If you ask our resident agronomist and intrepid explorer, Giacomo Celi, how he came to work with coffee, he would answer that he?s totally fascinated by it; as an agronomist, he?s fascinated by the raw product and as an Italian, by the power it has to nurture culture and relationships.
Recently, he has been leading a project with a group of 71 small coffee farmers in the community of La Esmeralda, Nicaragua, aptly named ?Project Esmeralda?. There?s small farms, and then there?s really small. So, we?re talking 5000 square feet of plantation per farmer ? that?s approximately half a football pitch.
At the centre of this project is the ambition to help improve the livelihoods of the farmers and their families through education, expert assistance and advice. As you would imagine, a project of this importance has many partnerships to make the biggest impact. We collaborate with LIFT, the Rainforest Alliance and Mercon, who together bring their own breadth of invaluable experience.
The hope is that ? over a three year period – working mutually will not only have made the farms more productive and quality-focused, but have improved the community and lives of those involved for the longer term.
So far, we?ve created our first seasonally-inspired single origin from the farmers, simply called ?71?. You may have tried it when it came to our Dublin and London stores earlier this year. The flavours most predominant in its profile are orange, caramel, and chocolate, which were popular with our customers. As the seasons turn, we’re looking to bring these to you more frequently.
What?s next? We continue to develop our coffee whilst working hard to improve the livelihoods of our farmers. In this way we create something that?s both meaningful and that tastes great. It feels good.