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Hats of to Brazil

Firstly let me apologise for the lack of updates here. A mixture of the busiest December EVER, and a collapse of the body and mind as soon as the Christmas break came. But in January I expect to write more updates than ever, and more opinions than ever.

So Brazil for a long time has shown everyone in the specialty market how things should be done. The giant of the coffee world has some very intelligent people in charge who understand added value things. Yes there are other (notably El Salvador) that are catching them up but some news I heard today just reminds me how forward thinking they are.

For years green coffee has been transported in Hessian jute sacks. When I first got in to coffee it puzzled me why food grade products like coffee would be transported this way. Jute is susceptible to the cold damp and and taint more than any other way (those who remember or Honduras cup of excellence post will understand what I’m talking about).

As my experience in coffee grew I still couldn’t work out why transport premium coffees this way, yes the romance of a jute sack is something I love, and seeing the Has Bean logo on a sack still makes me smile big inside. But the green coffee needs to be treated better. So Brazil’s plans to Vac pack in protective foil all of the cup of excellence lots is a great idea. Being used as an experiment the costs are being shared by the farmer and the buyer I can see this the way all top end coffees will be packed.

I don’t know the science behind what this will do to the coffee (and would love to hear your ideas) but have my theories. But what I do know it will protect it from outside elements which cant be a bad thing, and has helped Daterra and The Australian Mountain top, keep far better. There are the obvious storage benefits too, its easier to stack some square cubes of vac packed coffee to sacks

Is it the end for Hessian jute sacks, I guess not, tradition dies hard but a step closer to putting it all in the past for top end coffee? I hope so. Hats off Brazil.

9 Comments

  1. Glad to hear you’re doing better Steve! I hope it was not too hard …
    Keep up the gread work!

  2. Hear, Hear!

    After growing up re-stacking over-loaded pallets of coffee I can immediatly see a selfish benefit from this packing system.

    It will be interesting to see how these coffees age in the vaccume packed bags and boxs. I spoke to Luís Pascoal of Daterra in Seattle a good year and a half ago and he seemed to think that the coffee had sweetend slightly(for the better) season on season. I think they are on their third crop packed like this now, correct me if i’m wrong.

    We have some bruzzi which we bought about a year ago and are keeping to see what happens, hopefully a beautifully sweet single estate espresso will brighten up these dark nights.

    Stuart Lee / Mentness

  3. Hi Steve

    It was a big diffrent in taste when we tasted a compared the coffees in Brazil at the CEO with the vack packed coffees. How did you here about it?

    How was new year?

    kind regards
    /Filip

  4. Hi Lukas I’m good now thank you for your kind post.

    Hi Stuart, I’ve found the Daterra fades quickly (this is both in the jute and the vac packs) not sure why, I’ll be interested in your thoughts on the Bruzzi.

    Filip I hear about everything 🙂 I’d love to know the science why it tastes different. So envious of your Brazil trip!

    Happy new year to all three of you 🙂

  5. happy new year, steve. are you talking about mylar packaging? and what you do you think freezing some great coffees you buy (i.e., daterra) might do to preserve sweetness and overall ‘bests?’

  6. Hi Aaron

    That’s it Mylar packing. Freezing worries me a little as any moisture from condensation I worry could damage the coffee. But if George Howell thinks it is the way forward then there must be some really good theory and science about it. I guess its got to be done correctly and there is more to be done before it comes mainstream.

    I really do think we are in the dark ages of green coffee packaging, and coffee shipping and I think its great someone is taking the first big step.

    I’m sure there will be more about this.

    Steve

  7. Happy new year Steve & Sarah. May it be full of wonderful things 🙂

    Steve, it would seem using a material that does not retain moisture or taint the contents is advantageous even without vacuum sealing. I am particularly interested in your ongoing thoughts about the effects of vacuum packing compared to simply using modern materials to transport/store the greens without employing a vacuum seal 🙂

  8. Happy New Year, Steve & Sarah. Good to hear you’re well again Steve; I’d never have guessed you’ve just had the busiest December ever as my order was turned round in

  9. (looks like my previous post was cut short for some reason)

    …less than 24 hours – excellent turnaround.

    Freezing vaccuum packed green shouldn’t cause a problem as the moisture bearing air would have been removed. It would, of course, be necessary to defrost before opening the bag.

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