neighboring farms for the Neighbors and Crops Series.

The Neighbors and Crops Program:

The goal of the Neighbors and Crops program (N&C) is to produce finely crafted and diverse cups, while simultaneously helping producers with fair revenues. 

To understand the LPET payment structure, you first need to understand how most coffee is bought and sold in Colombia.

A view of the farm from the neighboring mountain

A view of the farm from the neighboring mountain

The “FNC” Price

In Colombia, the standard way for producers to sell their coffee is to work with the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC). Created in the late 1920’s the federation is run by elected members, and boasts over 500,000 members. It is the largest agricultural NGO in the world.

One great reason for producers to join the FNC is their guaranteed purchase scheme. On any day of the year, producers can sell their coffee to the FNC at one of over 500 buying stations around the country. The price offered that day is based on the C-Price, with a differential of around 20% paid by the international market for coffee that meets the FNC’s strict export standards.

How does a producer, or anyone interested, learn the FNC price for a given day? Google “FNC precio café” and you will find this document:

FNC chart Nov 19.jpg

Every week the FNC updates this spreadsheet with the current pricing. For logistical reasons, the price offered will depend on the region. The deeper you travel into the country the lower the price, to account for the logistical costs of transporting the coffee to port.

Let’s take a closer look at the second table.

FNC chart Nov 19 table 2.jpeg

This table shows the price paid by yield factor, or “factor de rendimiento.” The yield factor is the kilograms of parchment coffee required to obtain 70kg (a standard bag in Colombia) of green coffee. Lower numbers are the goal, it means there is less that is lost in milling.

We see here that for the best yield factor, 89, the price per carga (125kg of parchment) is 834,125 Colombian pesos (COP). With today’s rate it is $263.40 USD, or $2,10 USD/kg of parchment coffee.

The LPET Model

Felipe and Elisa’s goal from the outset was produce the highest possible quality whilst creating a sustainable financial, social and economic model for neighboring coffee producers in Cundinamarca.

The challenges are many. The farmers in their area, about 200 in total, are small holders, most owning one hectare of land or less. With such limited space, it is almost impossible to build a processing facility that will result in high quality coffee. Additionally, the farmers mostly cultivate varieties that are known for their hardiness and disease resistance, but not for their cup quality, specifically Castillo. Plus, the region suffers another major sustainability issue, that is the absence of young coffee producers. Younger generations flock to the cities in search of more stable and profitable livelihoods, leaving an aging population of producers behind.

From the very beginning Felipe and Elisa aimed to create a long-term model that addresses multiple problems with multiple innovative solutions.

Sustaining coffee communities 

When you travel around the LPET Farm and meet the neighboring producers, it is rare to meet a farmer under the age of thirty. The youngest producer I met was Faustino Reyes. He is 60 years old.

Faustino by his processing tanks


Faustino by his processing tanks

His land is adjacent to Dioselina’s farm. Dioselina, who recently passed away, worked together with her neighbor Carmen, who is 83. 

If you ask any farmer in the region about their children, they always say “they live in Bogota, where they have a nice life and a better job.” The new generation don’t want to work on their parent’s farm. Between the low incomes that coffee offers and the close proximity of Bogotá, a large city with more economic opportunities, it’s a no-brainer for the children of coffee producers in Cundinamarca.

The question, of course, is who will produce coffee here in twenty years time?

Producer Carmen, Simon (Sales Representative at LPET) and Edwin (agronomist at LPET).

Producer Carmen, Simon (Sales Representative at LPET) and Edwin (agronomist at LPET).

The late Dioselina on her farm, August 2018, aged 84. We are deeply saddened by the passing of this dedicated coffee producer.

The late Dioselina on her farm, August 2018, aged 84. We are deeply saddened by the passing of this dedicated coffee producer.

Ensuring timely and selective picking

To ensure selective picking, LPET hire a team of pickers that they train themselves. This both guarantees picking of only the ripe cherries, and delivers pickers to the farms when they are needed.

