I love Fair trade (well kind of)

Long time readers will know that Has Bean is not a fan of the fair trade brand (link here) so this statement is a bit of a shock to some I’m sure.

In my naive world every one is like us and pays a good price for a quality coffee. But not everyone pays a good price for their coffee (glaring looks at the big 4 and a number of others).

I watched this video and realised we make such a small contribution (the tinyest, tiny drop in the ocean) to the whole thing.

It then came to me that if these irresponsible companies pay more for the average coffee and brand it as fair trade that’s got to be a good thing. And then companies like Has Bean (and a lots of other micro roasters) pay even more for the awesome specialty coffee and brand it as good coffee, everyone wins.

So fair trade is good for those who need it, we’ll continue to buy good coffee for a good price, and I hope that others pay a little more too, those who can make a difference. But for the time being we will make our drop in the ocean and hope it makes others stop and think.

Some initial Colombian Coe cupping

Managed with some friend’s last weekend to cup the top ten Colombian cup of excellence coffees and was as always impressed. Have some real favourites from them so far, but with the auction not until April hope to work through the rest over the next week. I can’t tell you how tough it is to fit in sample roasting a COE batch, but with the Help of Bruce we managed it.

But this is nothing new I hear you yell, same old same old. On the table I put something a little special (the panama esmerelda of which I’ve talked in the past) and a new Colombian were going to be stocking very soon. Now that’s a tough table but the La Vega Co-operative coffee held its own and above, my 2nd favourite on the table of 11 (lets leave the Esmerelda out of this) of the VERY best coffees from Colombia this year that’s some achievement.

We have the initial lot arriving in the next few days, and then later in the year with the new crop we hope to have a very special micro lot from the co-operative that’s an exclusive for Has Bean. Exiting times and great coffee ahead.

Colombia Cup of Excellence

Interesting news received from the cup of excellence this week I forgot to share with you. I hope they don’t mind me putting the whole mail up here but its easier than me explaining it.

The Colombia 2007 Cup of Excellence samples have been shipped and are on their way to those of you who have registered. The auction is scheduled for April 12th, 2007.
These will be the only Colombian Cup of Excellence winners for 2007. In fact the next Colombian Cup of Excellence coffees will not be available until Fall of 2008. The Colombian Coffee Federation has decided to hold one competition per year and to cup each harvest region once every other year.

The First Harvest coffees from these winning regions will not be cupped and available again until early 2009 so if you want to provide your customers with exceptional award winning Colombian coffees this upcoming auction will be your only chance for quite some time.

As you will find out when you cup these coffee there is a huge variety in the winners as there were 8 departments represented- all with different flavor profiles- the international jury was very impressed with the diversity and we are just very proud of the many small farmers who represented departments that have really not been thought of a top quality before.
If you would like these samples there is still time for you to register and receive them before the auction.

On a positive note- Once the final dates are set we will be formally announcing that Bolivia will be added to the 2007 schedule. The coffee organizations within Bolivia have agreed to work together and share the responsibility in organizing the event and the cooperatives are excited to once again welcome international cuppers and buyers. We are thrilled to bring Bolivia back on board and know that many of you have expressed the hope that Cup of Excellence would once more discover some of the phenomenal coffees you have purchased in the past.

I have my Colombian samples now and will be working through them this weekend we do hope to be able to secure something special. As always I’ll keep you posted.

Black Coffee

I’ve just received an email from a customer (cheers Neil) saying that the Canadian made series Black Coffee is being shown on Sky’s business channel (sky 547) on Thursdays at 8pm.

I bought the DVD from Canada and it is by far the best coffee related film I’ve seen. By no means perfect but fairly objective and very interesting and without the agenda of Black gold the movie. Thought some of you may want to know

Black Coffee

UKBC Results

Just in case you cant be bothered to read the below

Here is the top three from the UKBC today

1st James Hoffman
2nd Se’ Gorman
3rd Ed Buston

Well done James good luck in Tokyo