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It's not just about what's in the cup....there's a whole lot more behind that!
As already posted on social media the yearly Christmas Coffee Cupping was held on Friday in Trondheim, arranged by Kaffe Nerd Events. Merry Funky Christmas landed 2nd place in it's category (Middle/Southern Americas) and also second place overall with a joint first place (one of which is a Panama Geisha).
But let's take a look at who and what is behind this coffee.......
The Muralles family has been farming coffee for generations, although in the 90's Manolo's father had to make the challenging decision to cease operations due to unsustainable coffee prices. Manolo left for the US, in part to help raise funds to start again and realise their dream. They are well on their way to doing so, but coffee market pricing (which we do our best to ignore) is still terrible and it makes it very challenging for produces such as them. They have in fact diversified and are starting to produce macadamia nuts also. Manolo also has another fulltime job beside all of this.
Las Delicias has made a shift from traditional farming (pesticides, etc) to an organic approach (not certified) with much more focus on taking care of, giving back to and respecting the earth in which their plants are grown. A great article here in Perfect Daily Grind about their process: Las Delicias- Producer Insight: Organic Coffee Farming in Guatemala
This particular coffee is a Tekisic variety (an offspring of a Bourbon) grown between 1900-2100masl in Palencia Guatemala. Processed as a natural process coffee. This is the first time Las Delicias has produced a natural for production/export purposes and was a bit of an experiment....what a great experiment it was/is. They built their own raised African beds for drying the coffees on and also their own solar dryer so they could use the natural elements to help with the process. The drier was blown over in strong winds at one point in the season so they had to rebuild and reinforce it....coffee farming is no walk in the park.
This is the third season we have worked with Las Delicias. We were lucky enough to get connected via Facebook on a coffee roaster's forum as Manolo was fishing a little for contacts/interested parties for their coffee as they were trying to get into the market. From there Josh from Dolce Alchemia in Amsterdam and Michiel from The Coffee Quest also in Amsterdam took over a little and it moved forward to getting their coffee to Europe. I am consistently in contact with Manolo and Las Delicias and we are moving towards making things as direct as possible between their farm and Ild og Bønner. I personally am hoping to get over there in the coming season. It is a privilege as such a small roastery to be able to have such a relationship and I was even lucky enough to have a visit from Manolo and Ana Gabriela (who was rather pregnant at the time) here in little old Porsgrunn a little over two years ago.
Ok.....now you know just a little bit more about how we got to where we are today. A cup of coffee has quite the journey to tell of if you actually let it.