The proximity to Bogota, and competition with new agricultural production such as industrial flower crops and palm oil plantations, makes it increasingly difficult to find pickers during harvest. Additionally, coffee producers are competing against coca plantations for labor around the country, especially in the south. Coca is the raw material for cocaine, and “raspachines,” or coca leaf pickers, earn much more than coffee pickers.

LPET can guarantee a team of pickers for every producer because they pay exceptionally well. The national average paid for cherry picking is about 450 COP per kilogram (about 14 cents USD). The average fee paid for pickers employed by the LPET Neighbors & Crops Program is around 800 COP per kilo, almost 80% more.

Producers do not have to advance the money to the pickers; LPET subtracts the fee for picking from their payment for the cherries.

State of the art processing

To manage the risks of processing on small lots of land, LPET buy cherries, instead of parchment. This takes much of the work, and the risk, from the producers, allowing them to focus on what they know best: how to produce beautiful and healthy coffee cherries from their land.

Timely transport

When buying cherries, it is essential they are delivered to the wet mill promptly to avoid problems with fermentation. This can be a challenge for producers, who may not have immediate access to the required transport.

LPET solved this problem by employing a fleet of trucks to collect cherries as they are picked and deliver them to the LPET farm for processing in their high-tech facility. This is a cost that LPET cover, saving the farmers time and money.

Faustino’s processing set up

Faustino’s processing set up

Faustino told me the thing he loves most about working with LPET was the fact that “pickers are coming.”

Finding people to pick your coffee cherries when they are perfectly ripe is one of the biggest challenges producers face in this region.

“I ask pickers to come next Monday because my cherries will be perfectly ripe, and they tell me yes, but when Monday comes I don’t see them. A lot of my production is damaged because of that,” says Faustino.

Encouraging environmentally sustainable practices

For every kilogram of cherries a producer sells to LPET, they receive 1kg of organic compost, created by LPET’s experienced team of agronomists and chemists. This free organic compost saves producers money, and reduces their reliance on chemical inputs year after year. Plus it improves the quality of the coffee.

Furthermore, from 2019 LPET will provide additional services to their N&C producers through a sister company called BIODIVERSAL. This company will work with the growing community to diversify crops, building environmental resilience and promoting income protection for growers. Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog series to learn more!

LPET Pricing model 

LPET base the price they pay for cherries on the FNC price. To this they add three potential premiums:

Quality premium = 65% of the base price:
To earn this premium the cherries must pass the quality test. When arriving at the processing facility, Marlon, the Production Manager, measures the number of floaters from a representative sample. Then he removes the under-ripe and over-ripe cherries and calculates the percentage of healthy cherries. Almost all producers get the premium, as it depends mostly on the work of LPET’s own team of trusted pickers.

Loyalty premium = 25% of the base price:
From the second year a producer sells to LPET they receive an additional 25% of the FNC price as a loyalty premium.

Organic premium = 10% of the base price:
LPET don’t demand their producers be certified organic, as certification is an expensive and laborious process, but they do pay a premium if their team of agronomists can verify that the producer is using environmentally sustainable practices on their farm.

LPET Pricing Structure.png

As you can see from this chart, LPET producers have the potential to earn double the FNC price. This pricing structure is the heart of LPET´s sustainable mission. With this income stability, LPET hope to encourage the children and grandchildren of coffee growers to remain in the region and dedicate themselves to coffee. With organic premiums, and the gift of organic fertilizer, they hope to sustain the local environment so it can deliver coffee for these next generation coffee growers, and beyond.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the LPET story - how they achieve those dazzling cup profiles!

CCS at the Prague Coffee Festival

Prague Coffee Fest Poster.jpg

Friends in Czech Republic, CCS is coming to town for the Prague Coffee Festival. Veronika will be there, brewing with our friends at Coffee Desk, and visiting CCS family members including Populus CoffeeDoubleshotNordbeansCasino Mocca, Diamond’s RoasteryMorgon Coffee Roasters, and Kavárna Pražírna.

