Ohio Coffee Roaster Helps Small Peruvian Grower Recover from Rust Damage with Training in Honey Processing

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Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea is introducing a new Friend2Farmer coffee, Honey Processed Amazonas. To produce this new find, Crimson Cup introduced growers Raul Yañis & Elianita Oblitas to a honey processing technique that improved coffee quality.

Lightly roasted, Honey Processed Amazonas displays notes of stone fruit, caramel and agave. It was easily the best of the samples we received from this year’s Peruvian growers. - Dave Eldridge, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea is introducing a new limited-edition coffee, Honey Processed Amazonas. Crimson Cup developed the coffee in collaboration with growers Raul Yañis & Elianita Oblitas, whose farm outside the town of Cocochó, Peru has been affected in recent years by the coffee rust fungus and a meager return from coffee sales.

“When we first encountered Raul and Elianita in 2013, they expressed real concerns about the future of growing coffee,” said Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert. “Yet we learned that the couple had one of the best-managed farms in the region. They had invested in irrigation systems, composting and covered drying racks to protect their coffee from rain and moisture.

“We decided to invest in Raul and Elianita by commissioning a honey-processing technique to improve the quality of their crop.”

Crimson Cup Buyer Dave Eldridge contacted Guatemalan Q Grader Jorge De Leon Ovalle, who was familiar with the honey processing technique. The pair worked together on the process with Yañis, who was unfamiliar with honey processing. Crimson Cup agreed to pay an above-market premium for seven bags of coffee, no matter what the results of the experiment.

After several months of processing, Eldridge and Cupper Brandon Bir received samples of the coffee, which grows at an elevation of 5,500 feet in the Andes Mountains.

“It was wonderful – better than we could have expected!” Eldridge said. “Lightly roasted, it displays notes of stone fruit, caramel and agave. It was easily the best of the samples we received from this year’s Peruvian growers.”

Despite interest from other roasters, Crimson Cup purchased all seven bags. “As roasters, our number-one goal is to pay tribute to the hard work of the farmer by bringing out the best characteristics of each bean,” Eldridge said. “I always enjoy the opportunity to learn from growers who are willing to experiment with a new process.”

Crimson Cup is offering Honey Processed Amazonas for a limited time through its Friend2Farmer direct trade program. It will be available for purchase later this week on the Crimson Cup website.

Developed to ensure that farmers receive a fair share of proceeds from coffee sales, Friend2Farmer is built on personal relationships with coffee growers. Crimson Cup pays an above-market premium to farmers, who can then invest in agricultural and community improvements. Crimson Cup coffee experts also collaborate with farmers on ways to improve the quality of the coffee and quality of life for farmers, workers and their communities.

About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Since 1991, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has hand-roasted specialty coffee in Columbus, Ohio and taught independent business owners to succeed through its coffee shop franchise alternative program. Sustainably sourced Crimson Cup coffee is available through a network of more than 350 independent coffee houses, grocers, college and universities, restaurants and food service operations across 28 states, as well as the company’s own Crimson Cup Coffee House in the Columbus suburb of Clintonville. For more information, visit crimsoncup.com.

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Cheryl Claypoole
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