Los Pozos: Sweetness Direct from Nicaragua

Los_Pozos

At Irving Farm, we visit a lot of farms and are always looking for new ways to make farm relationships. Our Nicaragua Los Pozos offering is a special coffee with a special story. We purchased this sweet and deep coffee through a brand new organization working to make the links between producers and coffee roasters that much more direct. Pulley Collective, a New-York-based initiative, has been working since 2012 to connect very small producers — many of whom are award winners — with international roasters through carefully curated auction systems.

Through their efforts we were introduced to this beautiful example of Nicaraguan single origin coffee, a big-drinking, rustic and sweet cup, full of dried fruit and spice notes and perfect for winter drinking.

 

 

Focus on Single Origin Coffees

Single_Origins.1

Here at Irving Farm, we think one of the most incredible ways to appreciate coffee is to fine-tune our vision to a specific region and terroir. For this reason, we’re enthralled with Single Origin coffees: coffees that are purely from one specific region or small lot, that we can identify as beautifully unique to their growing origin.

Unlike blends, which are a beautiful, careful balancing act of finesse and flavor, Single Origins are truly individual. It’s up to our cuppers and roasters to get the best expression out of each bean, without tempering any of the coffee’s natural flavors with anything else.

Explore our Single Origin offerings today, like our new Nicaragua Los Pozos, purchased in an auction from new coffee importer Pulley Collective, or our lovely, organic Rwanda Coopac Bourbon, full of delicious notes of red fruit and oak.

New Year, New Website!

With the New Year, we have a new IrvingFarm.com!

To welcome you to our new website, we’re offering 20% off all coffees now through January 17, 2013*!

GET 20% OFF >

We think the new site is beautiful and simpler than ever to use. We hope you will, too. Here are a few changes we’re especially excited to share:

  • New ways to explore our coffees, including Coffee Subscriptions
  • Faster, easier checkout
  • More ways to manage your account

If you have an online account with us:

We’ll be emailing you shortly with details about the transfer to our new website. If you’re eager to get started, though, all you’ll need to do to access your new account is reset your password using the email address associated with your account. You can also checkout quickly as a guest.

We’d love to know what you think of the new website!

Leave a comment below, talk to us on social media or email us: web@irvingfarm.com.

Happy New Year!

from all of us at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters

Harvest in the Square: This Week

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Irving Farm Coffee Roasters is delighted to be a part of the 2012 Harvest in the Square fest in NYC, now in its 17th season.

We’ve been part of this wonderful event since our 1996, our first year in coffee, back when we were a wee coffee company serving out of 52 Irving Place, just minutes from Union Square. Our table that first year was shared with our friends at New York roaster Dallis Bros. Coffee, but since then we’ve had our own space each year at this event that is so important to Union Square Park.

For those who don’t know, Harvest in the Square is key each year to raising funds for infrastructure and beautification of Union Square Park. Last year’s event raised $326,000 in funds to make this this vital meeting and gathering space in the city even more beautiful and comfortable for all. We’re honored to be a continuing part of this Union Square Partnership event, and to continue our connection to the neighborhood where we truly began, and where we pass through each day on our way to our headquarters and 71 Irving Place Cafe.

Please join us at this delicious celebration of the neighborhood.

2012 Harvest in the Square

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Enter from the South Plaza at 14th Street

Union Square Park, Manhattan

Harvest in the Square Homepage

Colombia Farm Visits


Irving Farm green coffee buyer Dan Streetman just returned from a whirlwind trip to Colombia to visit farms and taste wonderful coffees. He visited Bogota, Garcon, Monserrate, and La Plata, cupping dozens of coffees a day in search for the right flavors — and relationships — to bring back to our roastery in New York State.


Day 1

Just a brief update on what is going on here in Colombia. So far the trip has been really good… we have a diverse group of folks with three coffee buyers (myself, Kaldi’s and Batdorf & Bronson), one cafe manager from Kaldi’s, two folks from Atlas, and a coffee producer from El Salvador. We’ve been having a healthy range of discussions about the biz.