Join us in the Cupping Room on Saturday October 20 at 1.30pm to cup some fresh crops from Costa Rica, and La Palma y El Tucán from Cundinamarca, Colombia. Plus we will have a selection of incoming coffees from Peru, a new origin for CCS.

Veronika is around to meet and discuss your roastery’s menu, forward planning for 2019, or just to have a chat. Email Veronika to make a time.

CCS Top Five: Veronika

It's no secret I'm big lover of Panamanian coffees. It is the first origin I visited and my favorite coffee origin to compete with at brewing competitions, because of my personal connection to this country. So my Top Five consists mostly of Panama, but there are some surprises from Latin America too. Click on a title to order a sample.

FincaElidaHistorical.png

1. Finca Elida Green Tip Geisha Natural

One of the farms I have visited in February 2017 was Finca Elida, owned by the Lamastus family. They are well known for such a great Geisha lots, winning Best of Panama year after year and baristas repeatedly competing with their coffees. No wonder - this is the one you should go for your competition. Intense floral aroma with flavors of strawberries, hint of mint and creamy body. Sounds like a delicious dessert!    


2. Finca Elida Catuai Natural

When we did a blind cupping at the farm I found my favorite ever coffee: Catuai, naturally processed. It has intense candy sweetness with a fruit explosion, which it consistently delivers each year, crop after crop. Even the geishas were jealous.  


3. El Burro Geisha Natural

I tried to get to El Burro, driving two hours uphill on a rugged path that was one meter deep and the width of our car. Sadly it started to rain and the road became muddy and slippery. We had to turn back, but I see now in my cup how precious are those climate conditions up there. This coffee explodes with apricots, bergamot, exotic florals, strawberry.  It is juicy, sweet, and a well balanced cup.  


4. Brazil, Santuario Sul, Sudan Rume, Anaerobic 

Coffees on the drying beds at Santuario Sul. On the left, natural processed coffee. On the right, anaerobic.

Coffees on the drying beds at Santuario Sul. On the left, natural processed coffee. On the right, anaerobic.

Every morning I come to office and I brew my V60 and share with my colleague Suzie - the best start of the day, with a proper cup. I never thought I would be excited about brewing Brazilian coffee, but this year the team from Carmo Coffees brought lots which are total game changers. My favorite is the Sudan Rume processed by anaerobic fermentation - such a clean and fruity cup! Read more about these exciting coffees



5. Sidra 152 Lactic

lapalmayeltucan-langora1.jpg

Team of La Palma Y El Tucan are open about being coffee nerds. So am I and I believe most of us are, competitors especially. When looking for something funky, unexpected from Colombian coffees, they have wide selection of Heroes Series coffees including Sidra, Geisha, SL28 varieties. This year my favorite is a Sidra Lactic, fermented specifically to to play around with different acids found in the coffee. This sweet fruity coffee sparkles with blackberry, florals and banana. Buy it! Brew it! Win!

See Bjørnar’s Top Five.

CCS at PIR Coffee Expo

PIR Expo Poster.jpg

Friends in Russia, drop by Booth 3F115 at PIR Coffee Expo and say hi to Nico. He’ll be there with our partners KLD Coffee Importers on Wednesday September 26 and Thursday September 27.

On Friday September 28 at 11am Nico will be at the KLD offices hosting a cupping of fresh crops La Palma y El Tucán. Contact Nicolas for more details.

LPET Neighbors and Crops Exclusive Purchasing

Quick links:

Who are La Palma y El Tucán?
LPET Heroes Series
LPET Neighbors and Crops
Neighbors and Crops Exclusive Purchasing
LPET Cuppings in Oslo
LPET Tasters Challenge Part II
Sign up for LPET cuppings in Oslo 

 

Nico is currently in Cundinamarca, Colombia, at the La Palma y El Tucán farm. He is cupping coffees, discovering the latest innovations in varieties and processing, and finding some time for a few beers and a game of tejo. Follow Nico’s adventures on Instagram. 

