We never miss a chance to share with you our passion for coffee, the communities we meet, and their stories.
Visiting Finca Hartmann was a real treat. We found genuinely passionate communities, dedicated coffee farmers, and, also, our first lot from the Founder’s Selection Series: Panama Chico Gallo. Discover Founder’s Selection – a series that speaks about the farmers growing extraordinary coffees from generation to generation. Available through Yellow Box Subscription, on our online shop, and in our coffee shops.
Read about our experience through Bogdan’s experience, Meron CEO, in this interview below.
What’s the story behind Founder’s selection?
Through Founder’s selection, I tried to combine two important passions for me: traveling and coffee. For me, traveling does not mean sitting on a sunbed at a 5-star hotel, but rather the discovery of stories, cultures, and communities that I don`t get to meet every day.
This has combined very well with specialty coffee, which brings together various communities and different cultures. This is also the story we are trying to tell: the story of the farmers, of some communities that cultivate coffee… and not any kind of coffee. But one that spreads from generation to generation.
For example, the first batch of coffee comes from the Hartman Estate. The Hartman’s story includes a decades-long history of coffee – Alan, Ratibor, Jessie & her sister inherited their father’s passion for coffee for several decades. There is something native about them, they have this in their blood; for them is enough to put their hand in a coffee bag and tell me the humidity that the coffee beans have. They instinctively have the know-how that others study from books and learn mechanically. Well, that’s instinctive to them. The things you discover increase your passion for coffee and the fact that you have a passion that turns into tangible things makes a good story to tell. That’s the story we wanna share to with the world with this Founder’s selection series.
Why do we cherish specialty coffee?
We cherish it because behind each bag of coffee is not an industrialized process, but a whole ecosystem supported by people. The fact that you can go and meet the family that takes care of planting, harvesting and processing is amazing. This whole ecosystem would be too simplistic if it stopped there… But from there it reaches some passionate people who make sure we receive in our roastery only the best beans. In our roastery, we have people who taste, test, analyze. Then they develop roasting profiles – they roast several profiles to figure out how to develop the best from the coffee bean.
After finding the perfect profile, they look for the recipe for a balanced espresso, because the journey continues to the espresso machine and our coffee shops – everything from this coffee chains reaches the customer. Everything is based on the passion that a series of people have to get the best out of what farmers have curated. This thing is interesting because it is not enough just for the farmer to have the know-how. It is not enough for the roaster to have the know-how. It is also important for the barista to have the necessary tools and know-how. Only all three elements put together to give the result that an entrepreneur wants.
What does coffee mean to the farmers and how would you describe the farm experience?
For them, it means the opportunity to take their product all over the world. Coffee is not a local product. With it, they do not only have access to local communities. This is fascinating for them: that they can go to a coffee festival, to present their coffee there so that later their coffee can reach the shelves in Korea, USA, Australia or Romania. For them, this means fulfillment and more and more farmers know the professional fulfillment through these things. 20 years ago it was strictly a commercial process, they sold their coffee on the local markets. Today is about the opportunities coffee creates. For every kilogram they manage to sell, it means access to education, technology, culture. This short-chain that we manage to create, through which we pay a fair price/kg of coffee directly to the farmer, between us always being at most a trader, this means for them a correct capitalization of their work.
I got to meet the family, in those 7 days, last winter, I went to dinner with them, I visited the farms. Their farms are located on various slopes of the mountains. This feeling that you are going into someone’s private life, not in a corporation, bank, hall, factory – is something special. Not an industrialized process. But a process with a soul, artisanal. When you pay a price for a kilogram of coffee, you know you gave it to a family, not a corporation.
About Founder’s selection coffee, truth to be told by our Head Roaster.
The coffee is light roast. It is very suitable for manual filter. It also goes to espresso – but only with an extra rest (we recommend 30 days after roasting espresso coffee roasting). The coffee in this range is a complex one. Which changes and develops its aromatic profile depending on temperature.
As a variety – Chico Gallo is a super wild and expensive 🙂 – related to Gesha (both are from the Ethiopian Heirloom class). For over 12 years, the people from Finca Hartmann have been cultivating it and with careful processing they get lots more complex than the other.
The processing of this batch is naturally dry. Once prepared, the coffee has an aromatic profile towards tropical fruits – lychee, papaya, pineapple, red fruits such as strawberries, a little rum and a delicate jasmine floral. A real bouquet to impress any connoisseur.