Monserrate was AMAZING.  We went up to Monserrate early this morning, it is about an hour up from La Plata where we are staying even though it is only 30km. I had forgotten how rough the road is, and it was a little worrisome when we came up to a bulldozer pushing giant boulders into the road.  We waited for a bit, and he cleared it for us.  It is great to see them paving the road however, and was much improved from last year.  We started with a calibration cupping, and then had 2 rounds of actual cupping.  We saw some really nice coffees: the highest I scored was an 88.5 which was very Kenya-like…  Also some very nice classic Colombian profiles with refined acidity, and very sweet.

We also had schoolkids around the whole day while we were cupping, as we were using one of the school classrooms for our cupping lab.  There were also some kids who were enrolled in a coffee education program at their high school who came and cupped with us. The kids were very shy at first, but got super excited and began tasting the coffees with us after the last round was finished.  We ended up chatting a lot with them, and they were asking us all kinds of questions.  Where we were from, did we speak Spanish etc, etc, etc.  Then they all started asking for us to take photos with them.

After the cupping wrapped up we walked the length of the Monserrate village, and gathered a new following of 8-10 year old girls.  They were very amusing, and it helped keep the farm visits light-hearted. Having Emilio Lopez here (farmer from El Salvador) is also especially exciting, as listening to him chat with the farmers, and hearing his thoughts on the coffee production here is very enlightening.  Overall a very rewarding day.

Tomorrow we’re having breakfast at 7:30 at the local bakery Pan Superpan, whose owner today insisted on taking her photo with all of us to put on Facebook. Then we’ll head back up to Monserrate, and we have another 3 rounds of cupping.  I also am excited, as they told me I’ll get to meet Dario Anaya tomorrow, even though we can’t visit his farm, El Jigual. Alto Patico is on another ridge, and apparently very difficult to get to.

Day 2

Back in Bogota tonight, it is really nice to take a hot shower, and relax a little. Yesterday we finished the cupping.  There was an impressive lot of coffees, I scored all of the top 5 very high. We’re buying two lots from the competition, a ~115lb lot from Willer Rivera, which I scored 89.25, and a ~150lb lot from Orlando Osa.  After the cupping we had a meeting with a big group of folks from the village and explained to them how each of our companies was using the coffee and how much we had enjoyed it over the past year. It was really cool to see the community come out and be interested.

Unfortunately it rained most of the day Saturday and it prevented Dario from coming over to Monserrate from Alto Patico. Last year was our first year buying from El Jigual. I loved it’s classic Colombian structure, with flavors of fresh blackberry, wrapped in heavy chocolate body.  It is rich and robust, making it a perfect winter-spring coffee. The good news is Dario has been submitting coffee to our exporter partner here RaCafe, and we should see a sample soon. Our love for El Jigual will hopefully continue into the coming seasons!

Good Things Come…in Crow Packages

By now, you’ve noticed the crow. Fans of our cafes have been witnessing slow changes in recent months. More pourover offerings. More attention to small detail. A slow, gradual infestation of handsome black crows gathering on the landscape. Our newest improvement is secretly one of our proudest: these beautiful, more ecologically produced coffee bags.

We wanted to uprgrade our packaging to be both better for the coffee and better for the earth, and started with our Rainforest Foundation Project Blend, which we sell in compostable, paper-based bags and share profits from each sale with our partners, sustainability advocates The Rainforest Foundation.

For our every day coffee bags, we wanted something similar but which would allow the freshness of each bean to preserve the utmost flavor—and landed on these beautiful, paper-based bags with foil lining. We loved paper for the bags because we wanted the packaging to have a real textural element, as well as being reminiscent of vintage packaging, something handcrafted and special—like hand cut meat in butcher paper, or beautiful flowers wrapped for giving.

The design of the bags is in line with our effort to marry the simplicity of the country, where we keep the heart and soul of our roasting operations in the Hudson Valley, with the clean, direct nature of city living. The crow is our true messenger of both sensibilities: hard and brave, but free and soaring. We’re a little bit in love with him, as well as the wonderful coffees he’s representing.

And to that end, one last note—you’ll notice a few of our coffees changing, not only seasonally, but in attitude. We’ve revamped our Flying Donkey espresso blend and are transitioning to the name Blackstrap: a sleeker, more immediate reference to the sweet-viscous depth we strive for in our favorite espresso blend. You’ll see fresh bags of Flying Donkey and Blackstrap on the shelves in coming months, but by fall you can expect Blackstrap blend to have won your heart—and be something to crow about.

Happy Earth Day!