LPET August 2018.jpg

Who are La Palma y El Tucán? 

La Palma y El Tucán are pioneering producers from Cundinamarca, challenging the status quo of coffee cultivation and processing in one of the world’s largest producing countries, Colombia. 

The name comes from two rare species they discovered cohabiting on their land when they purchased the 18 hectare plot: the Emerald Toucan and the endangered Wax Palm. These species live in a happy symbiotic relationship, something the team hope to emulate with coffee and community.

LPET Heroes Series

Within just a few years, the name La Palma y El Tucán was all over the coffee competition circuit. On their own farm, they grow exotic varieties like Geisha, Sidra and SL28, and experiment with different fermentation techniques to produce unique and sometimes wild flavors in the cup. These coffees are called their Heroes Series, and they continue to attract judges attention at the international level in barista and brewing competitions. 

All coffees in the Heroes Series score 89 points or above, and are sold in 25kg boxes. Only 100 boxes are available each year, worldwide. 

See our available Heroes Series lots in the CCS Competition Coffee shop on Cropster Hub. 

LPET Neighbors and Crops

The Neighbors and Crops program was created to help producers with small farms and limited processing infrastructure gain access to the specialty market. These producers are cultivating typical Colombian varieties including Caturra, Castillo, Colombia, Typica, and Bourbon. LPET buy cherries directly and transport them to their state-of-the-art facility for processing. The team work with more than 70 coffee-growing families located within 10km of the LPET farm. 

Alvaro Rodriguez, producer for the LPET Neighbors and Crops Series. 

Alvaro Rodriguez, producer for the LPET Neighbors and Crops Series. 

Building a sustainable community

LPET hope to revitalize the coffee growing culture of Cundinamarca by buying and processing exceptional coffee cherries from farmers who would otherwise not have access to the post-harvest infrastructure required to process high quality coffee. Additionally they invest in innovative practices to protect the local ecosystem. 

The average age of producers in the Neighbors and Crops program is over 60 years old, and younger generations who don't see a future in coffee farming seek new opportunities in cities like Bogotá (often with little success). LPET believe for future generations to continue cultivating coffee, it has to make economic sense, so they offer the following to their Neighbors and Crops partners:

  • Prices that are at least 50% more than the country's average;
  • Training for local cherry pickers in high-quality coffee harvesting methods;
  • Transportation of cherries to the LPET processing facility;
  • Donations of trees raised in the LPET nursery;
  • Donations of organic fertilizers created by composting cherry pulp on the LPET farm.
     

LPET & Sustainablility

In addition to sustaining their community, LPET are committed to sustaining the environment. Part of the LPET farm is dedicated to an agroforestry project and the team grow a wide range of complimentary crops, including beans, corn and bananas, nestled amongst perennial tree species including cedar, avocado, walnut and guayacan. 

This is all done using organic farming methods, decreasing the need for inputs for their coffee trees. The intention of this model is to leave the land enriched and viable, to support the community nutritionally and financially for generations to come. 

A flowering Sidra tree on the LPET farm, Cundinamarca, Colombia

A flowering Sidra tree on the LPET farm, Cundinamarca, Colombia

LPET Neighbors and Crops Exclusive Purchasing

These are small lots of lovingly processed coffees, and from this harvest, we will be offering them as complete lots. Select your producer and have exclusive access to that coffee in Europe. Minimum purchase is 10 x 35kg bags. There are only fifteen lots for all of Europe, and nine are already booked. Make sure you don't miss out, contact Nico to find out what is still available. When all coffees have been booked we will put you on a wait list. 

To book your exclusive lot from the 2018 harvest, contact Nico

To order current crop Neighbors and Crops, available by the bag, see our Colombian offers list

LPET Cuppings in Oslo 

We will be cupping these coffees at our upcoming Summer’s End Celebration. On Tuesday September 4th we’ll cup Neighbors and Crops and on Wednesday September 5th we will feature the LPET Heroes Series in our special Competition Coffees cupping. Sign up for this event in the form below

LPET Tasters Challenge Part II

For those of you who missed out in Amsterdam, here is your chance to get your hands on some of this exclusive coffee with the LPET Tasters Challenge Part II, at our Summer's End Celebration in September. 

