Happy Friday everyone,

Next week we will be serving Conscientious Objector in all of our locations as Coffee of the Week.  "Conch" as we call it around the roastery, has been pretty stable over the past couple of months, and then just as this deadline for roasting coffee for the stores was approaching, we realized that we didn't have enough of the older recipe to cover an entire week in the stores!

But this is a great problem to have because it means I get to taste a bunch of delicious organic coffees to try and find one that will step in where needed.

We've been basing the blend around the very earliest harvests from the Asociación Barillense de Agricultores in Santa Cruz Barillas, in the Huehuetenango department of Guatemala.  The Asociación (aka ASOBAGRI) is made up of 1400 members across 80 communities, growing classic varieties of Bourbon, Catual and Caturra at elevations around 1650 meters.  An incredibly robust organization in an incredibly remote corner of the country, ASOBAGRI provides training and technical support to its members, building up coffee-focused programs like organic composting as well as community focused programs like educational opportunities and health care.  Throughout the years, Highwire has utilized coffees from ASOBAGRI in the blending of Conscientious Objector because it brings a solid structure to layer other flavors upon.

Coffee just beginning to flower in Guatemala

Coffee just beginning to flower in Guatemala.

To the primary layer of ASOBAGRI, we have added the recently arrived Ethiopian coffee from the Refisa washing station in the Nansebo woreda of West Arsi. We have been offering this coffee in our stores all week, so you already know the floral aromatics of this coffee can really sing in the cup. The Refisa also brings a brightness and clarity that's noticeable, but in context of the flavor of this blend.

Finally, to bring a more fruited sweetness to the cup, we just this week added in another returning coffee from Guatemala, a coffee from the 70 member Cooperativa Agrícola Integral El Renacimiento in the municipality of Nahualá within the department of Sololá,  just adjacent to Guatemala's Lake Atitlan.  This coffee, compared to that from ASOBAGRI, is gown at a lower elevation. This softer coffee is a veritable fruit salad of varieties, and is processed in a way that preserves some of the fruit character of the coffee all the way to the cup.  When I tasted the coffee earlier this week, I knew that this was the piece we were missing in the blend.  A few phone calls and a green coffee delivery later, we were ready to roll this new version of Conscientious Objector out to you all!

It is that time of year where we will begin to see tons of new coffee arriving from the various Northern Hemisphere countries of origin.  We're obviously getting in fresh coffee from Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica, and in the coming weeks we'll be seeing arrivals from Mexico and Kenya!

With new coffees coming in, we'll see some fluctuations on our menus for a bit as we dial in new blend recipes with the goal of having a more stable program of fresh flavors throughout the summer. It's going to be tasty!

Thanks all!

June 10, 2023 — Steve Ford

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