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    Latest News and Useful Information

    Girls Gotta Run Foundation - Ethiopia

    Girls Gotta Run Foundation - Ethiopia

    Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) are an amazing non-profit organisation who focus on empowering young Ethiopian women through the encouragement of running and education. They invest in young women who aim to establish themselves as competitive runners and leaders within their communities.

    With only 16% of Ethiopian girls going on to attend secondary school, and early marriage being the most prevalent factor in contributing to this, young women who are supported by GGRF are able to actively combat this alarming statistic. 24% of girls in Ethiopia are removed from school and are married by the age of just 15 even though it has been outlawed by the government. Girls who are supported by GGRF are ultimately training in order to avoid early marriage and pregnancy, and are consequently boosting their own personal economic opportunities. A few have gone on to win competitions and athletic scholarships, but most run in order to develop their sense of self, community, and to continue in full time education. With the help of the organisation, those involved are empowered through their growth in confidence and pursuit of excellence.

    Girls Gotta Run - Coaltown Coffee RoastersGirls Gotta Run Ethiopia  Coaltown Coffee Roasters

     

    Since 2007, Girls Gotta Run Foundation have maintained strong partnerships with local and international organisations who have helped to develop projects that feed into this notion of empowerment. Our supplier Falcon Specialty kindly contributed $10,000 in 2015/16 through charitable donation, fundraising, and through sales of Ethiopia Rocko Mountain coffee. Each bag sold continues to help channel money into the project.

    GGRF really are making an unfathomable difference to the lives of so many who are at a crucial point in their lives. It's an awesome organisation, and we are very proud to supply a coffee that has such a positive social impact. To find out more about individual success stories or get involved, please take a look at their website

     

    Be Your Own Boss #BYOB Event - Ammanford Job Centre

    Be Your Own Boss #BYOB Event - Ammanford Job Centre

    We are very excited to have been asked to contribute to Be Your Own Boss day at Ammanford Job Centre!

    The event will be held between 10am and 2pm on Friday 17th February, and is a perfect opportunity for anyone - of any age - within the community to hear about local success stories and to receive expert advice from people with first hand experience of being self-employed. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit or a business idea, come along and talk with some of the experienced partner organisations. The aim is to encourage innovation in our hometown!

    We're looking forward to meeting everyone next week.

    Origin Profile: Jagong Village, Sumatra

    Origin Profile: Jagong Village, Sumatra

     

    Coffee was taken to Sumatra by Dutch colonialists under the guidance of Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) in the late 1600s. It is thought that between the years of 1602 and 1796, around a million European workers were sent to Indonesia to work in the trade. With the rapid growth of the industry during this period (and the insatiable thirst for coffee in Europe!), the commodity has played a fundamental role in the trade and development of the country. With its current yearly harvest sitting at an impressive 6.54 million 60kg bags, coffee is undoubtedly still as important a commodity today as it was in the Seventeenth Century.

    Sumatra's varying altitude range of 1000-1600 meters above sea level, volcanic soils and tropical climate make it an island of opportunity for high-grade Arabica coffee. These conditions, along with its unique semi-washed process Giling Basah, give Indonesian coffee the heavy body and lower acidity levels that it is famed for. Sumatran coffees are unrivalled in their depth, and are often fascinatingly complex, boasting rich dark chocolate and orange flavours.

    Jagong Village was established in the 1980s as a result of the Indonesian Transmigration Program. This was an initiative which sought to move landless people from more densely populated islands to the less populous areas of the country. At Jagong Village, Javanese people we offered land as a result of over-population and the poverty that took hold of the island resulting from this. The program provided an incentive to move and start a new life in Sumatra, and an opportunity to begin harvesting great coffee.

     

    Jagong Village is located just South of Takengon, the capital of the Aceh Province. Working alongside The Gayo, their new neighbours in the highlands of this province, the settlers started to harvest and produce Arabica coffee. With an average farm size of one hectare, there are currently 25 members of this cooperative who specialise in Bourbon and P88 Arabica varietals. All Jagong Village coffee is Fair Trade and organically certified, and is grown along with cabbages, chillies and red beans to help manifest unusual and delicious flavour profiles. 

    What perhaps sets Sumatran coffee apart most from other origins is the unique processing methods that are undertaken after the beans are harvested. At Jagong Village, the coffee cherries are semi-washed and wet-hulled. This process, known locally as Giling Basah, involves the part-drying of freshly pulped beans before the parchment is removed. The removal of the parchment at this stage reveals unusual lightly coloured swollen green beans, which are then taken to be patio dried, quickly turning the seed to a dark green colour. This style of processing is unique to Indonesia, and makes its coffee instantly recognisable around the world.

