One might argue that October is one of the more unusual months of the year. Days get darker, once-green trees seem to turn color overnight, brisk winds pick up, ghoulish Halloween decorations are hung in front of neighborhood homes, the chilly “sweater season” has us clinging to our hot coffees more than ever.
We thought – what better time of year to turn our attention to some of the more curious coffees out on the market?
This month at Fellow, we have combed through roasters’ offerings near and far to bring you some brews you definitely don’t see every day! From lesser-known origins to alternative processes, we hope we’ve piqued your curiosity into exploring some of these truly special and delicious Unusual Suspects with us.
Stop by Fellow and fill your trick-or-treat bag with one of these rare finds all month long!
WATER AVENUE COFFEE COMPANY
Portland, OR | Founded 2009 by Bruce Milletto and Matt Milletto
Coffee/Origin: El Salvador Ayutepeque
Variety: Bourbon, Pache San Ramón, and Castillo
Notes: Caramel, Red Apple, Amaretto
“Emilio and his family have been growing coffee for six generations in the volcanic hills of El Salvador. He is the founder of Cuatro M farms, miller and exporter of 100% single origin coffee produced in the Apaneca-Illamatepec region. Their first washing station was installed at Finca Ayutepeque where each bean can be traced back to the lot it is grown in. In 2005, Cuatro M expanded operations to another family-owned farm, Finca El Manzano, in order to continue the legacy of processing family grown coffee as well as introduce an innovated state of the art mill. The new environment allowed them to experiment with different processing methods such as Natural and Pulped Natural, and receive additional coffees from neighboring farms.
We love to celebrate relationships and this project brings together two great ones: our producing partners in El Salvador, and Sokol Blosser Winery of Dayton, Oregon. We age the coffee in oak barrels that once held Sokol Blosser’s famous Pinot Noir, infusing this Central American’s rich chocolate palette with the poignant grape notes of great Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.” – Water Avenue Coffee Company (@wateravecoffee)
VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS
Santa Cruz, CA | Founded 2007 by Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr
Coffee/Origin: Sero Bebes, Papua New Guinea
Variety: Typica, Bourbon, Arusha and Mundo Novo
Notes: Green Apple, Juniper, Crisp
“Occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (which it shares, to the west, with Indonesia), Papua New Guinea is believed to have been inhabited for over 60,000 years. Discovered by Europeans, along with its Southeast Asian counterparts, during the spice race – first by the Spanish and Portuguese – Papua New Guinea would resist colonization until the late 19th century when it was settled in the North, by the Germans, and in the South, by the British. The British were no strangers to coffee at this point in time having already been cultivating the crop in Jamaica and, more recently, Kenya. Just like their Kenyan model, coffee (this time of the Jamaican-born “Blue Mountain” variety) was farmed on large estates, or plantations, to be sold and consumed in their nearby colony of Australia. Sero Bebes is the owner of a 34 hectare coffee farm that was first planted in 1968. Since 2010, he has also owned and operated the Bebes washing station in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.” – Verve Coffee Roasters (@vervecoffee)
JBC COFFEE ROASTERS
Madison, WI | Founded 1994 by Michael and Laura Salinger Johnson
Coffee/Origin: Tarime Tanzania
Variety: Bourbon, Kent
Notes: Berry, Banana, Sweet Pineapple
“This coffee comes from the Tarime district, which is one of six districts in the Mara Region of Tanzania. Bordered by the Maasai Mara game reserve, the Migori district of Kenya and the Mara River, this coffee is grown at 1800-2000 Meters. Ninety percent of the coffee producers in Tanzania are smallholder farmers, owning between 0.5 to 3 hectares. Like Kenya, coffee was brought to Tanzania in the late 1800s by French missionaries (mainly the bourbon varietal or SLs in Kenya) and was mostly planted around Kilimanjaro. In Tanzania, with its Indian influence, the Indian Kent varieties came from Mysore in the 1920s. This particular Tanzania coffee is a mix of the Bourbon and Kent varieties.” – JBC Coffee Roasters (@jbccoffeeroasters)
BIG ISLAND COFFEE ROASTERS
Mountain View, HI | Founded 2010 by Kelleigh Stewart and Brandon von Damitz
Coffee/Origin: Oahu Triple Bourbon
Variety: Pink, Yellow, and Red Bourbon
Process: Washed/ Natural
Notes: Cherries, Hazelnuts, Dates
“This is a blend of pink, red, and yellow bourbon that was grown just west of Kailua in the lush Maunawili Valley, nestled between the Olomana Ridge and the large Ko’olau range. Of this triple colored bourbon variety, we’ve blended two different coffee processing methods together — natural and washed — to make a profile that our employees say tastes like dessert: chocolate brownies, cherries, dates, and fruitcake.
Besides producing an exotic array of coffee varieties designed to serve as a seed bank for local farmers, HARC performs important field research on Koa — an endemic hard-wood tree and keystone species in the native forests of Hawai’i — heirloom sugar cane, cacao, soil preservation, and more. Their coffee grows interspersed with this native hardwood, which provides extra nitrogen and shade to the coffee trees. We’re thrilled to share HARC’s specialty Oahu coffees, not only because they’re one-of-a-kind, but also because your purchase will fuel, support, fund and grow this horticulture crop research that gives back to Hawaii. ” – Big Island Coffee Roasters (@bigislandcoffeeroasters)
Denver, CO | Founded 2017 by Jennifer Lan
Coffee/Origin: “Namaste” Nuwa Estate, Nepal
Notes: Brown Sugar, Nuts, Citrus
“Nuwa Estate Coffee was started in 2007 by Bandi Nima Sherpa Tenzing, one of the few female entrepreneurs in Nepal. Her vision was to create positive change in rural areas afflicted by poverty, lack of economic and educational opportunity, and human trafficking. She has been relentless in establishing Nuwa Estate Coffee as a premier specialty coffee producer.
Their coffee is shade grown using organic fertilizer. It’s meticulously picked, pulped, and wet processed before drying down to 10-12% on raised beds. It’s stored in a climate/humidity controlled warehouse, spread on parchment until hulled, then hand sorted twice to ensure that only the best beans are used.
Beyond superior farming, Nuwa is also committed to real progress for fellow coffee growers throughout the region, providing them with free coffee plants from their nursery and agricultural education. They’ve also created a non-profit, The Nepal Green Tara Foundation (NGTF), which has built over four schools in the area and continues to support operations by covering costs for supplies and teacher salaries. Both Nuwa and NGTF have provided disaster aid and relief by distributing food, supplies, and tarps to displaced families during the 2015 earthquake and the 2017 floods which devastated so much of Nepal. Nuwa represents an ideal partner for Bhavana and we are proud to work alongside them. ” – Bhavana Coffee (@bhavanacoffee)