My Probat Arrives

My New Probat l 25

It’s arrived. Yesterday Has Bean is pleased to announce the birth of a new big boy from Probat. With a dual German/ UK passport its settling in well. As yet no name, but I’m working on it.

How do you move over 1 tonne of cast iron from A to B and then off its crate and into place. Well I can now tell you with great difficulty. ITS HUGE, and I mean massive. Its all very exciting and all those coming to the open day next Saturday will get to see it (I don’t think it will have its flue’s by then so we wont be able to sue it but you’ll be able to take a look at its hugeness).

Like any proud farther I’ve taken some pictures for you to take a look at here, but excuse my disheveled and dirty appearance, unpacking and locating a roaster is not a clean or easy job.

El Salvador, it’s the little things

Finca Alaska El Salvador

Regular reader will know that I think El Salvador and the consejo who organise the farmers in the specialty sector are superstars in the world of coffee. As a micro roaster I love to know more about the people we have the coffee from. I still get a buzz when I see a picture or read something from a farm of which I use the coffee.

You see I spend every day for a year (and in many cases longer) working with that coffee, just as the previous 12 moths is spent in the custody of the people who grow it. Photo’s and letter from the farmer make it feel like a complete cycle anlong with the feedback form you guys the cusotemrs. We all share so much in common but we are separated by many miles and different cultures.

El Salvador seems to link people together better than any one else. Today I received an email from Ernesto Menéndez the grower of the cup of excellence coffee we won last week. Just sharing how happy he is we bought his coffee and attaching some photos of the most fantastic farm you have ever seen.

You see these little touches along with some of the best espresso coffee in the world, the natural resource of 70% bourbon coffee and a consejo that is so proactive makes El Salvador one of my favourite growing origins. Great coffee with a great story always works better.

Take a look at the photos at the link here

The last one

The last one, we made it, we survived the highs of Costa Rica (two great coffees) the lows of Guatemala (missing out on a lot and refusing to accept second best). Today the last of the auction season with Honduras. Click here to see full results

Last year Honduras suffered with a bagging mistake that meant that the great coffee to come out of there was tainted with a jute bag taste. This was massively disappointing, as the coffee was great and potentially financially devastating for farmers and roasters alike. Due to the fantastic work of the specialty association of Honduras and the cup of excellence people it all got sorted out, every one got paid and no one lost out. A good news story.

So this year its been sorted, the lessons have been learnt (not just for Honduras this could have happened anywhere) and again the samples presented are some very fine coffee. I don’t stock an Honduras coffee and haven’t for many years. Why I hear you ask, well the samples that hit these shores are ok, they are alright quality, they tick all the boxes they need to, but they fail to excite like a good El Salvador or a wonderful Guatemala. As I have already said this year we decided not to take a Guatemalan because we have four wonderful examples of its coffee. But the reason for the cup of excellence is to find these great coffees from countries where you are unable to find them. To show the roaster that a country you didn’t think could produce fine coffee can way beyond the expectations you might have.

We Honduras have delivered. We cup half of the coffees offered that were in the lot sizes we were able to take and out of those coffees well over half wowed me. On a blind cupping table number one was very special. Solburg and Hansen have a wonderful coffee. On the table it was like drinking old style lemonade mixed with fizzy sherbet. Sounds strange tasted strange and was strange. But a character coffee. But number ones are hard to get with short pockets, one day, one day.

My second favourite was number 24 out of 24 in the auction. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the positions mean nothing on a cupping table, you taste buds mean everything. A fine coffee that reminded me straight away of green apple, during the cupping I said “apple, apple, green apple” out loud. This is going to be a great brewed coffee, and a challenging but wonderful espresso. I see its real strength as a blend component and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Here in lies another problem this is the first ever lot we are going to have to ship ourselves, hard work you bet, a big pain in the backside for sure, worth it for sure.

The Has Bean Open day Saturday the 28th of July 2007

On the 28th of this month we are having out first ever roastery open day. We plan to have some roasting demonstrations, a cupping of some fine coffees (and some very special ones) and plenty of coffee to drink. We have the Guatemalan coffee bus (a bus that’s been converted into a coffee bar, with seats and everything) visiting again.

The fun kicks off at 11am and will carry on until you all go home. There will be food drink and much merriment. Places are limited so please let me know at to reserve your place.
Guat coffee bus

El Salvador COE

The penultimate auction of this season, and there was more fun to be had. Very happy with the coffee we have secured in a group grown by Juan José Ernesto Menéndez Arguello from Finca Alaska. On the cupping table it shone above everything else. I took a few photos today (not sure why but I’ve got a new camera you know) take a look at this link

I’ve said so much about these auctions of late I’m sure you are getting bored of it all, me I love it a chance to get some exceptional coffees I’d have an auction every week but it will be good to have a week off.

Tomorrow I’m going a to cinema screening of the film Black Gold. I’ve seen the film on DVD but not on the big screen so should be fun. There is also a question and answer session afterwards by the makers, I’m never one to miss an opportunity or shy away from debate. I’ll fill you in on what happens and try and get some pictures too.