Liam Kenna, Annex manager and our resident brew expert, recently went down to El Salvador for a source trip, where he had the rare pleasure of participating in every link of the supply chain from plant to pot.Liam has been brewing and cupping coffee producer Aida Batlle’s coffees for years and had met her several times – she makes it a point to visit us on both coasts regularly. But recently Liam was lucky to catch a glimpse of her on her own turf – turns out she drives like a bat out of hell, has a deep-seated love for Flo Rida, Katy Perry and Rihanna and hates bread crusts. He picked and tasted coffee cherry off the tree. “It was surprisingly sweet with the complex flavors of rosehips and hibiscus, married to notes of honey and honeydew.”
He also saw the unfortunate devastation of coffee rust. “Once rust has damaged a tree significantly, stumping (cutting the plant to a stump and waiting for it to grow back out of the old roots) is the only option.” Turns out Aida is also a battle axe with a machete.
In a self-induced physical challenge, he tried his hand at picking coffee cherry with all his strength at full speed, aiming to keep quality levels up with Aida’s impeccable standards.
After sorting through his haul, an entire hour’s worth of exerted picking only gleaned 15 pounds of ripe coffee cherry. Then off to the mini-mill where his harvest was processed.
A couple of months later the fruit of his labor arrived on the doorstep of Stumptown HQ. After all was said and done, he came away with about two pounds green coffee.
Finally, a couple of months after his source trip, he finished the process – when his small harvest arrived, he roasted and brewed it for all of us to try.
Try some of Aida’s lovely lot this year – she always approaches her craft with depth and vision, and does everything it takes to allow her coffee to reach its full potential. Learn more about Aida Batlle and her coffees here. >>