     

    Sumatran Jagong Village is available to purchase from our online store. Its heavy body makes it a very versatile brew, working well as an espresso in addition to a delicious choice for cafetière, pour-over and other filter methods.

    Jenkin Jones: Nicaragua, Cerro De Jesus

    Jenkin Jones: Nicaragua, Cerro De Jesus

    By Ffion Davies

    If you're an admirer of decaf, you might already know that Jenkin Jones, our decaffeinated option, is a single origin coffee that is rotated on a seasonal basis. Although it is widely considered to be less desirable than normal coffee, the specialty industry can offer some genuinely delicious alternatives. Having a seasonal single origin means that we are able to offer an interesting and unique alternative to those who cannot, or prefer not to have caffeine. 

    Our current decaffeinated offering comes from Finca Cerro De Jesus, Nicaragua. Sitting on the highest mountain in the municipality of Jalapa, Nueva Segovia, this coffee is grown at 1100-1450 meters above sea level and occupies a total area of 280 hectares. These factors, alongside high levels of annual rainfall, encourage diverse, luscious vegetation and wildlife to thrive in the Comarca El Escambray community, which means that farmers are able to harvest Catuai, Caturra, Bourbon and Pacamara varietals. The high quality and abundance of the harvest at Finca Cerro De Jesus has meant that the farm's owners, the Peralta family, have consequently been able to provide schooling and meals for the children of 300 of their workers.

    Cerro De Jesus has a wetmill on site where most of the harvested coffee is processed before being dried on patios in Ocotal and then despatched to roasteries like ours around the world. However, decaffeinated coffee requires further investment. Complex and labour-intensive processes must be executed before the resulting coffee can be brewed and enjoyed. There are generally four methods for decaffeinating coffee. Two use solvents, which will ultimately remove the natural oils and flavours of the beverage; while the other two use water and carbon dioxide respectively to draw out the caffeine from the beans. 

    Our Nicaraguan single origin is decaffeinated using a sparkling water process that was first discovered by Kurt Zosel at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in 1967. This is essentially a process which uses natural carbon dioxide with water (creating sparkling water) to encourage sub-critical conditions that create a highly solvent substance for caffeine in coffee. It is a gentle, natural, organically certified process, which preserves the natural tastes and aromas of the resulting coffee. 

    By roasting the beans from this farm, we are able to offer an exciting and delicious solution for coffee enthusiasts who have high sensitivity to the stimulant or need to avoid caffeine consumption altogether. Order a bag of Jenkin Jones for your home here.

    Origin Profile: Acevedo, Colombia

    Origin Profile: Acevedo, Colombia

    By Ffion Davies

    When you think about the world's coffee-growing regions, Colombia is likely to be one of the first countries to spring to mind. The impressive volume of its yearly production (11 million sacks) places it third globally, closely following Vietnam and Brazil. The reason for this is arguably the country's extensive and varying topography. Colombia's two mountain ranges that run from top to bottom of the country give it lots of microclimates, which make its coffee production unique because it has no definable harvest season. This is an origin that harvests coffee for 365 days a year.

    In terms of specialty coffee, there are five regions that produce a crop of a high enough quality; Huila, Cauca, Tolia, Narinio and Antioquia. Each of these regions has its own individual flavour profile because of the country's rich and diverse landscape. Colombia's coffee production is dominated by remote smallholder farms that are bound together into cooperatives in order to share processing facilities. The vastness and multifaceted nature of the country means that the potential for high quality coffee in the country is unfathomably large. Acevedo is no exception to this rule.

    Acevedo is a farm owned by Omar Cardenas Benavides and his family in La Primavera, Huila. Grown at 1500 meters above sea level, Benavides prides himself on the natural sweetness of his crop. He has worked in the coffee industry for his entire life, and fondly remembers helping his parents to pick coffee cherries when he was very young. He is currently in his 40s, and lives with his wife and four children who are all between 16 and 25 years old. 

    The success of Acevedo's crop is testament to the hard work of the family; starting out with 2,500 trees on a 12 hectare farm, and increasing the production to currently having 55,000 trees. This is made up of a mixture of Colombia and Caturra varietals, which are both considered to be of a very high quality. With Acevedo's growth and development, Benavides and his family demonstrate a genuine passion for the specialty industry. They are always looking for ways to drive up quality, investing in a Brix Meter, which is used to measure the sugar content of the crop. Placing such a big emphasis on quality control and focusing on complex sugars and flavours are perhaps what give Acevedo a very desirable honey, lemon and cranberry cup profile. 

    Find Acevedo coffee here.