Eight contestants will battle in a triangulation competition, with the extra challenge of identifying La Palma & El Tucán's different fermentation methods and exotic varieties. 

The winner will take an amazing prize: a full 12.5kg brick of an LPET Heroes Series coffee! 

The competition will be on Day 2 of the Summer's End Celebration, Wednesday September 5th, in the CCS Oslo HQ. 

There are a few spaces left for this exclusive event. Complete the form below to reserve yours. 

Sign me up for the CCS Summer's End Celebration, Sep 2018

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Sign me up for the LPET Tasters Challenge Part II

LPET Tasters Challenge Recap

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Nine roasters from all over Europe joined us for this exciting challenge, with a few late entrants who cajoled the judges into letting them in on the fun. The prize had to be good in order to coax so many great cuppers away from the RAI Amsterdam to the considerably more stylish surrounds of the La Cabra pop up cafe. And it was an awesome prize indeed: an exclusive LPET Fermentation Pack from our friends La Palma y El Tucán

The  competition had three rounds: 

1. Tasting

Cuppers were presented with the four coffees that were part of the competition and given a chance to get to know the fermentation profiles:
Geisha Acetic
Sidra Natural
Typica Honey
Sidra Lactic


2. Triangulation

It was all-in for Round 2, with nine cuppers at the table at once. They all had ten minutes, but time mattered, and the fastest cuppers would move on to the finals. Nikko from Andante in Helsinki, Finland, flew through to the finals, while Tomas of Rebel Bean in Brno, Czech Republic, earned his place with a stellar time. 

All in for Round 2 of the LPET Tasters Challenge

All in for Round 2 of the LPET Tasters Challenge

 

3. Fermentation

In this final round Tomas and Nikko had to identify the fermentation method of the coffees: Acetic, Natural, Honey or Lactic. An informal round followed, as the cuppers gathered at the table to compare their thoughts with the selections of the finalists.
 

The winner:

Despite Nikko's prowess in the triangulation, it was Tomas of Rebel Bean who won the day! In a lightning quick time of 48 seconds, Tomas correctly identified two of the four fermentation methods. He left Amsterdam with a bag 4kg heavier than when he arrived. We can't wait to see what Rebel Bean do with these exclusive coffees. 

An enormous thank you to all who came for this fun event, and an extra special hug for La Cabra who provided the perfect venue. It was an ideal space, away from the craziness of the Roasters Village, to appreciate great coffee (and hear each other speak). 
 

How to get your hands on these coffees

Want to know how these innovative processing methods affect the cup? Looking for a unique coffee for your next competition? Check out our Competition Coffees page on Cropster Hub, and read this guide on buying greens for competition. 

 

 

WORLD OF COFFEE SIDESHOWS - LPET Tasters Challenge

LPET Tasters Challenge.jpg

Eight contestants will battle in this triangulation competition, with the extra challenge of identifying La Palma & El Tucán's different fermentation methods. 

The winner will take home an exclusive LPET Heroes Fermentation Pack, with four different green coffees, featuring four fermentation methods from our innovative partners from Cundinamarca, Colombia. 

Don't miss the action, start time 2pm this Friday June 22 at La Cabra's pop up cafe, Qunllijnstraat 80, Amsterdam. 

Plus, we'll be cupping every day at our stand, Booth 30 in the Roasters Village. See our full cupping schedule.  

How To Buy Coffees for Competitions

We love working with coffee professionals who are competing in local and international competitions. These events are a great showcase for our producing partners, and the skills of talented and dedicated baristas, brewers and roasters. 