David of Irving Farm backstage

 

Trudie & David of Irving Farm

 

Bill Clinton being a rock star!

 

Each guest took home a bag!

 

Happy Earth Day!

Earlier this month, Irving Farm launched a special-edition charity coffee offering at the 2012 Benefit Concert for The Rainforest Foundation700 guests including Bill Clinton, Elton John, Meryl Streep, Bryn Terfel, Rita Wilson and others joined founders Trudie Styler and Sting to raise funds and celebrate the ongoing work of the foundation. You can see pictures from this event at our blog.

But the work and the celebration didn’t end at the concert. As Earth Day approaches, we want everyone to join in. For each bag of this coffee sold, we’re giving a dollar to The Rainforest Foundation. Each dollar enables the foundation to protect 60 trees and 9000 square feet of forestland. Please read more about this project here and consider joining us in our efforts.

Starting on Earth Day (this Sunday, April 22nd!) our cafes, 71 Irving Place and 56 Seventh Avenue, will be brewing only the Rainforest Foundation Project coffee blend for one whole week. So stop by for a cup!

Please also support the cafes and markets that are partnering with us in our Rainforest Foundation Project:

If you are around on/after Earth Day, definitely stop by one of our partners to grab a cup and buy a bag to champion this cause!

Travel Update: Honduras + Nicaragua

Jose Francisco Villeda and family

 

Dan meeting farmers, Hoduras newspaper

 

Omar, Las Capucas Co-op President

 

The view from El Cielito in San Vicente

 

Marcala

 

Coffee flowers in Nicaragua

 

Travel Diary

Dan, our Coffee Director, just returned from a coffee buying trip where he visited some old friend and made new coffee friends; sniffed, swirled and spit coffee; crossed borders and made the newspaper in Honduras…

Here are a few lines from his travel diary:

First stop, Capucas:

I wanted to drop a line about Las Capucas. Everything was amazing when we got here. Our hosts had built cabanas for us to stay in, which was real fun. This year the co-op had 40 new members join and I got to meet some of them. Great news, they all replaced their milling equipment with brand new milling equipment! Best of all, the coffee is improving. This year they had 44 lots in the competition (last year we had 30) and there were only 2 lots that we scored as “non-specialty”. This is an impressive achievement and I’m excited about how things continue to develop here.

On Saturday after the festival, I visited Jose Francisco Villeda (aka Pancho) and his family.  He is a farmer whose coffee we currently buy. It was really awesome to sit down with him and learn more about his farm and family. Pancho and his wife Patricia have 4 daughters and 1 son. This year Pancho is processing much more of his own coffee, instead of selling it to the mill. This is largely because of our commitment to continue buying from him and the prospect of us buying more coffee.

 

Two days in San Vicente:

Now we are in Santa Barbara and working with the San Vicente Dry Mill. Santa Barbara is the most famous part of Honduras to source coffee from right now.  Mostly because many of the “Cup of Excellence” winners come from here. For example the El Sauce coffee we had from CoE in 2010, which I visited today. We cupped 30 coffees in the Mill today, did a few farm visits and tomorrow are doing more farm visits from the coffees that we liked. I found one lot that I like a LOT which wasn’t spoken for and we are going to visit tomorrow.  It is all Bourbon, which is uncommon here with mostly Pacas and Catuai being grown.

 

Two days in Marcala:

We took a side trip to Marcala on the way to Nicaragua.  Marcala is probably the best known of Honduras’ growing regions.  It is a controlled Denomination of Origin by the Honduran Government, which means the coffees must be from the region of Marcala, and meet the quality specs.  This year however was the first year the mill here has separated “micro-lots”.  We cupped 30 coffees and saw some promise.  We also met an amazing young lady named Nancy Contreras, who has been cupping since she was 14 and now owns a coffee shop, roasts and cups at the mill. 


Last stop, Nicaragua:

Yesterday we crossed the border from Honduras to Nicaragua. This morning we are getting up early to head out to visit some farms. We toured around Ocotal (the city where we are) in two coffee growing regions, Dipilto and Mozonte.  The last day we cupped 30 coffees at Beneficio Las Segovias, before heading to the Managua.  Dipilto and Mozonte also showed tons of promise and some amazing producers with very distinct points of view.  

After two weeks on the road I am exhausted but amazed at the great coffees and people I have been introduced to. Looking forward to returning home to NYC.

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