EMC | Mexico Monte Alban and Ethiopia Keramo
Bold Profile | Medium-dark roast
Tasting Notes: Dark Chocolate, Black Tea, Rich
IT ALL STARTS AT THE COFFEE FARM
This lively blend comes from smallscale farmers growing coffee halfway across the world from each other: the coffee from Mexico is heavy and rich, while the coffee from Ethiopia is bright and aromatic. They both combine to deliver a rich and complex cold brew.
Monte Alban, Mexico
Monte Alban is the 1000-year-old Zapotec ruin visible from the coffee farms that are hidden in the mountains surrounding the site. Coffee growers from this region have been producing coffee for more than three generations in a very traditional and mostly organic way.
Our importer partner Caravela has been working with these very small communities to help them certify their farms and add value to their product. The organic farmers who contribute to Monte Alban primarily rely on coffee cultivation as their main source of income. In addition to growing coffee, many farmers migrate to the coast in the off-season months where they grow corn or raise cattle.
With this group, Caravela started in 2018 with 55 independent organic farmers, initially in the Sierra Sur de Oaxaca. Over time, and as they launched and strengthened their Growers Education Program, or PECA in Spanish, across the state, they expanded their reach to more remote communities such as Los Naranjos, Tierra Blanca, Malvarisco, San Pedro Pochutla, and Santa María Ozolotepec. In 2019, the program had exponential growth and reached 245 partner farmers, including coffee communities such as Lagunilla, Loma Canela, Ozolotepec, San Antonio Xanagua, San Antonio Ozolotepec, San Marcial Ozolotepec and San Antonio Guivini, amongst others.
Today, 100% of the farmers are certified organic and rely on traditional farming methods and processing, do not use chemicals, and produce their own organic compost. For them, farming is a heritage rooted in generational knowledge and shaped by their unique culture and identity as farmers. This certification is financed by Caravela and is free of charge for all associated farmers, allowing farmers to enter the specialty coffee market and obtain better prices.
This coffee comes from the Sidama region of Ethiopia, and was grown at incredibly high altitudes (up to 2,300+ meters or 7,545 feet!). We purchased this coffee through our importing partner, The Coffee Quest, and they in turn found this coffee by partnering with the Ethiopian coffee export company Daye Bensa.
Daye Bensa, founded in 2006 by brothers Asefa and Mulugeta Dukamo, aren’t only an exporter: they also run the Keramo washing station where this coffee was processed! At the washing station, the coffee fruit is separated from the seeds, and those seeds are washed, dried and prepared to ship to coffee roasters around the world. When the Keramo farmers’ coffee cherries are ripe, they are harvested and then delivered to exporter Daye Bensa’s local washing station.
Daye Bensa opened a washing station right in Keramo so that the coffee could be processed separately - this improves overall quality as well as traceability. Rather than having Keramo producers travel with their coffee fruit to a neighboring village, Daye Bensa opened the Keramo washing station right in its namesake village. This means that they don’t have to worry about keeping Keramo coffees separate from coffees grown in other areas, and also, it means that farmers don't have to travel as far to deliver their coffee fruit. Coffee processing is a time that can really make or break a coffee, and Daye Bensa has been producing really amazing, high quality coffees: in 2021, they received 8th place in a national coffee competition!
Monte Alban farmer drying coffee
Farmers of Monte Alban
Coffee sorted at Keramo
Aerial view of Keramo washing station
Coffee dries under the sun at Keramo
Sorting coffee at Keramo washing station
Monte Alban, 1000-year-old Zapotec ruin
Coffee drying at Keramo
Aerial view of Keramo washing station
Caravela, Coffee Quest
MILL / WASHING STATION
On the farms; Keramo
1200 - 2360 meters
DID YOU KNOW
Because Oaxaca is a state with a diverse culture and traditions, farmers in this group speak Mixtec, Zapotec, Mazatec, and Spanish languages.
Price paid by Driftaway
Free on Board price
Farm Gate price
Fair Trade price per pound
Coffee C-Market price per pound
Driftaway's World Coffee Research contribution per pound
The Mexico Oaxaca coffee travelled 2,763 miles and the Ethiopia Sidamo travelled 7,053 miles to the Driftaway Coffee roastery in Queens.
Love the coffee? You can share your compliments & tasting observations with the farmers.
WHY DID WE SELECT THESE COFFEES FOR THE BLEND?
Both of these coffees are terrific on their own - the Keramo is also in the Fruity profile this month as a light roast, and the Monte Alban from Mexico was in the Classic profile last month as a medium roast. But the alchemy of taking both to a dark roast together is incredibly gratifying for dark roast fans: what were baking spice aromatics at a medium roast turn into deep smoked spices at this dark roast, combined with rich dark chocolate a heavier body.
AVERAGE CUPPING SCORE
SCAA Cupping Score
5 x 60 k, 2 x 70 k
Length of producer relationship
100% (in 2022)
Transparent coffees purchased
HOW DID WE ROAST THIS COFFEE?
This coffee is being roasted by Ian T. from June 19th to July 14th in Brooklyn. We use the Loring Kestrel roaster for this profile. We have strict guidelines for each of the coffee profiles, and this roast has to pass the development time ratio test as measured in real-time by the roasting software, Cropster. Once it does, it is approved for production.
We perform Quality Control via a process of coffee tasting called cupping on all of our production roasts once a week at our roastery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Each cupping is conducted by James M. and Ian T. using standard equipment, and is logged by our Q-certified cupper Ian T. All coffees are evaluated on a scoring scale of 0 to 3.
- 3.0 = exceptional roast - exceeds expectations
- 2.5 = on par with profile - matches expectations
- 2.0 = good roast, but 1 or 2 elements could be improved - needs improvement
- 1.5 or lower = failed - do not ship
PRODUCTION AND SHIPPING
Less than 24 hours after roasting, we bag your coffee in our production facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Our production team is led by Anthony and Torie, and supported by a rotating cast of local artists, musicians and independent professionals.
AT YOUR HOME
Brew this coffee with your favorite home brewer and enjoy the taste of incredible coffee! Here are a few tips on how to make the best coffee on each brewer.