The Soap Opera Ends

"........ BEST NEWS ALL YEAR !!! ........"

At Last the Soap opera is over.

One of the most emotive and responded-to blog posts I have ever done was this one here, on the plight of the amazing farm Machacamrca. http://www.hasblog.co.uk/no-machacamarca-this-year

I did and update a few months back here http://www.hasblog.co.uk/machacamrca-update where things looked to be getting better

It was a truly sad event. The farm was taken from the family by the local community, in an unlawful land grabbing episode, which shocked the family and blew my mind that can happen in the modern world.

So this is in Lupe’s words

Dear Stephen,

Two weeks ago, I finally got the Community to agree to give back our Machacamarca house and land. Last week I finally entered the house as rightful owner, with the community present and -believe it or not- beaming and friendly as marshmallows. The truth is I got them almost to the point of going to prison for robbery and they were glad to come to an agreement, just to get out of their predicament. Nonetheless, the house was completely sacked and the land is overgrown with weeds. So sad.

I’m going back tomorrow to start the rebuilding process, and perhaps next week I can get a good look at the coffee plants, though I was told a large overflow from the community water tank,killed quite a few plants from being waterlogged. No coffee this year, but some small amount next year, and then better and better. I shall send photos next week, and keep you updated. I add a few photos from last week, to give you an idea of how things are, and the second picture is of me and our young and feisty attorney, raising our arms in victory.

In any case, we’re back, and back legally, winning out fight fair and square. I know you will be happy for us!

Lupe

BEST NEWS ALL YEAR !!!

This is a picture of the canopy I recorded my favortie in my mug from here

IMG_1134

IMG_1145

IMG_1154

IMG_1130

 

FREE Espresso Training Book

" ........ Apparently not all of you share my apple addiction, so we have managed to export this into a hand PDF so you can all stop being angry at me now. ....... "

In April we released an E Book for Ipad owners to read and enjoy.

Apparently not all of you share my apple addiction, so we have managed to export this into a hand PDF so you can all stop being angry at me now.

We get asked about how to prepare espresso a lot, what the best recipes are for our coffees, what good extraction is, what you are allowed to like and what you’re not and in all honesty these are tough questions to answer.

In reality, and as with roasting, we don’t think the craft of the barista is a black art, or a mystery – it’s just a combination of using tools and methods effectively and adjusting these to develop the end product in line with your taste.

This book doesn’t mean you’ll make perfect tasty coffee, but it should help you understand how you can relate an espresso you’ve mades taste to it’s preparation and quickly and easily repeat, adjust and increase enjoyment.

Click here Espresso Training download

Tamper Tantrum Line up for Nice

"........ I do this project with my buddy Colin Harmon called tamper tantrum. A chance for coffee professionals to come together to talk about coffee stuff. ....... "

Some of you may know I do this project with my buddy Colin Harmon called tamper tantrum. A chance for coffee professionals to come together to talk about coffee stuff.

This year were hosting the event at the World of Coffee event in Nice France, and we announced our line up last night.

Tamper Tantrum Live

Tamper Tantrum Live

We did the same last year, but lost all the video. But I have been turning them all into audio podcasts and will be releasing them on the run up to the Nice event. I hope you get a chance to listen to some of them.

Yo Yo time for guest blend number 6

Yo Yo here we gooooooooooo……………..

This is the 6th in a new line of guest coffee blends that we are introducing in 2013. Each month there will be a new blend for which there will be an original label in a different style of bag, and of which there will only be 500 made. Each bag will be marked with a unique, limited edition number.

These are the blends most roasters would be scared to share with you, but not us fearless souls at Has Bean Towers where we think the unthinkable.

In the cup think unbalanced, off-the-wall experiments that are tasty but never normal, and are always a bit unusual and pushing the boundaries.

We have also decided to name them with equally appropriate stupidness. In honour of National Yo Yo day thats on 6th of June every year to celebrate the birthday of Donald F. Duncan Sr., the person credited with the commercial success of the yo yo (often confused as the inventor).

To honour this you will also receive your own Has Bean Yo Yo with your blend.

In the cup this is the most delicate blend yet, but with somes up and downs (like your yo yo) I think it works. The Siberia gives it a lovely sweet base, think milk chocolate and nuts, but the pira adds a little class, with flowers, toffee and caramel. But then some low base notes of funk and body makes it into the crazy blend you have come to expect the guest blends to be.

50% El Salvador Finca Siberia Washed Bourbon;
30% Costa Rica La Pira Tarrazu Washed Cattura;
20% Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Gedeb Natural

No you will have to excuse me I’m off to practice my “walking the dog”, and “shooting the moon”

Machacamrca Update

"......... the farm taken from the family by the local community, in an unlawful land grabbing episode, that shocked the family and me ......"

One of the most emotive and responded-to blog posts I have ever done was this one here, on the plight of the amazing farm Machacamrca. http://www.hasblog.co.uk/no-machacamarca-this-year

It was a truly sad event. The farm was taken from the family by the local community, in an unlawful land grabbing episode, which shocked the family and me.