To stand out in these competitions, you need a distinctive coffee with a great story, and we have some limited edition coffees, available in Europe, which can give you the edge you need. Just ask Tom Kuyken, Norwegian Brewers Cup champion 2018, and Agnieszka Rojewska, 2018 Polish Barista Champion, who both won with distinctive and fascinating coffees from our partners in Cundinamarca, Colombia, La Palma y El Tucán.

Veronika Galova Vesela is our sales rep in charge of competition coffees. Check out the full selection in our new CCS Competition Coffees store on Cropster Hub, and Veronika can help you find that dream coffee for your upcoming competition. 
 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Green coffee buying can be somewhat confusing if you haven’t done it before, and it can be expensive to buy a single bag. When searching for that special coffee for your next competition, here are a few things you should know in advance. 


IN EUROPE we can only sell to companies, not individuals

This is for tax reasons. When a coffee arrives in our warehouse in Antwerp or Hamburg, tax is yet to be paid. The amount of tax charged depends on which EU country the coffee is sold to. In order to calculate the tax, and which country receives it, we need an EORI number and a Customs Clearance Contract, which only companies can apply for. If you are competing on behalf of a café or roastery, they can purchase the coffee for you. 


There are costs beyond the cost of coffee

In addition to the price of the coffee, there are some extra costs you need to consider. 

1. Customs Clearance
In Europe, for orders of less than a full pallet (10 bags), there is a Customs Clearance Fee of $120 per order. This fee is waived if you order a full pallet, so if you work with a roastery, you might consider buying a full pallet. You can buy different coffees to fill a pallet. 

2. Palletization
Shipping companies like TNT and DHL will not collect or deliver individual bags of coffee, they must be put on a pallet. Palletization, strapping and wrapping costs $38 USD in Europe, and $25 USD in the US. That’s a flat fee for an entire pallet, whether it contains one bag or ten.  
 

A Step by Step Guide to Buying Competition Coffee
 

1. Choose your coffee

We have selected some coffees that are delicious, unique and fascinating, and put them all in a special store on Cropster Hub. Browse our selection and order a sample. 

 

2. Compile all the necessary documentation

In Europe there are two essential documents you will need. 

EORI Number
If the coffee will be shipped to a country in Europe, we need an EORI for tax purposes or our warehouses can’t release the coffee. Generally it’s not hard to get one, just ask your national tax authority. Customers in Switzerland, Iceland and Norway are exempt from EORI.  

Customs Clearance Certificate
Customers in Europe must complete and sign a Customs Clearance Certificate. You can download it here
 

3. Calculate the total cost

If you are in Europe and planning to buy just one bag, calculate the full cost of the bag, plus $120 for Customs Clearance and $38 for palletization. 

 

4. Contact our Sales team

Email Veronika to discuss your vision for your competition. Make sure to let her know the following information:

  • Company name.

  • Billing address.

  • Your delivery address including phone number and delivery contact (this can be different from the billing address).

  • Your EORI number. (Remember, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway are exempt.)  

  • A signed version of our Customs Clearance Contract.

And don’t forget to let us know when and where you’re competing. We will be your social media cheer squad! 

Good luck. 

Tom Kuyken's winning brew at the Norwegian Brewers Cup was a Sidra Natural from La Palma y El Tucán. 

Tom Kuyken's winning brew at the Norwegian Brewers Cup was a Sidra Natural from La Palma y El Tucán. 

CCS Cup, Learn & Share - Recap

The first CCS Cup Learn & Share event of the year was last Thursday, Feb 16, and we were joined by roasters and baristas from Russia, Romania, Japan and Norway. With the help of special guests Rory Rosenberg and Lise Marie Rømo, the team presented two innovative projects by our partners at origin, Long Miles Coffee Project from Burundi and La Palma y El Tucán from Colombia.

These events are so much more than just a cupping. They include discussion, information and presentations, a chance to understand the context of the coffees and the people behind them. 

Barista Rory Rosenberg presenting his experience in Burundi with Long Miles Coffee Project. 

Barista Rory Rosenberg presenting his experience in Burundi with Long Miles Coffee Project. 

