This is a journal entry from our Director of Coffee, Bobby Wrigley from his recent trip to Colombia.
Joaquin entered the local TCQ competition. Although his coffee scored really high, it just missed the cut off for the competition. TCQ is interested in building long-term relationships, not just skimming off the top lots, so they still purchased his coffee and planned to visit him later. That later happened to be when I was visiting. Joaquin showed us around his farm to see the varieties he planted. Then he showed us his fermentation tanks and his drying patio.
When TCQ begins a new relationship with someone who is just getting into specialty, they provide suggestions of things to try that they see working for other farmers around them. They are careful to offer suggestions that do not cost a lot of money, if any. Most of the improvements that can be made to produce higher-scoring coffee just requires a little extra time and attention to detail. Joaquin was very receptive to suggestions about fermentation offered by Jessica.
The next step for someone like Joaquin is to stay in communication with Jessica via WhatsApp, where TCQ provides full transparency of what they are paying day to day as the market fluctuates. As Joaquin harvests his coffee and keeps certain lots separated from others, he will eventually take samples down to the buying station and receive feedback regarding the quality and the offer price. He has a few varieties that he might choose to keep separate, and in addition he was also considering trying a honey processed lot– another reason why he might separate that out. If a higher price for part of the harvest can be fetched, it is worth it for these specialty farmers.