Machacamarca de Berenguela is an old farm in Sud Yungas, Bolivia, which has belonged to the Andrade family for over 150 years. Its more than 100 hectares are located on top of a small mountain, looking out towards the high snowy peaks of the Andes as well as the rugged foothills that spill onto the tropical plains of the Beni. The adobe walls of the old farmhouse are a meter thick, and the ancient chapel (with a resident ghost) plus its belfry with heavy bronze bells crowns an open and serene landscape.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Machacamarca was a traditional coca-leaf producer, but in the middle of the last century Victor Andrade drastically altered the productive scenario by planting groves of citrus fruit and various forest tree species. Coffee, however, was always present “for home and family”. Grandmother Maria, daughter and grand old lady of this land, did not conceive “store-bought” coffee, preferring to personally roast and grind her coffee in a small wooden mill each morning in order to have her coffee “as God meant it to be”.

Towards the end of the 1990s, with the precipitous drop in the citrus market and a problem with the citrus trees, the cultivation of coffee was expanded in earnest by planting varieties known for their quality and resistance in the shade of tall “siquili” trees, favoured by hummingbirds and honeybees. Slowly the Andrade family has sought to improve its product, convinced that superior-quality coffee is one of the answers to the environmental drama of the Yungas valleys, seriously threatened by indiscriminate cutting-down of the forest and the proliferation of coca-leaf plantations.

We first stocked this coffee from the 2007 Cup of Excellence lot, and it very quickly became my favourite of that year. It also proved to be one of your overall favourites regardless of its Cup of Excellence price premium. The relationship is strong between the family and Has Bean, culminating in me spending a week in July 2010 living with the family, picking the coffee and helping with processing. It was one of the most stunning weeks of my life, and the hospitality of Mario and Maria was amazing.

When I visited last year, I met up with Lupe to see if we could help in any way with the issues, and I have kept in touch regularly. The reason to bring this up on a blog post now is I received an email from Lupe this week. I must get at least one a week with people asking for an update, but this is the first time I have been able to respond with a positive update

So this is in Lupe’s words

Hi Stephen,
Thank you for your note. Actually, and perhaps miraculously, we have made advances, and I have a meeting set for next Wednesday, to discuss the terms of return of the property. A month ago we were able to go on an inspection with judicial authorities, and the house was completely sacked, I mean completely, with even the light fixtures, the toilets and washbowls torn out. Some things have been returned (to a storeroom in the community) and were sealed by the District Attorney, but they may be a bare 10-15% of what was there. Fortunately they did not destroy the coffee plants (at least that I could see), nor burn and cut down many trees. I hope we will be able to return in June, and assess the damage further – in terms of the coffee, it will mean another year’s setback at least, as this year’s crop, if there is one, will be tiny. However, coffee is amazingly resilient, so with judicious pruning and organic fertilizing, next year may see a small but exportable crop. I shall let you know next week, after the meeting, what perspectives we have. Thank you for your concern… Lupe

So good news!! Not great news, but progress: news that we may see this amazing coffee again.

I will keep you posted

So long, and thanks for all the fish…….

".......... this is the 5th (I so wish it was 42nd) in a new "galaxy" of guest coffee blends we are introducing in 2013 ........"

Its time for blend number 5 of our guest blend range, and this month its called “Don’t Panic”

I love Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, not the new rubbish film, but the book and the bbc tv series and radio program that was spawned from the book. I don’t do a good job but I always try top hide my geekisms, but this is one area I struggle.

On May the 25th each year its towel day, celebrating the life and works of Douglas Adams who passed away in 2001 on the 11th of May. So two weeks after this every year since theres a small bunch of die hard fans who celebrate by taking a towel with them. I know this might be tough for you, so with every bag of this blend you will receive an emergency towelet to hydrate and expand and use should an emergency arrive.

So why don’t panic ? We have blended two coffees together that in relaity should install panic and worry. We have used our colombian DECAF and our El Salvador Finca Argentina Fincona 1 CATIMOR Washed, two coffees that if you had not of tasted them would scare the heck out of you. But you know what, rules are there to be broken and this just works as an amazing delicious coffee. The fact that both of them taste lovely on their own, gives a good clue to this is an amazing coffee.

The blend will run for one month or until sold out, so do not hang about. You can buy it here, or read the website description here

 

 

Available Roasted Beans Only

What ever you do please don’t panic……………..

This is the 5th (I so wish it was 42nd) in a new “galaxy” of guest coffee blends we are introducing in 2013. Each month there will be a new blend for which there will be an original label in a different style of bag, and of which there will only be 500 made. Each bag will be marked with a unique limited edition number.

These are the blends most roasters would be scared to share with you, but not us fearless souls at Has Bean Towers with our looking to the stars, going to that extra mile and on to the next solar system and all the other stupid sayings you can think of. In the cup think unbalanced, off-the-wall experiments that are tasty but never normal, and are always a bit unusual and pushing the boundaries. This months is taking that to a new space and time dimension.

We have also decided to name them with equally appropriate stupidness. In honour of the towel day on May the 25th to demonstrate our appreciation for the books and the author Douglas Adams, who wrote ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams’ death on 11 May 2001. But why a towel I hear you cry ? Well…..

The original quotation that explained the importance of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

To honour this you will also receive your own easy cary towelet for next time your caught out in Betelgeuse that can be hydrated in any emergency.

In the cup this is the bravest blend yet, but I think it works. Expect big sticky mouthfeel, with a cherry drop note, and with a milk chocolate sweetness that just makes this a sticky fest. These are two coffees you wouldn’t normally blend with a decaf and a catimor but you know what, this is why rules are meant to be broken.

80% Colombia El Meridiano SC Decaf;
20% 20% El Salvador Finca Argentina Fincona 1 Catimor Washed;
42% Don’t Panic.