To say its been a busy few weeks is a massive understatement. You may have noticed I’ve been on the quite side, so thought it might be a good time to bring you all up to date.
The new blends launched a few months ago and you seem to be enjoying them. I know I have been.
I did a blogpost back in April explaining about our new blends and how going forwards we would be rotating and reinventing some of them. Its time for Red Giant to take a bow as we welcome in Sunset
Sunset will be the new name for RED giant, which was a replacement for Jailbreak. We changed Jailbreak a lot while it was called that, now we are just being a little more transparent that its changed its components.Its exactly the blend jailbreak mark 450 would have been (or something like that).
Blends in the ‘Red’ profile will be focused on balance, sweetness and cleanliness. It’ll is consistent, easy-to-work-with, tasty, sweet, smooth and balanced espresso.
Its made up of
Please don’t be sad Red Giant has gone (or that Jailbreak has too). Its the same thing, just changing with the times. Just think of it as a child growing up and changing with the seasons. I hope you love it as much as we are loving it here.
I think we can all agree now, that recycling is a very important part of everyday life. Resourses are not infinite, and ladfill gets, well ….. full.
Its always something thats bugged me about coffee bags, becuase of the way they are made, they can not easily be recylcled.
We have tried many different bags, but none keep the coffee as fresh as we would like, so rather than compromise the product, we have carried on regardless. This keeps me awake at night as sustainability is not only about buying coffee fairly and with ethics, its not only using organic certifications (or organic principles more on this in the coming weeks), but my being sustainable in as many areas as you can.
Se we found out about this company that will recycle coffee bags, but at a cost. This cost is out of reach of most people, so we have invested in a bag recycleing box at Has Bean. We get through a lot of bags so it’s a start.
But we have decided that if you (home or coffee shop customers) buy coffee from us, we will pay for the recycling costs of Has Bean bags all you have to do is get them back to us. Collect as many as you can and send them to us at the address below and we will do the rest.
Has Bean Coffee Ltd
Unit 16, Ladford Covert
Ladfordfields Industrial Estate
Then the collected waste will undergo extrusion and pelletisation to be moulded into various recycled plastic products.
Its not perfect, and we will see if (depending on interest) maybe rolling it out to some collection points, but every journey begins with one step, and this is our first.
I did a blogpost back in April explaining about our new blends and how going forwards we would be rotating and reinventing some of them. So we have Red (Jailbreak replacement and Philter) White Blend (which would be a replacement for Jaberwocky, Kicker and 1973) and Black Blend (that would be a replacement for Black and Breakfast Bomb). I’ve loved the feedback on them and on the whole everyone has embraced the new blends (and bags).
But theres the 4th blend, the place for us to play and have the fun. Dark Side of the moon has been lots of fun to play with and a coffee thats received lots of love. But its time for the first change. An in the spirit of having fun were reviving a blend we have not had for a while.
Brazil nut is a cheeky nod towards what was the very popular Perfetio and I’ve received many many many emails saying that perfetio isn’t a word and I must have accidentally slipped when typing. The truth is that I did slip but a very long time ago and the name just stuck!
In Brazil they speak Portuguese and the word ‘perfect’ in Portuguese is ‘perfeito’, when I first created this blend many moons ago I was going to go for that as the name but accidentally made a typo. Once I’d seen it there I quite liked how it looked so decided to keep it as it was, always fun creating a new word! I’m sure at the time if you searched the internet for ‘perfetio’ it would have said you couldn’t spell but now you’re shown lots of things about this blend, a giant success I think!
We have called it Brazil nut as I have already said, its a nod towards Perfetio and not a direct same blend, but its fun and I like it.
The blend is made up of
40% Brazil Fazenda Cachoeira da Grama Natural Yellow Bourbon
30% Brazil Fazenda Cachoeira da Grama Pulped Natural Canario
30% Brazil Fazenda Inglaterra Pulped Natural Bourbon
In the cup you can expect a fantastic body, loads of sweetness and creaminess, heaps of smooth milk chocolate with walnut and a gorgeous finish.
I’ve really been enjoying writing recently, and its been great starting to publish things on the blog again. I’ve also started write a book (have I told you about my book http://coffeeography.co.uk ). I never realised writing a book could be so time consuming, so it means the flow of things here is not as prolific as I might hope.
Child labour and coffee harvesting
By Alejandro Martinez
The other day I went with my family to pick coffee at the farm. A few days later, my sister-in-law and I got into an argument about the topic of kids picking coffee. Apparently, she saw a picture that my wife posted of Lucas, my son, with a basket of coffee. It seems he did not look too happy, despite my counter claims that he had a blast. You can judge for yourself, since I am attaching the picture to this post.
I feel that not everyone understands the complexity of the issue, and I thought about writing a little bit about it in order to shed some perspective from the field.
First, I do want to emphasize that it is preferable for children not to do any work. I do believe that kids should have fun and play as much as they can in their childhood. I empathize given that at my age and many years of hard work and pent-up bitterness, those days when you are young and without a worry were the best ones.
However, here is the hard reality of the rural farm worker and his family. Most workers get paid a low wage, which tends to be not sufficient to cover all basic needs. Furthermore, consider that work is often intermittent and there are times that a worker is unable to find work, sometimes for up to two or three months.
Now, consider the following factors:
School year is in sync with the coffee harvest: the school year usually ends about the time that the coffee harvest begins. Public schools are on vacation for the three or four months of the coffee harvest. It is not by coincidence but probably by design given how important coffee used to be in El Salvador. So, during the harvest, parents usually have no one to leave their children with given that both parents go out to pick coffee.
Children are usually not registered as workers. Kids normally are around, accompanying their parents. Heck, once I even saw an 8-month-old baby inside a basket next to her mom in the estate. I remember it vividly since he was the same age as my kid at the time. Thus, some kids will help their parents by combining their pickings with their parents. It is a way to contribute to the family income.
Picking coffee is not hazardous. No one is exposed to pesticides or toxic chemicals. The climate is mild and shade trees provide cover from the sun. There is one issue though, the weight of the coffee bag. Now, kids usually carry the amount that they can lift. In the case of my son, no more than twenty pounds…he is really skinny.
Finally, no one is forced to pick a minimum amount of coffee. At harvest, the coffee is paid by weight, so the more a worker picks the more he gets paid. Children are not able to pick the same amount as an adult, but it does not matter, since payment is done by weight.
So, I had a hard time explaining all this to my sister-in-law. It is easy to judge from the outside, but each family has their own unique situation. It is not popular to talk about this and I know it is a touchy subject, but I feel that we may do more harm than good if we preclude children from helping their parents around harvest time. We may even impact a child’s health if the kid goes hungry because his parents have no money to sustain him. So, why not allow them to contribute and make a better future for themselves?