- Black Tea
- Orange Peel
During a sourcing trip to Colombia in the summer of 2015, a member of Passenger’s coffee buying team had a serendipitous interaction with an employee at a milling facility in the capital of Tolima, Ibagué. While cupping through tables of prospective coffees, Katerinne Guttierrez Falla shared the story of her family’s farm, Finca Monteverde, and the meticulous pursuit of quality they had slowly nurtured over almost 70 years of production. That summer, Passenger was able to purchase two small allotments of unique ethiopian landrace varieties grown at Finca Monteverde: Gesha and Wush Wush.
- Freezing Coffee: Why We Do It And What It Involves
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After noting the overwhelmingly positive response to these coffees after their release on Passenger’s Reserve Lot menu in early 2016, the decision was made to preserve a single 25 lb vacuum sealed portion of Finca Monteverede’s gesha variety in its green (unroasted) state. At the time, Passenger was still in a nascent stage of exploration into the potential of deep freeze preservation as a way to manage and maintain coffee quality over time. Since those early days, our commitment to this practice has grown such that each and every pound of coffee that we contract is placed in a freezer warehouse following import. While Passenger did not pioneer the strategy of freezing green coffee to prevent the onset of aged flavors, green coffee preservation in frozen storage has been an essential aspect of our approach since the beginning. As we approach our 10th anniversary as a roasting company, freezing coffee is central to every aspect of Passenger’s approach: from our sourcing philosophy, to roasting and quality control, to the year-round menus and unique archival releases, such as this one, that we are able to offer our wholesale partners, online subscribers, and retail guests.
This year, as part of our ongoing research and development around this preservation practice, we selected this special lot from our frozen archive for roasting and cupping analysis. We were delighted to find that many of the original qualities we enjoyed in this coffee nearly 8 years prior were still present: delicate floral sweetness as well as stone fruit and citrus, accompanied by a comforting black tea base.
Today, Finca Monteverde continues to produce coveted varieties and explore new processing approaches with the assistance of five generations of family members, all committed to the future of the farm and the pursuit of quality at various levels of the specialty coffee supply chain. And, while the primary focus of Passenger’s Colombian sourcing in the past 5 years has been devoted to our foundational partners in the town of Divino Niño, Huila, we are absolutely delighted to offer the last of this unique coffee as a very special archival release. Enjoying this beautiful cup offers a fine expression of the unique terroir of Tolima, a celebration of the longstanding achievements of Finca Monteverde, and a nostalgic trip back to considerably earlier days in our journey at Passenger.