Burundi coffee producers work largely on nano-lots, often with as few as 500 trees. Ben and Kristy Carlson recognised the potential of this country to produce specialty coffee, and the economic benefit it could bring to these farmers' lives. They moved their entire family to Bujumbura, Burundi to start the Long Miles Coffee Project, and built two beautiful washing stations that process cherries from over 3000 neighboring families. 

Rory Rosenberg of Oslo Cold Brew won the Norwegian Barista Championship in 2017 with coffee from Long Miles, and he visited their washing stations and farms to see first hand the work they are doing in Burundi. He talked about the innovative agricultural extension programme Long Miles have implemented, sending a team of Coffee Scouts out to farms to teach farmers best coffee cultivation practices, but most importantly, teaching them how to manually eradicate the dreaded antestia bug, the cause of potato defect. 

Yusho, head roaster from Fuglen, Japan.

Yusho, head roaster from Fuglen, Japan.

Our second cupping was of La Palma y El Tucán from Colombia who have several projects that are changing the face of specialty coffee in Colombia. Barista Lise Marie Rømo of, our sister company Kaffa, spoke of her experience competing with the LPET coffee and visiting their farm in Cundinamarca, Colombia. She described the company's team of trained coffee pickers they send to neighboring farms during the coffee harvest. The women pickers paint their nails a specific red so they can easily identify the ripest cherries on the tree.  Sixty trucks transport the picked cherries to the La Palma y El Tucán farm where they are processed using innovative methods including Acetic, Natural and Lactic. Also on the table were the LPET Heroes Series, special varieties including Sidra and Gesha that are grown on their own farm and processed to achieve the most delicious and interesting cups. 

We were so honored to be joined by Origo Coffee from Romania, Tasty Coffee from Russia, Nord from Norway, Fuglen from Japan and Norway and other baristas and upcoming roasters. We are grateful you made the trip to Oslo to contribute, share, taste and collaborate. 

Our second container of Burundi coffees will arrive in Europe and the US in the next week or two, and coffees from La Palma y El Tucán are already in Europe. See our full offer list for details. 

Would you like to join us for the next Cup, Learn & Share? Join our mailing list on our homepage to stay up to date with events and happenings at CCS. 

At the cupping table, Nico from CCS and Mihai from Origo Coffee, Romania. 

At the cupping table, Nico from CCS and Mihai from Origo Coffee, Romania. 

CCS Presents: Cup, Learn & Share

CCS WINTER POSTER OSLO feb 16 insta.jpg
CCS WINTER POSTER OSLO feb 16 insta.jpg

Join us in Oslo for a fascinating 1-day workshop and discover two innovative CCS partners and their unique approach to producing specialty coffee:

La Palma y El Tucan (LPET), Colombia

Long Miles Coffee Project (LMCP), Burundi

We will be cupping, discussing, sharing and learning with guest speakers Lise Rømo of sister company Kaffa, and Rory Rosenberg of Oslo Cold Brew, two baristas who have competed with these coffees, and visited their farms and washing stations, plus a Skype Q&A with Sebastian Villamizar of La Palma y El Tucan.


Agenda:

10am  Cupping coffees from Long Miles Coffee Project

12pm Presentation by Rory Rosenberg of Oslo Cold Brew Rory was the 2017 Norwegian Barista Champion. He competed with LMCP and visited their washing stations in Burundi.

12.30pm Light lunch provided

1pm Cupping La Palma y El Tucan - Neighbors and Crops

2pm Cupping La Palma y El Tucan - Heroes Series

3pm Presentation by Lise Rømo of KAFFA.no Lise was the 2016 Norwegian Barista Champion. She competed with coffee from La Palma y El Tucan, and visited their innovative farm in Cundinamarca, Colombia.

3.30pm Skype Q&A with Sebastian Villamizar of La Palma y El Tucan

4pm Beers and refreshments

Spaces are limited. Contact nicolas@collaborativecoffeesource.com to reserve yours!