Cocaine for Coffee

By now, you’ve probably tasted our awesome microlot Haiti Blue Mountain coffee from Cafe Kreyol.  Our friends at Cafe Kreyol have sourced three other microlots from Colombia, Bolivia, and Mexico. Let’s talk about the Colombia Cauca Region microlot. This coffee is grown in the Southwest West region of Colombia, facing the Pacific Ocean.  Joseph Stazzone, the owner of Cafe Kreyol, kindly sent me some information below about this coffee and the relationship between cocaine and coffee.

A group of missionary friends of mine were in Colombia in the Cauca Region a little over 4 years ago. There they came across a field of cocaine and 3 small families growing it. The families shared with them the dangers of being involved in this trade and the dangers of the missionaries even being there.

My friend Santiago and his younger brother then boldly told the farmers and their families that there was redemption from this life. That they could choose to follow Jesus and to no longer serve the Evil in their work. They openly shared the gospel despite the danger that could come of it.

The farmers, hearing these words, felt an immediate change in their heart. They cut down their cocaine that very day with no plan on what to do next. Cafe Kreyol’s owner (Joseph Stazzone) a good friend of the missionaries, was then asked to help lead a cocaine 4 coffee initiative with these farmers.

4 years later and the 3 small families have produced their first coffee harvest. Since the time when they used to grow cocaine, they are now heavily involved in a local church and local charity. Their coffee is microlot sourced, and dried on raised beds to create a smooth cupping experience with mild citrus notes and a sweet undertone finish.

These families have been miraculously overlooked by the local cocaine buyers and drug smugglers, and therefore no harm has come to them. They thank you for your support of their project that has now been come to be called “Cocaine for Coffee”.

Tasting Notes (From Frank)

First roast: City Roast (light roast)

As an espresso, we need to work on consistency because one of the three shots that we pulled was awesome. The other two were exceptionally fruity and tart. Many coffee roasters brew winy, crushed fruit, espressos, but I expect our espresso to be balanced with a full mouthfeel that coats your entire palate. The best espresso that we made had an explosion of fruit in the back of the palate like we were biting a blackberry. We’ll need to taste a few dozen shots of this espresso before we serve it as espresso. If we can get it right 100% of the time, then it will be extraordinary.

As a French Press, the fruity notes are muted, but there are light praline nutty notes in the front and very mild fruit in the back. However, Joe (from Chazzano), brought a smile to my face when he recognized that it tastes like Cannoli shells.

As a Pourover, the fruit comes back but not intensely. I’m tasting tropical fruit but I’m not sure if I’m influenced by the coming Jewish Holidays. During Rosh Hashanah, we eat a new fruit that we haven’t tried during the last 30 days. Therefore, we often eat exotic fruit that we haven’t tried, ever.

What will this coffee taste like as a Full City roast? We’ll see.



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