What a year! We hope you’ve had a good one and with six weeks left, enjoy the rest of it. It’s been a good year for us, one of change, a year in which we are happy to have been able to increase the quality of the coffee we source and produce.
We have tried to reduce the content this time, since our last newsletter was long, and we received a number of suggestions to make it shorter. We have now included links for items for further reading.
News from the Coffee Industry
It’s tough to summarise all the developments that have taken place over the last two or three months. We have continually posted coffee new updates and articles of interest on our facebook and twitter feeds, so like and follow us.
A short summary of the year is that there has been a general surge in scientific approaches to improving coffee in the high-end and specialty side of the industry, with important research looking at planting, growing, processing, packing, roasting and brewing.
To share this information, and hopefully add to the pool of knowledge ourselves, we have co-founded a podcast called Coffee Brewmance – which you can follow on Twitter or Facebook and listen to on the website or via Podcast on iPhone or Sticther on Android . We have a total of over 20 interviews lined up which we will release as and when they’re done.
We’ve put up a recommended reading and listening list as well on the Coffee Brewmance site for those of you who’d like to go deeper into this sort of thing.
At Quaffee we continually try and improve the quality of the coffee offering. Quality is relative so what you believe is good today, may not cut it tomorrow as you may tasted and sampled better. As we sample and are offered better and better coffees, what we consider a minimum standard of quality takes a step up the rung in the ladder of quality. Of course each rung of quality does come with a price premium, which we believe is worth paying. As we source coffees closer to the producer we are able to access these higher quality coffees. Working with agents and producers that give back through education and living wages helps to promote the full cycle of production and this takes a premium.
As testimony to our conviction, we’ve posted a full summary of all the coffees we’ve imported this year, read more here.
Since our last quick update newsletter, we have released the Honduras Erapuca and Brazilian Pântano. We have also made updates to our Bunna and Wildly Organic blends, improving their quality. Next year we’ll run out of the current Serena grade of Antigua from Guatemala and do not plan on sourcing it again. We believe the current coffee is a rung lower than we are happy to offer so have not sourced this coffee again. We are also considering dropping our Armonizar blend (at least on the website), since it includes a coffee we feel is of to lower a quality.
Remember our latest list of coffees is always available online at quaffee.co.za/coffee.
Growth in Domestic Market
The domestic market has been our biggest source of growth. This sector of our client base is driven to choose something they enjoy, prepared to pay the extra R1 a cup premium for a better tasting cup, that a café or office may not be comfortable with.
Our sales to the passionate self-brewer have almost doubled this year. And some are consuming this coffee at work too, shunning the low quality stuff their company hand out. This is an exciting market to find growth in and we receive a lot more feedback from the sophisticated domestic user, and they keep us on our toes, which we love.
ter brew, also known as pour over. Our most popular are the Hario V60 and the Chemex. We have now published a web page dedicated to these methods, and will be holding stock for those who would like to try them. These methods are great to use. It is easy to play with dose and water quantities and achieve different tastes from the same coffees. We recommend a scale for accuracy in your playing.
Read more here: quaffee.co.za/PourOver maybe an elusive year end gift can be found here.
With the Rand having lost almost a quarter of its value this year, as a result of the dip in emerging markets, we anticipate price increases in the coming year. This will affect the Jura range first since there will be a price increase effective 1 Jan 2016.
In partnership with the Vineyard Hotel, we will be opening a new roasting site, scheduled for the 15th of December. We will have a small space at the front of the hotel and they’ll be opening a specialty coffee focused café as well. Stay updated through our Facebook and Twitter.
Closing Times This Year
Our last scheduled delivery for the year falls on the 21st of December. Thereafter, we’ll be doing half-days at Buitenverwachting while setting up the Vineyard. We will still dispatch coffee from the 22nd December to the 4th of January via courier. Standard operations will resume from the 5th of January 2016.
We’d like to give a big thanks to everyone. Everyone who helps spread the word about great coffee, all those moved enough to support us and the people who place quality in the cup above everything else. Our next event will be next year, and after the success of the last one we have some hands on brewing planned.