Colombia Miguel Loaiza
Miguel comes from a town called La Inmaculada, a couple of hours away from the main town of Buesaco. This region was controlled by different illegal armed groups in the 90´s, who forced local farmers to grow coca. Running away from this, Miguel and his family left their hometown and settled in Buesaco, where they purchased a small plot of land and now have 2.5 hectares (10,000 coffee trees) planted. He hopes now to be able to start his own family and continue to focus his efforts on specialty coffee. Which helps him secure a stable income.
My last visit to Nariño was great. But I will say, flying to Nariño is straight up crazy. I’m usually coming from Medellín after visiting our friend Pedro Echavarria, owner of Pergamino Coffee Exporters and Pergamino Café. The airstrip to land on is along a 3000 meter-high sheered mountain terrace. When I was boarding the small prop plane, even the locals seemed anxious, and the captain lets us know it may take 2-3 “attempts” to land. After arriving, we began a 3-hour drive through the most breathtaking ravines and mountain ranges I've seen in Colombia.
Once arrived, we met with the head of FUDAM, Roquel, a new association we are working with. I started to hear not only their story but also planning the trip to the farms we were visiting. Roquel is an incredibly kind and driven woman who has spearheaded the quality over quantity push in her area. There are 350 producers within the Association, and together with Pergamino and like-minded roasters, they managed to raise money for new depulpers and African raised-beds for 20% of the association. The depulpers and raised-beds help clean up the processing of coffee. This is a substantial effort that raises the price and quality of coffee in the area. She also leads a pointed focus of helping women producers in the area which now make up 30% of the association. Overall she’s a badass, and we are totally stoked to be working with her.
We suggest using this coffee with a filtered pour over device. Our standard ratio of 25g of coffee to 400g of water is perfect for this coffee. Check out our Kalita Wave video for more details.
Colombia Miguel Loaiza
This Relationship Coffee comes from our May 2017 buying trip in Nariño, Colombia. We paid $3.79 FOB per pound with a 20¢ per pound premium. We cupped this coffee at an 86.5. Pergamino milled the coffee, and Royal NY did the importing. We purchased nine seventy-kilo bags, which was the entire micro lot.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.22/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.
We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.