Sourcing coffee requires diligence, savvy, and a healthy dose of flexibility. It’s not for the faint of heart, and you can’t always expect things to go your way. Our new Haiti Savan Zombi coffee, has a unique sourcing story that shows the way trust and respect between farmers and coffee companies can lead to some seriously delicious brews.
In late October 2014, we went down to the Haiti Coffee Academy and visited the nearby Association des Paysans Agricoles de Savane-Zombie, an association of coffee farmers. We brought a small sample of the Savan Zombi back to Philadelphia, and our folks at the roastery lost their minds. This was some of the best Haitian coffee we had had in years.
Later that year, we went back to Haiti and visited the Association’s milling operation. On that trip, we learned that the mill did not have the capital to purchase coffee cherries from its farmers, meaning they could only offer us a very small amount of coffee. But we really wanted those beans.
In the end, we committed to a larger purchase and paid part of the contract up front, 6 months before the coffee was to be delivered. That way the mill would have enough capital to buy the cherries and process them, and we could get a larger harvest of this seriously delicious coffee.
Fast forward 6 months: Savan Zombi is here, and it’s everything we hoped and dreamed. The coffee is a beautiful play of lavender, orange, and caramel tasting notes, and shows that amazing things can happen when you put trust, respect, and longevity into your trading partnerships.
Want to try Savan Zombi and our other Haitian coffee, Mare Blanche? Join us tomorrow (Friday) at 1pm for free public cuppings in DC, NYC, Philly, and Chicago. Details here.