Central America Coffees and the New Crop
I was just asked about our current selection of Central America being slim. We are actually adding a Guatemala and a Mexico coffee late this week, but it is too early for many new crop Centrals still. We had a fantastic delivery of Costa Rica coffees, but we are still a month away from the bulk of the microlot arrivals. A few general comments on SM and our coffees. We sell through many of our lots rapidly and it's really important to us that the green coffee is new crop. All our Centrals now are new crop. Arrival dates are posted on every review! This is critical, because if we had a Central from 2010 crop now, even stored in Vac Pack or the special Grain Pro bags we use, chances are the flavor profile and cupping score we originally assigned to it would no longer apply; the coffee would be faded in flavor. We know that home roasters buy green coffee to store for some time before using. And I try to take that into account on all the coffees we review and ship.
Freshness and seasonality are not terms you can apply to coffee in the same sense as produce like peaches and avocado! And yet they are not irrelevant to coffee either. After all, it's not like stocking soda pop on a shelf; it doesn't last forever, and when it's gone we can't just go make some more. As a side note, I have been asked about Sumatras and their mysterious absence on our list right now. There has been a lack of cup quality on the arrival samples I have cupped lately, so we have pulled it from the list. We have a shipment leaving Medan within a couple weeks, so that is still about 6 weeks from arrival. But we should have a nice wet-hulled Sumatra before then, based on some recent samples I have been cupping here. -Tom