At Has Bean we get lots of emails every day (and I mean lots). Some are missing orders, advice, locked accounts, interest in working in the coffee industry, you get the kind of thing.
But this time of year I always get asked what coffee will you be having with your Christmas meal? Well every year I always take home a bag of the Christmas filter and espresso blends (wont be taking the espresso blend this year as its my first year of not having an espresso machine at home). I guess before I move on I must say why I don’t have an espresso machine? In the summer this year I moved from a tardis of a mid terraced house that was so huge you could lose people in it, to a very very tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere. My kitched in a 1/4 of the size of the old one. But I insist on my own coffee corner, but I did a deal with my wife that the espresso machine and grinder would go, if I could have a Mahlkonig Tanzania and a Über Boiler. I drink far more brewed coffee at home than espresso and I use a kettle a lot more than I do an espresso machine so the deal was struck.
So I drink a lot of brewed coffee now at home, and mainly Chemex (the Chemex is so perfect for the Über Boiler) So breakfast time I will be enjoying the Christmas filter blend with my bacon and eggs, but the Christmas meal needs something a little bit special to go with the amazing cheeseboard and the stunning vintage port.
This time of year I put together a top ten of coffees from the year, and I have started this already (and will no doubt post about it here) but it kind of helps me choose the coffees I want to take home for the holidays. This year has been (has bean ha ha) amazing, we really have had some stunning special coffees, and looking back I think by far our best year for coffees, seeing our first direct work in Guatemala, buying Kenya lots from the auction catalogue in Narobi, Colombia coming through with some stunners, and Bolivia, well Bolivia is just a different planet.
But the coffee that I will be enjoying with my Christmas lunch is from non of these but is from Nicaragua. I remember a trip around three years ago to Jinotega, when Erwin who owns Limoncillo first let me cup this coffee. It was one of those moments in time you keep in your head, and it was amazing. Tropical fruit and yellow fruit, apicots, just amazing. Then he went on to tell mew about the coffee. So its a yellow pacamara, and thats unusual, you only normally see red fruited pacamara. This is a freak natural mutation from red fruit to yellow and was spotted by a security guard on the farm. They initially thought that it was another varietal that got mixed up but with the pacamara its very easy to spot that its not visually, but they tested it and found it was indeed pacamara. then they thought that maybe it was just a one off and the following year it would go back to red (this some times happens).
But the following year it came back again so they they isolated it, harvested the beans for seeds and began to create seedlings and kept going and going. Then the wait began to make sure that the seedlings would produce yellow fruit and indeed they did. so many years of work, harvesting creating more seedlings got them to the point a few years ago, where they could invite people to samples the coffee, and then this year auction it off. Nut just 320kg of it (so around 1000 250g bags of this in the entire world). Half came to the UK to me and half went to Japan. So only 500 250g bags in the Northern Hemisphere. We gave away 50, we have sold quite a few, so now theres probably enough for 100 bags in the UK. But at £25 a bag its not cheap.
I am a bit of a Christmas guy (take a look at the decorations on our website special offers, gifts). And every year we do a digital christmas card (take a look at the past ones here). But this year we went crazy, and did a 5 part Christmas carol at http://www.hasbeanchristmascarol.com . Within the videos we have three special offers for the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future, and you can get 50% off by watching my Christmas tale (while stocks last).
So this Christmas I’m drinking exclusive and expensive, and you can too.