This is a new to us coffee, from a long established but fairly new to us importer and developer (Crop to Cup), from a cooperative new to the specialty coffee market. These producers (“red” in Spanish being translated as “net,” or “network,” although a double entendre seems present as well, given the red scythe on the coffee sacks in our roastery) formed their group on the fifth of December, 2014, in the wake of a coffee leaf rust outbreak that killed most of the coffee plants in the area.
What ‘Red 5″ is is a little hard to articulate. They are a handful of agronomists—-the actual “Red 5” group—-who are, technically, affiliated with a large cooperative in Oaxaca (CORO–Organic Coffee Growers of Oaxaca). But the work of this small group is with tight knit and remote communities, in order assist them with specialty coffee agricultural practices and market access. And when we are talking market access, we are talking about both information, and nuts and bolts: transporting the parchment coffee from these remote growing areas, storing it in Oaxaca, coordinating payment, and the like. Without such assistance, growers in areas like Eloxochitlan must sell their coffee for whatever is offered to them by local buyers, who then take advantage of market knowledge to maximize profit for themselves.
This is the group’s first harvest being sold on the specialty coffee market.
Our sample cuppings were all over the place, as far as tasing notes go, but were consistently excellent. Our production roasts have shown chocolate, toasted marshmallow, a at times, some pithy red fruit (we’ve put pomegranite on our bags) and good but balanced acidity. But the more we spend time with this coffee, the more we think its main attribute is supreme brown-toned sweetness. The last pot I brewed at home (rather carelessly, I might add) reminded me of a glass of Nesqick.
Producer: Red 5 de Deciembre
Location: Eloxochitlan de Flores Magon, La Cañada
Elevation: 1750 MASL
Varietal: typica, bourbon, caturra, mondo novo
Process: washed process, patio dried