Every year, we have a gap where we just run out of a coffee until the next harvest arrives. The seasonal nature of the coffee harvest means it's often a good thing to run out of it for a little while and move to other coffees that are fresher. While it's sound from a quality perspective, it doesn't make us feel better when our favorite coffees disappear from the shelf for a while.
What's been amazing to watch over the last few years is the attachment that people have as we bring back the producers who have excelled or that we have a strong relationship with. Last year, it was the El Bosque from Guatemala. We organized a pick of red and yellow bourbon, which we ran through very quickly after it arrived. There were many people looking for it on what seemed like a daily basis after it was gone. One dedicated person in particular called us every few weeks to get an update on when that coffee would be back in season... until it arrived. Next year will be our fourth year working with El Bosque and we get the attachment people have to that farm.
This year, the La Loma from Costa Rica seems to have converted quite a few people to become loyal fans. The next crop of La Loma will be our third year bringing this lot in and fourth working with the folks at Don Mayo. Our customers and cafes have had time to become attached to this particular lot and the quality produced at Don Mayo. The other day, our green buyer was covering in a pinch and helped close the coffee bar. Within minutes of each other, two customers came in and were both seeking out Loma and seemed pretty devastated at it's absence. The comments 'now what do I get, that was my favorite' and the more humorous advice 'tell Don Mayo they need to plant more coffee trees' were left with us. Both left with another good coffee but truth is, we get it. That's what makes a lot of this worth while.
The good thing is that the new coffees are just around the corner. Miralvalle is shipping early and looks great, the Loma is fantastic and always ships on time, and of course Bosque is a bit late with picking but won't be far behind. While these farms have become beloved in our lineup (among other well liked coffees), we are looking forward to bridging the gap and finally putting some faces and people in front of customers to go with the names of coffees they like. Stay tuned as we are planning to arrange something special soon as a way to make the conversation more complete.