It’s been an interesting ride for coffee trade world-wide, with the C-price consistently hovering around 100c/lb. Coffee futures are around their lowest since August 2005 - that's around the time South Africa got its first specialty micro-roaster!
As many of you would have noticed, commercial-grade coffee prices in South Africa are at the lowest they have been in years. Cultivar has for the last couple years traded two coffee ranges:
conscious-coffee (low 80's).
Our conscious coffee has allowed us to work and pay farmers directly for their coffees at this level. However, with the majority of origins now available in SA below R60/kg, support from roasters for these coffees has stopped. Cultivar can no longer continue paying these farmers at prices decoupled from the C-price at R80/kg plus. We will, therefore, no longer hold stock of these coffees. Instead, we will buy coffees on a case-by-case basis. While the sad reality is that a lot of roasters are struggling to keep afloat, support for fairly-traded coffees (where the farmers receive higher prices) has shrunk. This will be the end of Sidamo and Meru for us.
We still have a few origins we are working closely with and will add more where the opportunity arises. All will be LINE-OF-SIGHT coffees (a term borrowed from Dario of Bluebird) where we can put you in direct touch with the farmers.
Our thoughts on the coffee price? It’s tricky. By far the majority of the world’s coffee is traded commercially. The price won't change until the powers of supply and demand do. Having said that, there is still a 2% increase in coffee consumption worldwide (an extra 3 million bags per annum)! However, this year is actually a Brazil “down year”. Next year we expect an even bigger crop from them! If Brazil continues to harvest more efficiently, they will one day likely produce upwards of 70% of global coffee. This is probably not good for the C-price. Hopefully, the less efficient (more interesting) origins will not pull up their coffee for other crops. This is quite a sad prediction. Let’s hope it does not become a reality.
I was fortunate enough to judge on a pre-Cup of Excellence (COE) panel in Bukavu, DR Congo last month with head judge Paul Songer. I am a conservative cupper and have seldom scored a coffee above 89. In this cupping, we scored four coffees over 91 points. The potential is huge at this origin and we will be getting some of this coffee as soon as the rebels, ebola and bureaucrats allow us! Jokes aside, the Congo is the most exciting origin I have been to in years!
I highly recommend you try out the COE cupping form, it’s quite different to the SCA form. I find it a lot more practical (for example there is no score for aroma/fragrance - as research shows the coffee ground last always scores higher). Find the cupping form here.
Lastly, this month is PLASTIC Free July, and as we often get asked why the RECUPS are made of plastic, the founder said it best:
“It’s not a world without plastic,
it’s a world without plastic waste.”
- Plastic Free July Founder Rebecca Prince-Ruiz
RECUP reduces plastic waste. Is it not time you #returnreuserecycle. Join the RECUP REVOLUTION
GREEN BEAN PRICES
Rwanda Gatare - five new micro-lots arriving beginning of August
Malawi Livingstonia - all in 15kg bags
- Screen 17+ R95/kg
- Screen 15/16 R80/kg
- Screen 14 R65/kg
Tanzania Meru - R80/kg full bag. R90/kg micro ENDING SOON
Congo Lwiro - three new micro-lots arriving August
COFFEE CONSULTING: "In the coffee industry there are a lot of experts, but few know what they are talking about" - Mike Sivetz
Cultivar Coffee PTY Ltd VAT#: 4430276651 Collections up to 20kg in Apple Boxes: 45cm x 30cm x 31cm
Courier Fee: R180 per box up to 20kg
Collections from: CULTIVAR. Lineage Building. 3 Builders Way. Hillcrest. 3650