Consisting of a single paved road, the community of Monseratte straddles a ridge in the picturesque Cordillera Central mountain range in the Southwestern Departamento(state) of Huila. At the top of the road is a large, brick church that houses a shrine to H the ”Virgen de Monseratte”, a statue of a black Virgin Mary that’s become a regional tourist attraction.
Most residents of Monseratte and surrounding communities are small~scale farmers who grow coffee as a cash crop. Several years ago some of them formed an organisation called “Grupo Asociative Productores del Nuevo Milenio”, (Associative group of producers of the New Millennium) or PROAGROMIL, in and effort to sell their coffee at a higher price.
We were introduced to this community and coffee by our good friends at Atlas Coffee in Seattle who have been working very closely with this group since 2005 in conjunction with a USAID funded Colombian Specialty Coffee Program. The guys at Atlas travel to Monseratte regularly and have assisted the growers in assessing their quality, reviewing their harvesting & processing techniques and offering suggestions on how to position themselves in the specialty coffee market.
The success of this relationship has meant that PROAGROMIL has taken on new members, increased its production and has had the funds to build a cupping laboratory in the centre of town where their own certified Q grader William Quintero manages the quality of coffees coming in during the harvest. All of Monseratte s coffees are purchased at a premium over the internal price and markets and is all sold under the community’s name.
We have travelled to this small town for the last two harvests, taken part in their Cupping competition and spent time getting to know the people who make up this incredibly charming community.
We are excited to be a part of this on-going relationship and believe whole heartedly that we can work together to create something that benefits both the farmers and our clients with some phenomenal coffees from Colombia.
Sweet, balanced and refined with subtle watermelon and red apple acidity. Strong base notes of malt and caramel with a creamy mouth feel.
Region: Department of Huila
Town: Monseratte Producer
Number of Members: 42
Varieties: Caturra, Typica
Processing: Washed / Sun Dried
South of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, are the majestic mountains of Terrazu. Sheltered between the Pacific Coast, the Central Valley and the high peaks of the country’s central mountain range, Terrazu is one of the world’s most famous coffee growing regions. In the mid 19th century, inhabitants from the Central Valley migrated to the Southwestern region known today as Los Santos. The districts of Los Santos (The Saints), San Pablo de Leon Cortes, San Marco de Terrazu and Santa Maria de Dota are all named after Saints.
Dota is a small sub-region adjacent to the Terrazu valley. Tradionally coffees from this area are small-sized, dense beans as a result of high altitude growing conditions. This stunning region is protected by the Pacific basin range and is a sanctuary for mystical birds and forests.
The growers of the Dota co-operative understand the gift nature has provided for them and have worked hard to create and maintain a reputation for high quality coffees year after year. Their co-op was founded in 1960 by 96 members; today they have 750 members, with an average farm size of 2-5 hectares. As with many well known regions, the combination of altitude, climate and coffee varieties plays a huge role in the flavour profile we’ve grown to love from this region.
Tasting Notes Clean and crisp with a tight citric acidity, herbacious notes of lemongrass and verbena with undertones of sweet almond and biscuit.
Country: Costa Rica
Region: Santa Maria de Dota
Farmer: Co~operative (Coopedota) with 750 members
Average farm size: 2-5 hectares
Screen Size: 16 and above
Variety: 95% Caturra 5% Catuai
Altitude: 1200 – 1900 masl
Processing: Washed / Sun dried with
This coffee is grown by small scale farmers organised into a co-operative who share a central processing unit, also known in Kenya as a factory.
The Mukangu coffee factory takes its name from a famous local leader who gave up his portion of land to build a coffee processing unit during colonial times. The area surrounding is very fertile and a perfect fit for coffee growing and processing. The peaks of snow~capped Mt. Kenya are in visible from Mukangu coffee factory, which was officially opened in 1963.
Tangerine, pomegranate, rose, soft and sweet with a dry chardonnay finish.
Region: Kirinyaga District
Group: Kibirigwi Co~operative
Population: 900 members and 185,000 coffee trees
Altitude: 1700~1800 masl
Varieties: SL 34 and SL 28
Harvest: November – December
Processing: Washed and Sun Dried
Growing Area: Central highlands
Well guys, last Friday we celebrated our second annual Additions and Alterations Night and what a night it was!! For those of you who don’t know, Additions and Alterations night is a big party we throw once a year at the cafe to celebrate the cafes anniversary and our major mid year menu change. We make 100 invites and hand them out to every regular customer that we see until they run out. First in best dressed style…obviously we didn’t have the room to invite every single one of you so we decided this was the most fair way to handle invites so we didn’t have to pick and choose. DON’T MAKE US CHOOSE WE LOVE YOU ALL!
The beer and sparkling vino was flowing, we had fabulous entertainment from Cam “LifeKoach” and Brooke and the whole cafe had a great party vibe. Our superstar chefs cooked up a storm of all the new menu items and our gorgeous front of house babes bought them around to the hungry masses with flourish! We all got pretty merry, in fact there may have even been a little dancing on the bench tops… oh it was such a fun night!! So good in fact that there have been whispers and suggestions that maybe once a year isn’t enough.
To those of you that made it, we hope you had a blast! I know we said it on the night but we will say it till we are blue in the face if we need to, we cannot do this without you! You guys, our fabulous, amazing customers, you make Cafe 140 the place that it is. Without you embracing our craziness we are nothing, we appreciate the shit out of you all and every single one of us is grateful to be able to work in a venue that is so full of fun. Keep it up and we will too!
Please enjoy a few photos from the night and if you came along and took photos, pretty please upload them to our facebook page or just tag cafeoneforty in your on Facey, Twitter or Instagram.
Love and bacon, Caz and the 140 crew!