Spring is finally here, and it’s that time of year when we celebrate the new. We here at Fellow know that there’s more than one way to “bloom” when it comes to coffee, and this month we wanted to welcome some of the newest and freshest names to join the roasting game! Some of these companies have opened their doors within only the last year or two, while others have been around a while but only just started serving up their own proprietary roasts.
Come by Fellow all month and meet these spring chickens first hand!
FORGED COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY
Reno, NV | Founded in 2018 by Kyle Oels
“San Miguel is a beautiful small town situated at the base of the volcano Agua, approximately 4 miles (6 km) from Antigua Guatemala. In the 16th century, San Miguel was the second colonial capital of Guatemala until it was destroyed by a catastrophic mudflow from the volcano in 1541. In present times it is a typical Guatemalan town and home to many coffee farmers. Plots of coffee stretch up the slopes of the volcano, providing the perfect location for shade-grown, high altitude coffee. There are 30 members in the San Miguel cooperative. The farmers are generally smallholders, owning an average of approximately 3 acres of land. The farmers and their families cultivate, harvest, and process the coffee with care.”
GO GET EM TIGER
Los Angeles, CA | Founded in 2013 by Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville
“Until 2004 all the coffees grown here were sold in humdrum lots as Huila coffee. Then in 2004, an association of the farmers (ASOCAFE) was created. They set up their own warehouses. Then started purchasing their member’s production, eliminating the middlemen. Selling their coffee directly in Popayán obtaining better prices. Caravela started working with them soon after, educating them on how to improve the quality of their coffee, training 2 cuppers from the association and setting up a cupping lab. Their coffee was also named Colombian La Piramide from Cauca Relationship Coffee, a name that comes from the many pyramid-shaped mountains that can be found in the region. Thanks to this work, the coffee from Inza is slowly becoming well known in Colombia and the world, the members of Asorcafe and their community are finally receiving the profits and recognition that they deserve.”
Fresno, CA | Founded in 2017 by Karsyn, Spencer, and Aaron Bagato
“In Nyeri, near the base of Mt. Kenya, the Barichu Farmer’s Cooperative Society is comprised of 600-plus smallholder farmers, with plots so modest they’re usually measured by the number of trees on them, rather than parcel size.
Gatomboya is a Kikuyu word for “swamp,” referring to the nearby Gatomboya River — water from which is used to wash and ferment coffees at the factory before they’re dried on raised beds.The Barichu Cooperative operates a coffee shop on the grounds of the factory (a local word akin to mill), that caters to travelers on the highway. The income allows the cooperative to reduce its overhead and so increase farmer incomes. It also contributes to the education of children in the region by renting out the extra space on its premises to a primary school and a college.”
Vancouver, Canada | Founded in 2017 by Laura Perry and Nate Welland
“In 1934 Ethiopia, a young woman named Muluemebet, with equal parts fierceness and confidence overcame the odds and became Africa’s first female pilot. She flew an aircraft called the Tiger Moth a number of times a week over Addis Ababa and was determined to complete her pilot training and start a career. Her efforts were almost unbelievable at a time when it was nearly impossible as a woman to get your drivers license. In a twist of fate, Italian troops invaded Ethiopia in 1936, forcing Muluemebet into hiding (she was on their hit list).
Trading in your dream for the domestic life seems a bit anti-climactic, but what happens next involves moving forward to today, this coffee and a continued legacy. Ethiopian government awarded Muluemebet land as recognition for her efforts during the war and decades later Aman Adinew, her grandson, is entrusted with this same land – Hambela Estate. The Adinew family manages Hambela Estate with the same drive that Muluemebet showed as she learned to fly all those years ago. They not only employ the local community complete with healthcare but also provide agronomy assistance for smallholders. The quality of the lots produced under the guidance of Aman and his team are consistently gorgeous and vibrant.”
SOUL WORK COFFEE
Berkeley, CA | Founded in 2013 by Clint Davis
“El Diamante is a 14-acre farm located in San Rafael de San Ramón within the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. Carlos and his family are members of Café de Altura de San Ramón Especial S.A. (Café de Altura), an association that was founded in 2004 and currently has more than 3500 members who receive technical support to increase the quality of their coffee and productivity on their farms. El Diamante is an example of cutting edge experimentation paying off for producers. The coffee is processed using an anaerobic fermentation process, which means the depulped coffee was fermented in an airtight tank with its own honey water. Temperature, brix, pH, time, and pressure are carefully controlled to enhance the coffee’s flavors during the fermentation process. The results in the cup speak to the brilliant method.”